Coping with grief

November 24, 2014


By Karine Chalifour, program director

YACC’s community has had a tough fall with the loss of quite a few of our friends. Sadly, this was not the first time we had to share so much sadness with our family members, and it was hard. From this came a bunch of conversations on how we could better support our community (including ourselves).

Canada is a big country, and providing proper help can be challenging at times. We thought writing a short post about grief and how we can take care of ourselves in those difficult moments would be a good start. I won’t go into the details of the different phases and theories behind these notes, I will simply list the things that I feel are important and helpful in times of grief. This is not an extensive list; some of this may fit with you, some not. You probably also have a few we could add to the list. If so, please share with us.

Here we go:

  1. Remember that you are not alone.
  2. Allow some space and time to feel whatever you are feeling.
  3. Give yourself permission to laugh in between moments of sadness
  4. Connect with people you love and feel safe with
  5. Do things according to your needs, not what other people think you should need
  6. Share when you are ready to share and only what you want to share with whom you want to share it with
  7. Reserve some time to do something that makes you feel good every day
  8. Eat well
  9. Sleep (as much as possible)
  10. Exercise. Even a little makes a difference
  11. Be kind and patient with yourself
  12. Ask for what you need when you know what that is. Sometimes you might not, and that’s OK.
  13. If things get too hard, seek the help of a professional; if you don’t know where to go, connect with us and we will find a resource for you
  14. Everyone grieves in their own way, at their own pace. This may cause some friction with people around you.
  15. Breathe from the belly every time you feel overwhelmed. It’s not magic, but it can help calm you down.

These are just a few suggestions that can hopefully help a little. There are many different online resources and books that can help. Cancer Chat Canada is a good place to start. You can visit their section on bereavement on their website.

If you need to chat or need some support with any of this, please do not hesitate to connect with us. We have created a new form for you to fill out to request for a qualified team member of YACC to connect with you. Nobody should have to deal with loss of any kind alone.

We have your back!


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