Bereavement and Grief

Coping With Grief

Challenging and complicated times in our life not only present us with medical or physical health crises, but also psychological and emotional ones. Many individuals are now dealing with the loss of their loved ones, their jobs, their feeling of social connection, and their sense of security. But even individuals who have not lost something as concrete as a job or a loved one are affected. 

We, as a community, are grappling with the disruption of the education, economic, healthcare, and social systems that we depend on every day. Educational workers, specifically, have the added burden of supporting students, parents, and co-workers that they care for every day as they struggle through the many challenges we all face on a daily basis during these complex and uncertain times. This has brought on a period of grief, a bridge between how things were and what they will become.

As you continue to navigate this grieving period, here are a few key things to keep in mind:

Educational workers, specifically, have the added burden of supporting students, parents, co-workers, they care for every day as we all struggle through the additional challenges we are daily facing in these complex times.
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Grief is Normal

Grief and bereavement are natural processes that our minds and bodies undergo when we experience a significant loss in our life. It is evidence of the meaningful and loving connections we form with the people around us and the experiences that sense of connection. Not only do we grieve when someone passes, but we also grieve experiences we don’t may not get to have in these times, such as graduations, get-togethers, vacations, and non-essential medical procedures. It is possible that you may be grieving these and other losses in your life right now. Understanding grief can help you cope with the emotional responses you may experience on a daily basis.
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Timeline

Despite what people say about “getting over” feelings of loss and bereavement, grief has no timeline. The grieving process does not have a clear end date. Your grief journey may take longer than you or those around you expected, but it is important to remember not to rush the process. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to grieve. Even if you have experienced the same loss as another person, your journey through grief may not look the same as theirs, and that’s OK. The loss you have experienced will continue to be a part of your life over time. There will be times when you think about, miss, and grieve that loss; It is a natural part of life. Over time, grief begins to feel less raw and is replaced by memories that don’t hold the same painful emotions.
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Social Connections and Support

As you navigate the grieving process, the social connections you have built and continue to build will become more important than ever. Having family, friends, and peers to share your feelings and thoughts with can provide you with a strong support system. Although the way in which we interact with others has significantly changed in recent times, social media and technology provide a great way to connect with family and friends.
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Self-Care and What You Can Do

There is a range of things you can do to support yourself during challenging time. The resources we have provided below are a great place to start as you navigate your grief journey. As you move forward, do what you can to maintain your normal routines and continue to keep in touch with family members and friends. You may also find it helpful to join a grief group to connect with other individuals who have also experienced a loss or to seek professional counselling.

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Additional Support:

Palliative Manitoba’s Telephone Bereavement Support service is a non-profit, confidential resource that provides compassionate listening and support for individuals coping with grief. Trained volunteers provide one-on-one telephone support and can help connect you with the appropriate resources, support groups, and agencies.

If you are looking for bereavement support call: 204-889-8525 ext. 225 Mon – Friday 9 am to 5 pm or Email: info@palliativemanitoba.ca

Please note this is not a 24-hour crisis service, if you are in crisis please contact the Klinic Crisis Line at 204-786-8686.

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Province-wide crisis and non-crisis services in Manitoba

The province of Manitoba has a wide range of resources for those who may be experiencing crisis or seeking mental health support. Trained staff is available over the phone, online and in communities across the province to support the mental well-being and psychological safety of experiencing distress and mental health concerns. To learn more about these resources visit the province’s list of Mental Health Crisis and non-crisis contacts. If you are currently in crisis, call the Klinic Crisis line at 204-786-8686 or 1-888-322-3019
TTY 204-784-4097

Web Resources

For more information, we have compiled a list of resources to help you cope up with grief during these difficult days.

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief

An article from the Harvard Business Review.

E-Mental Health: Grief and Bereavement Resources

Created by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, this resource database includes links to grief and bereavement supports and information tailored for the general public, medical students, primary care givers and psychiatrists. Wellness Together Canada Wellness Together Canada was created in response to an unprecedented rise in mental health and substance use concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with funding from the Government of Canada. As a country, we are facing challenges at a scale we’ve never seen before, from social isolation and financial insecurity to substance use concerns and racial inequality. We may be physically apart, but at the end of the day, we’re all in this together. We believe that wellness is a journey, not a destination—and every day, we can each take a step toward our own well-being. Wellness Together Canada is here to support you on that journey.

Printable Resources

Bereavement Information

Created by the Vancouver Home Hospice Team, this resource provides information on grief and bereavement. Although everyone’s journey is different, there are common themes that can help you with your grief.

Looking For More?

Free resources to help with your anxiety available from your phone

Suicide Prevention Line

If you are considering suicide or are concerned about someone who may be, call the Suicide Prevention line. Someone will be ready to listen and speak to you.

Call 1-800-784-2433 anytime.

Mindshift

Download for iOS or Android

This free app from Anxiety Canada helps users track anxiety daily. You will work through tools while applying Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approaches.

Download today for Apple or Android.

Text4Mood

Text Mood to 760-670-3130

If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, Text4Mood sends you a daily inspirational text message to support positive mental health.

To join, text Mood to 760-670-3130.