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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…

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Losing a Lifelong Family Friend

Written by Arielle Astroff January 18th, 2020 is a day I will never forget. A day that changed my life, and the lives of many, forever. This was the day that my neighbour and family friend of twenty years unexpectedly passed away. On that winter day, he and my dad were shovelling snow together when…

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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…

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Guilt and Remorse in Grief Work

Guest post by Sharron Spencer, SSW-G, RSSW Sharron Spencer is a Registered Social Service Worker working in the field of Mental Health & Addictions since 2014, as a second career. Sharron currently works as the Grief & Bereavement Coordinator at Hospice Georgina. She trained in the Child & Youth Grief and Bereavement Certificate program with Sick…

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When Death is a Natural Part of Your Workplace

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW When Death is a Natural Part of Your Workplace Staff and volunteers in hospice, long-term care facilities and hospitals know that death is a part of life. You typically witness death on a regular basis as part of your job. As a result, there are some important steps you can take…

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Ways to Mourn During the Pandemic

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW Ways to Mourn During the Pandemic The restrictions related to the global pandemic are intended to slow the spread of covid-19. Physical distancing, the declaration of a state of emergency and rules to prevent gathering in groups also impacts our usual ways of coming together in bereavement. It is customary for…

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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,…

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How We Learn to Cope With Grief

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW How We Learn to Cope With Grief Death inevitably brings grief when the person who died is someone we love. Grief is never easy, even when the death is one that comes in the natural order of life; a loss we were expecting. We learn to cope with grief through experiencing…

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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,…

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Creative Outlets for Grief

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW Creative Outlets for Grief In the depth of raw, deep grief it can be hard to find words to express your feelings. Perhaps you are not much of a talker, anyway. Maybe this terrible tragedy has left you speechless. There may be no words for the terrible experience you find yourself…

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Living in the Aftermath of Traumatic Death

The sudden unexpected, traumatic death of a loved one is something like having a limb torn off.

Shocking. As if the air has been sucked from your lungs and you can’t manage another breath.

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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.

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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…

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Thinking About Death and Dying

Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW Though everyone eventually dies, it can be difficult to think about death and dying and many of us avoid it as we go about our every day lives. During the pandemic, as communities all over the world cope with the spread of covid-19, death may be much more present in your…

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