Chapter 2: Grief and people with intellectual disabilities


The grief expert says
Cara Grosset, social worker, talks about acknowledging and supporting different losses and related grief.(3:22)Video transcript
Cara Grosset, social worker, speaks about the importance of taking a holistic view of grief and understanding that it is also an emotional, social, physical, and spiritual experience.(3:22)Video transcript
The support worker says
Karen Campbell, developmental services worker, explains that is is okay to be sad, to cry and to grieve.(3:22)Video transcript
I've been there
Claire shares how she was sad and didn't feel like herself after her Grampy died.(3:22)Video transcript

The thing about grief is that it’s something you shouldn’t be ashamed to feel. It's better to tell people about it than hold it in. If you keep holding it in, it can only bring you more down instead of bringing you up.

In general, each individual expresses their grief in their own way, and this is no different for people with intellectual disabilities. For example, some people may take longer to realize that the person who has died won’t be coming back, while others may need to talk about or express their grief over a long period of time. It is important to remember that each person’s grief has its own rhythm and timing.

Many people with intellectual disabilities also experience grief from other types of loss aside from death, such as caregiver turnover, moves, or loss of capacity as illness progresses. They may long for marriage, education, or employment and grieve losses connected to such life roles. These multi-layered losses may be unknown to or unrecognized by caregivers and friends.