November is a big month for grief

This week marks two important days to raise awareness about grief, normalize the experience and ensure those who need support on their journeys have access to it.

  • Tuesday November 15 is National Grief and Bereavement Day
  • Thursday November 17 is Children’s Grief Awareness Day

We live in a society where people are expected to “finish” grieving at the end of their bereavement leave. Where fear exists in talking to people who have experienced a death in case the wrong thing gets said. Where people think they’re not doing it “right” if their experience doesn’t reflect what has become the social norm. Where children can’t possibly grieve because they are too young to understand what is happening. Where grief is seen as something to go through behind closed doors.

The reality is grief is universal. We will all go through it at some point in our lives, and we will all do it differently. There are no right or wrong ways to grieve, only your way. There are no finishing lines to cross, or checklists to complete and there definitely aren’t five stages. It takes the time it takes.

We are grateful there are days dedicated to raising awareness and bringing grief out of the darkness. They create opportunities for learning, conversation and connection. They make it possible for more compassionate communities to exist.

Here are some ways you can commemorate National Grief and Bereavement Day and Children’s Grief Awareness Day:

  • Wear blue to show your support.
  • Check in on someone you know who is grieving. It doesn’t have to be complicated – a “thinking of you” text lets them know they aren’t alone.
  • Spend time learning about the grief practices and rituals of other cultures.
  • Be with a teen who is grieving and get comfortable with just listening.
  • Help a grieving child create a craft or project in memory of their person.
  • Share a memory or story of someone you are missing.
  • Make your person’s favourite meal, watch their favourite movie or listen to their favourite songs.
  • Create time and space to honour your grief and the emotions you’re experiencing.

Check out the resources section on our website, sign up for our grief literacy series, or attend an upcoming education session. When we know better, we do better.

You can show your support for Bereaved Families of Ontario – Midwestern Region by making a donation to our GivingTuesday campaign. Your donation today (or on November 29!) will help ensure grieving children and teens can get the support they need, free of charge.

Donate here.