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a lilac is stuck in the sand of the beach at a memorial.

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.

Photo by Caroline Taylor

Collective Grief

When the death of a person affects many members in a community, city, country, or across the world, people will experience collective grief.

These are some things that can help people through the experience of collective grief across a community.

faded yellow flowers symbolizing grief.

When Death Comes Suddenly

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

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Helping Others Help You Through Grief

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW When you’ve experienced the death of a loved one, one of the most difficult things you will go through is trying to find out what helps you adjust to the loss. This can be compounded when others around you don’t understand what you’re going through, and don’t know how…

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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…

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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…

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When Your Friend Has a Miscarriage

When Your Friend Has a Miscarriage Alyssa Warmland is a content artist whose work focuses on fumbling towards an ethic of care and empowering people to share their stories in a way that keeps them well. When my partner and I decided we were ready to have a baby, we thought it would be easy.…

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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…

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Forgiveness at the End of a Life

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW Forgiveness at the End of a Life One of the most difficult things about death can be the experience of unresolved conflict. When we’ve had a turbulent relationship with the person we are grieving for, it can really complicate our feelings. Forgiveness is a good goal, but it can be hard…

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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…

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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…

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Caring for Someone Who is Grieving

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW Caring for Someone Who is Grieving When someone you care about is grieving, it can be hard to know what to do. It may be that you haven’t been through a similar experience and you feel unsure what will be helpful. It’s also quite likely that they’ll be unsure what they…