National Grief and Bereavement Day

November 16, 2021 is National Grief and Bereavement Day.  Throughout the month of November, Bruce Peninsula Hospice joins a wide network across the country to acknowledge grief and its powerful, inner workings.  When we bravely step into conversations about what and who we grieve and how we grieve, we begin to normalize this natural part of life. This ongoing dialogue is encouraged so we may move ourselves and our community toward an improved collective well-being.

Learning more about the grief journey helps us and our dear ones to move through the process of grief, giving the time and the care needed to heal.  We include here some helpful tips for supporting the bereaved as found in “Things to Remember When Supporting a Grieving Person”, published by Victoria Hospice.

  • Be genuine…your connection with the bereaved person should be a continuation of your usual relationship with them.
  • Acknowledge the loss as soon as possible.  Don’t let fear hold you back…simply say that you are sorry to hear of the death and mention the person by name.
  • Get good information about grief…it is a natural and necessary process.
  • Be willing to open the subject…let the bereaved talk, share their feelings, tell and re-tell their stories.
  • Listen…without judgement and allow for silence.
  • Accept that you cannot take the pain away…no need to “cheer-up” the bereaved.
  • Reach out to offer support…regular contact over time.
  • Be patient and flexible…mourning takes lots of time and the needs of the bereaved person will change over time.
  • Understand that everyone grieves in their own way and at their own pace.
  • Expect that your own grief may be triggered…be sensitive to how and when you share your own feelings and grief experience.
  • Offer practical help in the early days…bring meals, do errands, be a chauffeur, help with household chores. 
  • And when the bereaved person is ready…include them in social gatherings, welcome new friendships, continue to remember and mention by name the person who died.

Little thought is typically given to what happens at the end of our journeys until we are faced with personal loss or a life limiting diagnosis. When we engage with others and normalize the conversations between us, we can begin to see death, grief and bereavement as part of life and learn to bring comfort to those in need, including ourselves. 

Bruce Peninsula Hospice (BPH) offers free, eight-week Bereavement Support Groups for individuals grieving the death of someone close to them. We offer support to one another in confidence with the help of experienced facilitators and additional resources shared. Our next group begins Wednesday October 27th and will be offered online. Please see registration details below.  BPH also offers a 1-1 support program and additional services.

For other resources you may wish to visit www.griefjourney.ca, a website created by Dr. Bill Webster, Founder and Executive Director of the Centre for the Grief Journey, Canadian Virtual Hospice at www.virtualhospice.ca and to search for Ontario providers and services by postal code, visit www.thehealthline.ca.

For more information about Bruce Peninsula Hospice’s Bereavement programs or to inquire about registering, please contact us in confidence at 519-534-1260 ext. 5612 or info@bphospice.ca.