Grief Support Resources and Publications

CHAPCA provides publications for grief support on our CHAPCA RESOURCES LIBRARY page.  There, you will find helpful booklets on the following topics:

Types of Grief

Anticipatory Grief

When a person or family is expecting death, it is normal to begin to anticipate how one will react and cope when that person actually dies.

Sudden Loss

Sudden unexpected loss can temporarily overwhelm or even immobilize anyone.

Complicated Grief

When the duration of grief is prolonged and interferes with a person’s ability to function, grief can become “a way of life.”

Stages of Grief

The commonly accepted stages of grief were first written by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book "On Death and Dying".


“This cannot be happening to me”. Complete disbelief is a common reaction to a terminal diagnosis.  You refuse to accept what is happening


“Why is this happening to me?” You feel like the unlucky one, angry at fate, at God, at the Doctor or at yourself for not doing enough. “If only” questions and regrets are common.


“Make this not happen and in return I will…” You promise anything if only God will let them live.


“I am too sad to do anything.” Deep sadness is an inevitable part of loss. 


Accepting death as a part of life. Your loved one is gone and will never come back. You will go on living and make a new life for yourself.

Responding to Grief and Loss

Sometimes grief is immediately overwhelming, other times the depth of sadness and pain is not realized until several weeks or months after a loss when the permanence of the loss becomes very real. Life does not get back to normal. Grief can affect every aspect of life, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Every survivor is vulnerable. Some struggle with strong emotions. Many experience guilt, both for things they did and things they didn’t do.  Some are angry at God. Many feel disorganized and can even forget, for a moment, that a death happened. The intense, all consuming response to grief eventually will subside.

Managing Grief and Loss

  • Accept that you are grieving and be open to your feelings.
  • It’s ok to cry, and to be angry at your loss.
  • Take care of yourself: eat well, exercise, get enough sleep and get back to doing the things you enjoy. 
  • Reach out to friends, go to a movie, take a walk or just visit.
  • Plan ahead, expect that holidays, birthdays, anniversaries will be difficult.
  • Don’t let anyone tell you how you should feel, including you. This is your journey and you are handling this situation the best way that you can.    
  • Redirect your focus by keeping busy or by helping others.
  • Postpone making major decisions.
  • Join a support group - an opportunity to talk with people who understand.
  • Remember that every hospice program offers grief counseling to the family for up to one year following the loss. Many hospice programs offer bereavement services to the community, whether or not your loved one died under hospice care. 

 Supporting Someone who is Suffering from Grief and Loss  

  • Our immediate response is to ask, “Are you ok?”, when someone suffers a loss. “Are you ok?” is difficult to hear for someone suffering a loss because they are not ok. The best thing that you can do is acknowledge their loss, “I am sorry for your loss, I am thinking of you, I am here for you”.
  • Don’t expect a response from someone who suffered a loss when you reach out in-person, phone call or text. Those suffering a loss are feeling overwhelmed. They need time and will reach out when they are ready.
  • Once they reach out, listen to them. Let them do the talking. When someone suffers a loss having someone listen to them, uninterrupted, is therapeutic for them, being able to express their emotions.
  • Acknowledge their feelings and remember everyone grieves differently. Responding with “I am so glad you are able to share your feeling with me”, is the right response.
  • Understand that life for them has changed and that getting back to normal will take time.
  • Reach out over the next few months, not just the first few weeks. When someone is suffering a loss, it’s the months that follow that can be the hardest.
  • Be specific when offering assistance. “What can I do for you” is not helpful. Being specific gives someone who suffered a loss permission to accept assistance.  
  • Remember holidays, birthdays and other special events. A phone call or card means a lot.
  • Don’t be afraid to share happy or funny memories with someone who has suffered a loss.
 Learning to accept loss is never easy. Eventually those who suffer a loss will come to realize that they have started to heal.
They are alive and that life does resume after the loss.  


Grief Support Resources and Publications

CHAPCA provides publications for grief support on our CHAPCA RESOURCES LIBRARY page.  There, you will find helpful booklets on the following topics: