The Issue

Grief is experienced by everyone, regardless of age, and the general population has expressed that they are not comfortable addressing it.

Grief is complicated and has many causes including the death of a loved one, separation and divorce, loss of friendship when close friends move away, loss of a job, and the loss of a pet. Data shows that 284,000 Canadians died in 2019 and studies indicate that each death leaves 5 people grieving over the loss.

Grief is experienced by many regardless of age. It is estimated that 1 in 14 children will experience the death of a parent or sibling by the time they turn 18. Many children experience grief due to their parents’ separation or divorce or a family move.

COVID-19 has severely complicated the process of loss and grief. Many have not been able to be with or to say goodbye to loved ones who have died in long term care homes and hospitals. The ability to grieve these losses in traditional ways with funerals, family gatherings and memorials has not been possible.

Our Action

We lead interactive workshops and offer resources to help members of our community understand the grieving process so that they can support others.

Compassionate Ottawa has responded to this critical issue of helping you, your family and friends deal with grief and loss in a number of ways.

  • We have brought together a number of resources that will help you better understand the causes of grief, the grieving process and how to interact with those who are grieving.
  • We are offering grief and bereavement workshops in the community led by our trained facilitators. These include public workshops or forums for specific groups such as the pastoral team in a faith community, a workplace team, a school community, a condo group, a book club or other community group.

Our Impact

Increasing awareness and understanding of the grieving process will enable members of the community to help one another.

The feedback from our initial workshop for two pastoral care teams indicate that the session was very helpful.

Some of the comments include:

“I loved it all.”

“Really appreciated the positive attitude towards death and loss. I valued the positive strategies on how to support a grieving person. My feelings about grief were validated.”

“The descriptions of the physical symptoms describe me in my grief.”


“My husband died after being in long-term care for 4 years due to late-stage dementia. When he died, I felt like he had died twice. Many friends and family could not understand why I was grieving his death so deeply since he hadn’t recognized me for 3 years and we hadn’t lived together in a long time. They thought that I should view his death as a blessing. I felt so alone in my grief.”

Get involved

Contact us to discuss how we can work with you in conducting a workshop for your community group.

For more information

You can download a PDF with more information from Compassionate Ottawa about grief and bereavement in our resources section.

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Resource materials

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