Grieving an expected loss

There is no right or normal way to cope with the approaching death of someone. Everyone reacts differently. This section looks at common problems faced by families at this difficult time and suggests ways to manage these challenges.

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Understanding grief

When someone important to us dies, our lives can be changed, and grief affect us emotionally, physically and mentally. This section describes common features of grief and will help you to separate the myths from the truth about grieving.

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How has this loss affected my family and me?

When someone in the family dies, it is common for each family member to react differently. This section looks at how your grief is shaped by your relationship with the person who has died. It also makes suggestions for managing this loss as a family.

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Moving through grief

Losing someone can be painful, confusing and exhausting. This section looks at the common questions and experiences of people moving through grief, and suggests ways to adapt to life without the person who died.

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Making sense of intense emotions

Anger, guilt, fear, sadness and loneliness are common reactions to grief. Using the stories of people who have lost someone important to them, this section looks at accepting and managing these often intense emotions.

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Managing difficult situations

After the death of someone close, many events, encounters and experiences can be stressful or trigger waves of grief. This section will identify these situations and provide you with skills to face them with greater confidence.

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Caring for yourself

It is important to make your own physical and emotional health a priority in grief. This section looks at the obstacles to looking after ourselves and makes suggestions for self care.

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Do I need more help and where do I find it?

Each grief experience is different. While some people successfully navigate their loss, others become stuck in grief. This section will help you recognize if you need help to cope with your grief and suggests where to find that assistance.

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When life starts to get better

At some time after the death of someone important to us, there comes a turning point when people generally start to feel better. This section looks at what “feeling better” means. It also highlights some of the challenges of feeling better and making a life without the person who has died.

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Canadian Virtual Hospice Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
Hospice Calgary Bereavement Ontario Network Alberta Health Services
Andrea Warnick Consulting Dr. Chris MacKinnon
de Souza Institute McGill Palliative Care
King's Western University Victoria Hospice