Understanding and Supporting the Complexity of Grief in our COVID-shaped World

COVID-19 has drastically changed our way of life, giving rise to grief on a global scale in response to illness and death, separations from loved ones, financial insecurity, losses of control, safety, imagined futures, and many others. Although lately these have been referred to as “unprecedented times,” many children and families have grieved similar losses in the context of their own serious illnesses, and during the SARS outbreak. The insights and stories shared by children, families and health care providers in previous research and clinical settings can help us understand and support the complexity of grief currently being experienced in our COVID-shaped world.​

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Funerals in the Time of a Pandemic: A Toolkit for Children & Families

Funerals are human activities. Funerals are our expression of grief and a transition into an unknown future without someone we love. Funerals may be most important to children because these rituals help them understand that someone is gone and what it means to be dead. During a pandemic, when large groups cannot gather or move freely or easily, funerals may need reconsideration. While seeing (or witnessing) the dead has significant value for many, this may not be possible for every family given the circumstances of the present moment. In order to reconsider what a funeral is and can be during a pandemic, we can look to its foundational elements (2020, GoodGrief).

Click here: Funerals in the Time of a Pandemic

Canadian Virtual Hospice COVID-19 Resources

The team at Canadian Virtual Hospice has gathered links on COVID-19 that may be useful to people working in healthcare and to members of the public who are living with an advanced illness or who are caring for someone with an advanced illness (2020, CVH).

Click here: Canadian Virtual Hospice COVID-19 Resources

Talking to Kids About COVID19: Q&A with Andrea Warnick

Kids Grief Q&A is a program of Canadian Virtual Hospice, offering a monthly Q&A forum of trying to decrease barriers when families and professionals are trying to supporting children and youth who are grieving. This particular KidsGrief Q&A focuses on ‘Talking to Children About COVID-19’ and how to support children through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here: Q&A with Andrea Warnick

At Home Grief Activities

Dr. Jay Children’s Grief Centre is proud to introduce their new video series Brief Grief Activities;. Each video has an activity that you can do at home to support emotional literacy, expression of grief and saying connected to your person. They are published every Friday at 1:00 pm on YouTube.

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COVID-19 Books for Children

The Story of the Oyster and the Butterfly: The Corona Virus and Me, Written by Ana Gomez (2020) 

Coronavirus – A Book for Children, Written by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson and Nia Roberts

I Have a Question About Corona Virus: Clear Answers for All Kids, Written by, Arlen Grad Gaines and Meredith Englander Polsky

Exploring the New Coronavirus: A Comic Just for Kids, Written by Malaka Gharif

A Kids Book About COVID 19, Written by Malia Jones

Therapeutic Activities

A COVID-19 Time Capsule

The COVID-19 Time Capsule was created by Natalie Long of Long Creations. The COVID-19 Time Capsule helps children look back on this event and recall all the emotions, memories, and personal reflections they were having. Something to look back on in the years to come.

Click here to download.

Click here for more information on Children's Grief Awareness Day & Resources

Canadian Children's Grief Symposium

Join us for Canada's first national Children's Grief Symposium. Participants will have the opportunity to learn foundational concepts,
practical tools and innovative methods that will help them to support children, youth and families who are coping with grief and bereavement
in their own communities. Workshops will be delivered by practitioners and educators from across Canada who have extensive experience
and knowledge in children's grief and bereavement care.


  • Date: November 18, 2021
  • Location: Virtual Conference
  • Focus: Education and Collaboration
  • Keynote Speaker: Will Petschenig
  • Number of Guests: 500+
  • Participants: Professionals from schools, healthcare, funeral homes, victim services and other social services agencies

Hosted by
Light house peer supportseasons centre for grieving children

In association with

Interactive sessions will cover a wide range of topics including:

  • - Foundational children's grief concepts
  • - Advanced practice ideas
  • - Emerging research
  • - Innovative program ideas and tools
  • - Widowed solo parenting
  • - Childhood traumatic grief
  • - Expressive arts therapies
  • - Supporting youth from different cultures
  • - The essential role of music in healing for Indigenous children and their families
  • - Trauma-informed community care for grieving families
  • - Supporting child survivors of suicide
  • - and many more...

There will be multiple opportunities for participants to connect and engage with one another and with the presenters.

Volunteers and students are encouraged to attend.

Click here to register