NOVEMBER 19th, 2020

November 19th 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.

NOVEMBER 17th, 2020

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:


Saying Goodbye in Challenging Times

Grief and bereavement support is an essential element of end of life care. Below we have three videos that highlight grief and saying goodbye during these unprecedented times and strategies that can help those during their journey of bereavement. We must foster compassion and encourage those to cope with their grief by supporting each other through living and grieving.


Hospice Grief & Bereavement Volunteer
Prince George Hospice

Jessica Lowe

Executive Director
BC Bereavement Helpline (BCBH)

Mary Coleman

Palliative Councillor
Canuck Place Children’s Hospice

Canadian Virtual Hospice

The Canadian Virtual Hospice provides resources to families coping with grief. Hear from one family.

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.

Due to COVID, many have not been able to mourn in ways to allow them to move on.  The CHPCA hosted a virtual concert for those that may have not been able to mourn for their loved ones during these times.
Please find link here. 

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.

National Bereavement Day Webinar

November 26th, 2020
12:00-1:30 pm (EST)
Please join the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) and the Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada (QELCCC) for a free webinar to learn about new exciting work being done!  

In this webinar:

  • Updates from National Bereavement Day – highlights of the 2020 National Bereavement Day
  • Saying Goodbye Virtual Concert from the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA – Review of the Grief and Bereavement Scoping Review from the Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada’s (QELCCC) Research and Knowledge Translation (KT) Committe)
  • Learn about the regional Grief and Bereavement Planning Project from the Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program.


  • Sharon Baxter, MSW – Executive Director, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA; and Secretariat of the Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada (QELCCC),
  • Christopher A. Klinger, PhD – Chair, Research and Knowledge Translation Committee, Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada (QELCCC); Chair; End-of-Life Issues Theme Team, National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE); and Research Scientist, Pallium Canada,
  • Neerjah Skantharajah, MHSc(c) – Graduate Student, Translational Research Program (TRP), Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, and
  • Tara Cohen, MSW – Program Manager, Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program and Registered Social Worker in Private Practice.

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.