Grief at Work conference tackles the critical issue of grief and loss in the workplace


Kitchener, ON: When someone is grieving, it can have a significant impact on every aspect of their life both personally and professionally. What may look like forgetfulness, an inability to focus or a lack of motivation or productivity on the job, may be grief at work.  

Bereaved Families of Ontario – Midwestern Region (BFO-MR) is hosting a conference this fall that is tackling the critical issue of grief and loss in the workplace. Human resource and workplace wellness professionals, business owners, decision makers and team leaders are ideal attendees for this important day of learning.

“This conference aims to increase grief literacy and educate about the impacts of grief in the workplace,” says Jaime Bickerton, Executive Director.  “Having this knowledge and being proactive about putting policies and supports in place (rather than being reactive after an employee experiences a death) can contribute significantly to workplace wellness and employee wellbeing.”

The day of learning features four speakers addressing various topics related to grief at work.

  • Grief Leadership in the Workplace: Susan Cadell, Social Work Researcher and Professor in the School of Social Work at Renison University College
  • Grief at Work – What We’ve Learned: Melina Pearson, Outreach Coordinator, Bereaved Families of Ontario – Midwestern Region
  • Limited Space for Grief: Workers’ experiences of bereavement and precarious employment in Ontario: Karima Joy, Karima Joy (she/her), MSW, RSW, PhD, Grief Education Program, University of Toronto 
  • Our Summer of Nora: Tanner Nivins and Jessica Furtado will be sharing their story about navigating bereavement at work leading up to and following the stillbirth of their daughter Nora.

“We are honoured to be creating space to naturalize conversations around death, dying and grief, and to recognize that grief lasts well beyond five days of bereavement leave,” says Bickerton. “Our goal is for attendees to have tangible takeaways that they can apply in the workplaces. What is learned at this event is also transferrable to life outside of work, creating more compassionate communities for all.”


  • Date: Tuesday October 1, 2024 (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
  • Location: Community Pavilion, Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex, 101 Father David Bauer Dr ENTRANCE C, Waterloo, ON N2L 0B4
  • Cost: $150/person
  • Registration deadline: Monday September 16, 2024

For full session descriptions and to register click here.