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Helpful Resources

Grief and Bereavement

New Bereavement Directory on Inform Alberta 
Find bereavement support groups and individual counselling in

When a loved one dies, it can be hard to know how to deal with your grief. It’s different for everyone, and it’s okay to feel the way you feel. You may find your grief lasts longer and is much harder than you thought. But by letting yourself grieve, you’ll find your own ways to remember and honour your loved one.

Is it normal to feel grief?

Feeling grief is normal when a loved one dies. It can help to remember a few things:

  • grief isn’t a sign of weakness—it’s a natural response to the death of a loved one
  • there’s no “right” way to grieve
  • healing doesn’t happen overnight—everyone grieves differently and in their own time
  • you may be surprised by how many parts of your life are affected by grief:
    • your physical health
    • your mental health
    • your relationships
    • your religious or spiritual beliefs

How do I know if I need help?

You may want support to deal with your grief if you:

  • have trouble doing everyday things
  • are thinking about the loss again and again
  • have trouble eating or sleeping (too much or too little)
  • have less energy to care for yourself and your family
  • feel hopeless or helpless (e.g. “No matter how hard I try, I’ll never get through this.”)

What can I do to deal with grief?

During this hard time, there are things you can do to help yourself:

  • try to accept the grief
  • take time to cry (women and men—strong men can and do cry)
  • talk about it and share your grief with friends and family
  • if someone tells you to “snap out of it,” find someone more supportive to talk to
  • take care of your health by:
    • resting
    • eating well
    • staying busy but not taking on too much
    • exercising (e.g., a 30-minute walk every day)
  • keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings
  • get professional help, like grief counselling, if you need it

Indigenous Voices: Stories of Serious Illness and Grief

Indegenous-Voices.jpgIndigenous people are commonly underserved in the health care system and their access to palliative care is among the lowest in Canada. To help improve quality of life and quality of care that is culturally safe and inclusive, Virtual Hospice and a team of Indigenous researchers, health providers, patients and families developed Indigenous Voices: Stories of Serious Illness and Grief

The series includes videos and print materials in which First Nations, Inuit and Métis from across Canada share stories about traditions, rituals and spirituality, experiences of care and after death ceremonies and grieving. The video series includes 170 short video clips organized by theme. Highlights are captured in four longer videos:

  • Ceremony, tradition and spirituality
  • Caring for the patient and family
  • Walking along side for a good death
  • Honouring our loss and grief

To view the Indigenous Voices series go to


Canadian Virtual Hospice​

Canadian Virtual Hospice is pleased to launch - for anyone trying to understand and work through their grief. is also an educative tool for health providers. was developed by Canadian Virtual Hospice, in collaboration with national and Albertan grief experts and families

Adapted from Calgary Zone - Grief Support Program​​​​​​​​​​