Blog Post

Community Grief Toolkit [Downloadable!]

This toolkit also reflects on how we support grief in the community. The tools to come together and honour our collective experiences and how to build the resources for further support.

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,…

Grieving Through Another Pandemic Holiday Season

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW Grieving Through Another Pandemic Holiday Season This is our second year collectively facing a crisis across the globe that has kept us living with some level of anxiety and feelings of isolation. The COVID-19 pandemic has been very hard on so many people in many ways. It can feel endless and…

Disenfranchised Grief – When It Feels Like Your Grief Doesn’t Matter

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW Disenfranchised Grief – When It Feels Like Your Grief Doesn’t Matter Grief that is acknowledged, validated and supported is grief that has access to pathways for healing. There are some losses that don’t receive this attention and respect. Disenfranchised grief is the name for what we experience when a loss is…

Ghosts From The Past

I met Holly riding the bus in our community. She is very attractive with a winsome smile and piercing eyes that I would trade anything for. She was also the bus driver. At that time Holly went to school to become a nurse. After becoming a nurse, Holly didn’t drive the bus that much, but one of her fellow bus drivers mentioned to me that one of Holly’s patients had died and it had a negative impact on her. It brought back ghosts from my past as I also had a job in which people died which had a negative impact on me.


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.

Shadowloss: loss in life

Shadowloss is a term developed by Cole Imperi, a thanatologist and the founder of The American School of Thanatology. It describes the types of loss we feel in life, rather than the loss of life. Shadowlosses are things like divorce or the end of a long-term relationship, infertility, a medical diagnosis, losing a job, or the loss of some other relationship or thing. It’s a loss that impacts the life of an individual, as well as their social network in their life.

What I know about grief

The following are some things I know to be true about grief for me, based on my lived experience. Some of them may resonate with you as well. Grief is unique to the people experiencing it in each moment, so please take whatever makes sense to you from this share and leave whatever doesn’t.

Grief and Secondary Loss

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW Grief and Secondary Loss Secondary losses are those that often accompany the death of a loved one and may go unacknowledged beside the more recognized experience of that primary loss. Secondary loss includes such things as role, family structure, support systems, identity, faith, purpose and security. These connections are related to…

Loss Comes In Layers

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW When we experience death, it is often perceived as one-dimensional. A person died. We are sad and we miss them. That is grief. Grief is much more complex than this perspective suggests. When someone we love dies, there are multiple aspects to the loss that impact our grief journey. Of course,…

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…

Once a Daughter, Always a Daughter

Mary E. Schulz is a Social Worker and writer who loves dogs, opera and stories that take her breath away. We all have roles in our life. For me, I have been a wife, best friend, health care professional and daughter. All of these roles have brought me joy and some heart ache and I…