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Grief and Grieving During COVID-19

Experiencing grief at any time is a sad and challenging experience. Grieving during COVID-19 can be even more difficult as we cannot utilize the same types of coping mechanisms, supports and rituals that are traditionally available and helpful. The Pandemic in large part, demands distance, which is counter-intuitive to how many of us grieve. Additionally, we are faced with “grief on top of grief”, also known as cumulative grief. This may lead to less time and attention to heal from each loss.  

Despite, COVID-19, we can still find meaningful ways to grieve and to take care of ourselves and others.  It is necessary to allow ourselves to grieve, and to understand that there are many types of losses people are facing right now.  People may have different priorities about what they choose to grieve and how.  Here are some grief support resources which you may find helpful at this time.

Deaths of Patients and Relatives 

Coping with Patient Death

Virtual Grieving: Is There Closure Without Good-bye


How Managers Can Help the Health Care Work Force Cope with Grief During COVID

The Partners Hospitals and its employees have been working overtime to respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic and to support patients and families with medical innovation, clinical expertise and compassion. Many are working long hours and in new capacities and settings. Everyone is proud to be able to help during such an unprecedented time but many may be experiencing considerable stress and grief, be it personally, related to patient loss or even secondary grief from the experiences of others.  

The Employee Assistance Program is available to provide assistance to managers, work groups and individuals during this time.  Here are some resources to help you support your employees during this time. Please contact the EAP at if your work group needs further assistance.

Harvard Business Review-Leading Through Anxiety-Inspiring others when you’re Struggling yourself  new!

Leadership in the Wake of a Tragedy

Supporting Employees Experiencing Illness and Death

How to Respond to Trauma in the Workplace 

Managing Healthcare Workers' Stress Associated with the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak


General COVID Grief Resources 

Grieving During Social Distancing 

Understanding Grief-Hospice Foundation of America

Advice on Grieving During COVID-19-NY Times

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief-Harvard Business Review  


Helping Children and Young People with Grief During COVID

5/13/2020 - Zoom Talk  Adressing the Illness or Death of a Parent or Grandparent  new!

Paula Rauch, MD, a senior MGH child psychiatrist and Director of the Marjorie E. Korff Parenting at a Critical Time program will talk about a parent or grandparent’s illness or death with some communication guidance and some developmental information.  There will be plenty of time for questions. Please feel free to have your lunch as we meet; we know you are juggling so much with working from home with your kids.
Meeting ID: 254 213 5494 

Join Zoom Meeting:

Young people's Grief and Loss During COVID-19-GENE BERSESIN MD,_MGH Clay Center

Find Support at The Children's Room  

Helping Children

Helping Children with Traumatic Separation or Traumatic Grief Related to COVID-19


Other Grief Resources

Articles and Books:

The New Yorker-Good Grief

Gone from My Sight: The Dying Experience-Barbara Karnes RN

Grieving As Well As Possible by Mardi Horowitz, MD                                                

Scholastic-7 Touching Books to Help Kids Understand Death and Grief  


Online Grief support

Dougy Center: For grieving children

Compassionate Friends: For grieving parents

Soaring Spirits International: For widows and widowers 


Spiritual Care Resources 

BWH Spiritual Care  

Harvard Divinity-Spiritual Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic    

MGH Spiritual Care

NSMC Spirituality and Wellness

NWH Department of Spiritual Care



This content was last modified on: 05/13/2020

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