Education session addresses grief during pandemic

KITCHENER – COVID-19 has resulted in more than a year of losses, and grief is what many people are feeling right now.

Whether they have experienced the death of someone they know, are mourning the loss of a job, social connection or the usual routines of daily life, grief is having an impact on people’s lives.

“There is a common misperception that you can only grieve if someone dies,” says Melina Pearson, outreach coordinator at Bereaved Families of Ontario – Midwestern Region (BFO-MR). “The truth is grief is a natural and normal response to any type of loss.”

With its upcoming education session Grief During a Pandemic BFO-MR will acknowledge the varied and complex losses people may be experiencing during COVID-19.

The session will also address the stigma associated with COVID-related deaths and how it is impacting individuals’ grief journeys.

Two virtual sessions are being offered:

– Tuesday May 25, 7pm to 8pm, in partnership with Idea Exchange.

– Thursday June 17, 7pm to 8pm, in partnership with the Kitchener Public Library.

To register for the sessions, go to

“Our hope with these sessions is that we can encourage a greater understanding of grief and that we can validate what people might be experiencing right now. It’s completely normal and they’re not alone,” says Pearson.

This year marks BFO-MR’s 25th anniversary providing peer grief support in Waterloo Region and Guelph and Wellington County.

BFO-MR currently offers support groups for Parents Grieving the Death of an Infant, Parents Grieving the Death of a Child and Healing Little Hearts.

BFO-MR also offers Good Grief, a support group for teens coping with grief launched this year, Living with Loss, a mixed-loss support group, and Living with Loss for adults grieving a death by substance use.

All programming and education initiatives are being offered virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic and all services are free-of-charge.

For information about programs, grief education and memorial events, visit