Blog Post

It’s World Suicide Prevention Day and I Hope You Stay

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW It’s World Suicide Prevention Day and I Hope You Stay It’s World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) and in keeping with the theme of working together to prevent suicide, I have worked with a team of amazing artists to create a song called I Hope You Stay. As a Registered Social Worker,…


That is also our best, and only role, when supporting a person with a developmental disability to grieve. We must be the one that comes alongside. There is no closer place we can get to. We must be present, be with, perhaps not understanding or comprehending what the person we support is experiencing, but alongside them nonetheless. We must be there, ready to provide whatever we can discover of their unique need in grief.

Grief is Not the Enemy

Mary E. Schulz is a Social Worker and writer who loves dogs, opera and stories that take her breath away. When I was younger, before anyone close to me had died, I thought that grief was something to be beaten. Conquered. Overcome. That grief is the enemy. I would hear people say things like, “She…

Getting Comfortable Talking About Grief

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW Getting Comfortable Talking About Grief There was a time when death was part of everyday life. People didn’t tend to live long, and there was often a great deal of suffering while they were alive. Birth happened in the home, and death often happened there, too. If death happened elsewhere, the…

When You Can’t Be There As a Loved One Dies

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW There are times when we have some warning that a loved one is dying. We can change our agendas and make travel plans in order to be present at the death or in their last days. Other times, it simply isn’t possible. If death comes swiftly and unexpectedly, we are left…

Practical Possibilities for Mourning in a Pandemic

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW Practical Possibilities for Mourning in a Pandemic When someone we care about dies, we have a natural reaction of grief. During a pandemic, many restrictions and precautions we are living with to help prevent the spread of virus can interfere with the ways we are used to coping with the experience…

Anticipatory Grief During a Pandemic

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW It is 2020 and the world is gripped by a relentless pandemic. The news is filled with rising numbers of confirmed cases, frightening death tolls and slowly increasing numbers of recovered patients. People are facing orders to stay at home except for essential business to help slow the spread of covid-19.

When Death Comes Suddenly

When someone dies suddenly we often struggle with grief that is raw, unpredictable and powerful.

The Unique Wounds of Ambiguous Loss

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW The Unique Wounds of Ambiguous Loss Ambiguous loss, as it relates to death, happens in two ways. A loved one may be physically absent, missing and potentially dead, but without definite evidence to confirm a death. A loved one may be mentally absent due to conditions like dementia or other circumstances…

A Million Other Things: Grieving a Drug Poisoning Death

Sister, father, son, niece, best friend – some of these words might be how you would describe your loved one who has died of an overdose or drug poisoning. People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) are not defined by their substance use – they are a million other things to those who love and miss them dearly. Drug poisoning and overdose deaths are stigmatized in our society. The focus is on how the person died, not who they are. Society still holds onto old notions and beliefs about drugs which come with a value judgment about people who use drugs, which further contributes to stigma. Not everyone who uses drugs is an addict and not all drug use is inherently problematic. People who use drugs deserve dignity and respect when we are remembering and honouring those who have died by overdose or drug poisoning.

Tips for Grieving During the Holidays

The holidays can bring up a lot of feelings, especially when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one. Whether it’s the first holiday season without someone, the holidays mark a time where someone you love died, or it’s just hard to be around celebration when you’re not feeling celebratory, December can feel heavy.

These are a few tips for grieving during the holidays.

Creativity Helped Me Cope as a Child

Michele King is an End-of-Life Doula and Expressive Arts Grief Support facilitator. She companions people through serious illness and at end of life with a passion for normalizing conversations around death and dying. I can still vaguely remember the day like a fuzzy picture in my mind. I was playing on our front lawn with…