“Grief is the price we pay for love” (Queen Elizabeth II)
Tuesday November 16, 2021 is National Grief and Bereavement Day and Thursday November 18, 2021 is National Children’s Grief Awareness Day. The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association seeks to normalize the experience of grief and establish a community where mourners are allowed the time to grieve, to remember and to heal.
Grief and bereavement is the natural, normal and expected response to the death of a significant person in your life. Grieving, although difficult, is a necessary process that helps you adjust to life without the person who died. For many people, grief impacts all aspects of their life including: physically (aches or pains), socially (loneliness or loss of interest), emotionally (numbness, sadness, anger, guilt), cognitively (forgetfulness or difficulty concentrating) and spiritually (challenged sense of meaning). How grief is experienced is unique to you and can be impacted by many factors including the relationship you had with the person who died, your past experiences, current circumstances and the availability of meaningful support.
Some important things to know about grief:
- No two people grieve in exactly the same way
- There is no right or wrong way to grieve
- There are no set timelines or predictable stages to grief
- The intensity of feelings changes over time
Feelings of grief can last much longer than society recognizes or supports. In many ways, we never “get over” the death of someone who was central to our lives. Instead, we learn to live with the loss and grief in ways that honor our bond with the person who died, while still maintaining our capacity for joy, pleasure and meaning in life.
Things that can be helpful when you are grieving include: accepting the feelings you have, adequate sleep and nutrition, exercise, relaxation, journaling and spending time with people who are supportive of your grief and allow you to speak openly about your feelings and memories. It can also be helpful to connect with a physician, grief counsellor, spiritual care provider, trained volunteer or peer-support grief group (in person or online). See the list of resources available in Prairie Mountain Health.
On November 14th the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association invites all Canadians impacted by grief to their annual “Saying Goodbye” concert. Performances include Johnny Reid, John McDermott, Fred Penner, Michelle Wright and more. To register for the event visit: https://www.chpca.ca/goodbye-concert/
Grief Supports in Prairie Mountain Health
Telephone Support Lines:
- Province Wide Bereavement Phone Line (Palliative Manitoba): 1-800-539-0295
- Hope for Wellness Line: 1-855-242-3310
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
- Winnipeg Humane Society Pet Loss Support Line: 1-204-988-8804
Grief Support Groups:
- Brandon and Area Suicide Bereavement Support Group (SPIN): 1-204-761-4083
- Brockie Donovan Funeral Services Grief Seminars (Brandon): 1-204-727-0697
- Compassionate Friends of SW Manitoba (Brandon and areas): 1-855-727-1823
- Healing Hearts Substance Use Bereavement Support Group: 1204-573-0188
- Palliative Manitoba Kids and Teens Grieve Too! Support Group: 1-800-539-0295
- Paull Funeral Home Grief Recovery Program (Swan River): 1-204-293-9661
- Prairie Mountain Health Camp Bridges (Children 7-15): 1-204-578-2340
- GriefShare Support Group (Dauphin): 1-204-648-7053
- GriefShare Support Group (Russell): 1-204-773-6963
- Memories Chapel Journey Through Grief Support Group (Brandon): 1-204-727-0330
- New Beginnings Grief and Loss Group (Neepawa): 1-204-476-3027
- Canadian Virtual Hospice My Grief: www.mygrief.ca
- Canadian Virtual Hospice Kids Grief: www.kidsgrief.ca
Submitted by Carla Mitchell, MSW/RSW