November 16, 2021, marks annual National Grief and Bereavement Day in Canada. On this day, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) invites all Canadians to share their experiences by completing the sentence: “When I grieve, I feel…” to highlight the many ways that people navigate grief.
Often, someone’s journey through grief does not resemble the “5 steps of grieving” we all know, and as a result, many are left feeling as though their feelings are abnormal or wrong. Grief and Bereavement Day offers a space for Canadians from all walks of life to collectively speak about their grief journey and their individual experiences. Navigating any form of grief often feels isolating, which is why it is important to show our support for those living with all forms of grief.
We live and grieve together, as loved ones, as families, as friends, and as a community. “No matter our age, beliefs, or background, grief impacts every single one of us,” says Laurel Gillespie, CEO of CHPCA, “There is so much power in the act of coming together as a nation to share how feel when we grieve. Not only does it give us time to reflect on those we have lost, but it also reminds us that we are not alone in doing so.”
Grief may impact our relationships and even cause us to lose interest in our usual social activities and hobbies. It may also affect our sense of meaning and purpose in life, and this reality has created the need to ensure information and resources are available to all Canadians. For those who are grieving and seeking support, CHPCA has compiled a resource repository with several helpful links and resources. In addition to the resource repository, CHPCA will be hosting a webinar with Maria A. Vassiliou, Founder of Philotimo Life, entitled “Everybody Grieves: how you can better recognize, respond to, and process grief” from 1 to 2 p.m. EST. Registration is open for those interested in exploring what grief is, what can cause it, and how to best respond and process it.
In honour of Grief and Bereavement Day, CHPCA is presenting Saying Goodbye, a national concert was held on November 14th from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST with performers from across each province and territory. The recording can be found at Sayinggoodbyeconcert.ca. Saying Goodbye is hosted by the National Arts Centre (NAC) and presented by CHPCA in partnership with all provincial palliative care associations across Canada.
Use your voice this Grief and Bereavement Day! Consider sending a letter to your representative asking for grief and bereavement supports. Join in on the conversation by completing the sentence: “When I grieve, I feel…” over social media and using the hashtags #Grief2021 and #IFeel. Need more ideas on how to get involved? For downloadable resources, a letter template, social media shareables, and more, visit chpca.ca/bereavementday.