November 18th is known internationally as Children’s Grief Awareness Day.

The blue butterfly represents hope and is used around the world to raise awareness for grieving children and youth who can be the ‘forgotten mourners’ when someone dies in their family. It is important to let them know we are here for them. In Canada, one child in 50 is bereaved.


The third Tuesday in November marks the annual National Bereavement Day in Canada.

Bereavement refers to the time when a person experiences sadness after losing a loved one. On this day, BCHPCA encourages British Columbians and Yukoners to engage the government and all sectors in a provincial dialogue to identify and support access to the necessary resources for those living with grief and bereavement.

Share your stories on social media!

Challenge British Columbians and Yukoners to ask each other about their grief and bereavement, and share their stories.

Don’t forget to tag BCHPCA on Facebook (bchospice.palliativecare) and Twitter (@BCHPCA) and use the hashtags:

#Grief2021 #GriefJourney #SharedJourney #childrensgriefawarenessday #KidsGrief #BCHPCA

Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association

Saying Goodbye Concert


Saying Goodbye is a national virtual and in-person concert on November 14 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST with performers from across each province and territory, held in honour and awareness of National Grief and Bereavement Day on November 16, 2021. BCHPCA supports this event.

Hosted by Tara Shannon, talent performing includes Johnny Reid, Gregory Charles, John McDermott, Michelle Wright, Fred Penner, Jenn Grant, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Ray Legere and many more.

Saying Goodbye will provide a time and place to grieve for loved ones lost during COVID-19 as the pandemic prevented many from engaging in the usual process of letting go.

Tickets to the concert are free, donations are appreciated. Join us via Live stream, or in person at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Grief is normal, and it is a process. Expressing grief is how a person reacts to the loss of a loved one. Many people think of grief as a single instance or as a short time of pain or sadness in response to a loss – like the tears shed at a loved one’s funeral. But grieving includes the entire emotional process of coping with a loss, and it can last a long time. The process involves many different emotions, actions, and expressions, all of which help a person come to terms with the loss of a loved one. We may hear the time of grief being described as “normal grieving,” but this simply refers to a process anyone may go through, and none of us experiences grief the same way. This is because grief doesn’t look or feel the same for everyone. And every loss is different.  Many people are experiencing grief during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a normal response to loss during or after a disaster or other traumatic event. Grief can happen in response to loss of life, as well as to drastic changes to daily routines and ways of life that usually bring us comfort and a feeling of stability.  Common grief reactions include:
  • Shock, disbelief, or denial
  • Anxiety
  • Distress
  • Anger
  • Periods of sadness
  • Loss of sleep and loss of appetite
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be unable to be with a loved one when they die, or unable to mourn someone’s death in-person with friends and family. Other types of loss include unemployment, or not making enough money, loss or reduction in support services, and other changes in your lifestyle. These losses can happen at the same time, which can complicate or prolong grief and delay a person’s ability to adapt, heal, and recover. Contact your local hospice for further support and be sure to watch our videos below about grief and other community support services.

Mourning often goes along with grief. While grief is a personal experience and process, mourning is how grief and loss are shown in public. Mourning may involve religious beliefs or rituals and may be affected by our ethnic background and cultural customs. The rituals of mourning − seeing friends and family and preparing for the funeral and burial or final physical separation − often give some structure to the grieving process. Sometimes a sense of numbness lasts through these activities, leaving the person feeling as though they are just “going through the motions” of these rituals.

Grief and mourning happen during a period of time called bereavement. Bereavement refers to the time when a person experiences sadness after losing a loved one.


As a man, I too grieve.  Studies have shown that men are more likely than women to remain silent or grieve in isolation, engage in action-oriented forms of grief expression, or lose themselves in distractions such as work or throwing themselves into a new relationship. Connect with your community hospice to help you bring your grief out, your way.


Grieving is a form unique to the individual it gasps. Connecting with the services that are available to you, may help with the process. Hospices are here to help.


A child’s stress level is often at its highest before bereavement because of fear and the unknown. Allow children a chance to think and talk about their feelings and share their worries. Many of our hospices specialized in children’s grief and bereavement.


Connecting with nature and feeling lost in it, may help during your bereavement process. Hospices can help you navigate these feelings, allowing you to grieve well.

BC Hospice Palliative Care Societies are here to help.

Hospice societies provide services in grief, compassionate listening, bereavement, end of life, caregivers support, volunteers and frontline workers support and much more in the communities they serve. Please contact your community hospice for additional services and self-care supports.