What is Grief?
Grief is a natural response to loss. There is no right way to grieve and no set timetable for grieving. Everyone is different. For some people, grief is an intense, emotional, all-consuming experience. For others it is a rather mild process. Ethnicity, gender, culture and age all impact how people grieve. If mourning is the outward expression of sorrow often shared in a social setting with others, then grief is the inward, solitary or private response.
Grief can be:
- Physical (crying, insomnia, weight change, tightness in the throat, hollowness in the stomach, weakness in the muscles)
- Psychosocial (poor concentration, withdrawal)
- Emotional (sadness, anger, loneliness, depression, blame, relief)
- Spiritual (questioning one’s beliefs)
It takes a great deal of energy to grieve and people need time to work through it. As someone moves through the various phases of grief, less energy is spent on the grief itself and more is spent on survival and life enhancement.
- Bereaved Families of Ontario – offers peer based support at no cost to those in need.
- MyGrief.ca – an online resource to help people move through their grief from the comfort of their own home, at their own pace.
- Canadian Mental Health Association – provides tips and general information on coping with grief and additional supports in local communities.
- CAMH Loss, Grief and Healing – provides general information on loss, grief and healing related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network – free group and individual peer-support services offered to families across Ontario.
- The Reflection Room – a virtual and physical space to reflect on your experiences with dying, death and grief.
Children & Youth
- Children and Youth Grief Network – resources for people supporting children and youth grieving the dying or death of a loved one.
- Lighthouse For Grieving Children and Families – support for grieving children, youth and their parents or caregivers.
- KidsGrief.ca – a free online resource that helps parents and educators support children when someone in their life is dying or has died.
- Camp Erin – a free, weekend bereavement camp for youth who are grieving the death of a significant person in their lives.
Finding Grief and Bereavement Services in Your Local Community
By telephone: Please call toll-free 1-833-621-0728, Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.
Online: To search for providers and services please visit http://www.thehealthline.ca where you can search by postal code for providers in your local community.