Module overview


Losing something that beautiful, there are no words that could have made me feel better. The pain actually helped to show how profound the loss was.

I try hard to avoid memories of the car crash that killed my husband, but no matter how hard I try to will them away, they have a mind of their own.

This resource has been designed to help you understand and care for yourself as you grieve. It was developed by the Canadian Virtual Hospice in collaboration with national grief specialists and people whose grief has been impacted by trauma. We are grateful to those who shared their wisdom and experiences. 

About this resource: Grief after Trauma

A traumatic experience can shake up your world and profoundly challenge your beliefs. If you’re grieving a death that was traumatic for you, or if you experienced trauma as the result of circumstances surrounding a death, the effects can be intense and long-lasting. Because not everyone responds to trauma in the same way, it’s important to recognize and understand the ways that both grief and trauma may affect you. You may be experiencing a range of thoughts and feelings that can change as time passes.

Getting started

We recommend that you review the nine Grief Basics modules found on our site:


As you read through this information…

You might be reading this shortly after the person died, or sometime down the road. We encourage you to revisit these resources often as you may only be able to absorb so much at any one time. What you find helpful may change over time. You might recognize your experiences or find that some of them aren’t reflected here. If there is content you believe should be added, please tell us about it in the survey at the end.

As you read this, you may have strong emotions or feel uncomfortable. It’s okay to step away from it for a while, or it might help to talk with a trusted family member or friend. Canadian Virtual Hospice provides online Discussion Forums where you can connect with others who may have experienced similar losses. You can also ask our healthcare team a confidential question at Ask a Professional. You will receive a written response within three business days (not including Canadian statutory holidays).