Community Grief

Community Grief (also known as Collective Grief) is when a group of people experience a death or loss that impacts them communally and broadly. Community grief can be experienced at our local community level, as a region, as a country, or we can be impacted as a global community.

Community grief can occur after a community has experienced a death of a well known member of their community, following natural disasters, accidents such as the Humboldt bus accident, or mass loss of lives such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

We do not need to know the person individually to experience community grief. We experience community grief because we feel a connection to the person(s) who have died. They may have been a community member who was part of our daily commute for years, a celebrity whose story resonates with you, or we may grieve for those closely impacted who are grieving their loved ones.

We never have to be alone in our grief, and gathering in community can be one way to honour our grief as a community. On this page you will find videos of community members talking about their experiences of community grief.

Content Funded By

Municipality of Port Hope logo

Municipality of Port Hope

We are thankful for the Community Grant funding through the Municipality of Port Hope.

Community Grief-Related Blog

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

What I know about grief

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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.

bunches of small, pink flowers

Ripples of Grief: Supporting Ourselves, Others, and our Communities After a Death

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By Jessica Milette, MSW, RSW When death knocks on the door of a community, each of us are impacted. Sometimes…

a photo of the reflection room, a table with writing supplies and a red cloth hanging on the wall with a tree and peoples' written memories and reflections on grief posted on the sheet around the tree.

The Reflection Room® project: How storytelling supports processing grief

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The Reflection Room project is an evidence-based participatory art installation that was developed by researchers at the SE Research Centre and Memorial University in 2016. The project included a research component that evaluated the impact of Reflection Rooms as the project adapted over time to address changing needs.

Collective Grief

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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.

Community Grief-Related Videos

ALL PANDEMIC VIDEOS
  • ALL PANDEMIC VIDEOS

Nicole – Using Art and Creativity to Express Grief

Nicole – Using Art and Creativity to Express Grief

Nicole discusses the work she does to allow access to creative outlets such as art hives and gardening.

Nicole – Pandemic’s Effect on Safe Spaces and Mental Health Access

Nicole – Pandemic’s Effect on Safe Spaces and Mental Health Access

Nicole discusses how the pandemic affected access to safe spaces and shelters for those living rough and living with addiction.

Nicole – Grieving as a community

Nicole – Grieving as a community

Nicole discusses the power of grieving together as a community. Finding connection and trust.

Keith – “We need one another”

Keith – “We need one another”

Keith talks about the importance of story, understanding our journey and how we are connected.

Sarah K – Supporting someone in grief

Sarah K – Supporting someone in grief

Sarah gives her thoughts on how many things there are you can do to support someone in grief and how to be proactive

Kristal – Professional Experience and Work

Kristal – Professional Experience and Work

Kristal discusses being a peer support worker, working on a one on one level with community members to help them with their goals related to substance abuse. She supports those in the community dealing with loss and grief. She speaks to everyone's experience with loss and grief being very individual.

Christian – Grieving the whole person

Christian – Grieving the whole person

Christian talks about how we choose remember people when there has been a loss to drug poisoning

Kristal – Drug Poisoning During Pandemic Stigma

Kristal – Drug Poisoning During Pandemic Stigma

Kristal discusses how the pandemic has created additional stigma surrounding those who use drugs. She discusses how it seems like some losses are treated as more deserving of being mourned than others. Many people have had to grieve privately instead of publically within a community. She touches on the state of the public health system during the pandemic.

Antoinetta – Grieving in community with others

Antoinetta – Grieving in community with others

Antoinetta discusses how grief camp made her feel so much more happy and how she found support and that she did not feel so alone

Christian – “Remembering together in a meaningful way”

Christian – “Remembering together in a meaningful way”

Christian discusses the power of memories.