Healthy living Insurance

Coping with grief: Resources that can help

More than 6.3 million Canadians are grieving a death because of COVID-19—that’s a lot of us. Add to that those of us who have lost loved ones from other causes, the compounding impact of saying goodbye amid gathering restrictions, the collective heartache we feel because of local and global tragedies, and the non-death-related losses we’ve experienced—job loss, the end of relationships, the cancellation of valued programs, or closure of favourite local businesses.

It’s a lot.

So, if you’re feeling a sense of grief and loss, you’re certainly not alone. You’re in good company. So many of us need support right now—and it’s wise to seek help because unresolved grief sits upstream from mental health concerns, addiction, health issues and relationship challenges.

The good news is it’s possible to heal. That doesn’t mean we forget about our loved ones, but we build the skills we need to move forward and get back to enjoying life. We eventually integrate our losses as part of our life story.

Learning about grief, sharing our stories in supportive environments, and practising self-compassion and care are essential parts of the journey. Thankfully, there are many resources available to help.

5 grief support resources to check out

  1. Your local hospice – hospices provide support with for the entire end-of-life experience, from providing life-affirming care to palliative individuals to supporting their loved ones through the process of death and dying and the grief that follows. Often hospices will offer workshops, support groups and wellness therapies for bereaved people—and you don’t always need to have a prior connection to the hospice to join. It’s worth seeing what’s available at your local hospice.
  2. Healing with David Kessler, a new Spotify Podcast – David Kessler is a well-known grief expert. He’s behind and the author of Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief. His podcast covers grief, trauma and perseverance. Most importantly, it will help you feel you’re not alone.
  3. Your local library – there are many books available on grief, so if you’re a reader or audiobook listener, consider checking one out. Read reviews to find a book that sounds of most interest to you.
  4. Social media – different accounts talk about death, grief and loss to offer resources and highlight the shared human experience. Look at @modernloss or @that_goodnight. You could also follow your hospice or authors, like @iamdavidkessler. See if the accounts feel helpful to you.
  5. Therapy – one-on-one therapy is always a good idea—especially during tough times, like coping with grief and loss. You may be able to access a counsellor through your local hospice or faith centre. If you are a member of RTOERO’s extended healthcare plan, you have coverage for social work and psychology services. When searching for practitioners, look for someone specializing in grief and loss. Ask your family doctor for referrals, or search online. No need to limit your search to your local area, as thanks to COVID, most clinicians offer virtual services.

While some might want others to ‘move on’ from their grief and loss, it’s neither realistic nor a good idea. We need to move through, and if we have that understanding, we can better help ourselves and support those in our lives who are experiencing grief too. It can be as simple as being more compassionate to your colleagues and others you interact with. If 6.3 million of us are in grief just because of COVID, then there’s a good chance the person you’re talking to is. Take good care.

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