Resources for Coping with Grief

This page provides several resources to help those in grief and/or those who want to help others dealing with grief, particularly in the workplace.

How to Cope with Grief During the COVID-19 Pandemic
From – The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered everyone’s daily lives, including how people grieve the loss of a loved one. During this time, rituals that we typically rely on to say goodbye to people, such as having funerals, sitting “shiva” or visiting a loved one in the hospital, are being taken away from us due to necessary social distancing. If you or someone you know is struggling with loss, this article may help. Experts provide insight and offer strategies to help cope with feelings associated with loss. 

Sleep and Grief
From the Mattress Nerd – This guide explains that grieving isn’t a “one size fits all” process. Everyone grieves differently. You cannot compare your mourning with another’s because it won’t necessarily look the same. The symptoms of grief may be felt on several levels including physical, emotional, mental, social, behavioral, and spiritual. The guide outlines the different stages, causes and sources of grief. It also explains that different types of loss can affect the grieving process, and ultimately, sleep. It offers suggestions to help those going through a hard time, get a good night’s rest.

Grief Resources
From – Agrees that losing a loved one can be one of the biggest challenges anyone will face. Provides helpful, brief resources (pdfs) to help you (or someone you know) start and move through the grieving journey. Also includes help for children.

Tips for Survivors: Grief After Disaster or Trauma (pdf)
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Defines grief, explains how long it might last, and provides suggestions for effective ways to cope with grief.  Also provides a list (with links) to other helpful resources.

  • Coping with the Death of a Co-Worker
  • From the American Psychological Association

    Our co-workers are very much like an extended family. We spend most of our waking hours with them, forging special bonds of trust and friendship that are unlike our other relationships.  As a result, it’s not surprising that a co-worker’s death can be difficult to deal with — especially if you were close to the person or if the death was unexpected. You may feel anxiety and guilt if the death occurred in the workplace or your last interaction with the person was unpleasant. And even if the co-worker’s death came after a prolonged illness, you may still experience shock and depression when you hear the news. This article explains that grief is a natural process that requires time. It discusses the emotional and physical impact of grief and offers several suggestions for coping with grief.

Grieving? Don’t Overlook Potential Side Effects
From Harvard Health Publishing/Harvard Medical School

Whether you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, a coworker, a job, a home, or a beloved pet, it’s important to understand how the process puts your health in jeopardy. There is no standard period of grief for anyone. Everyone grieves in his own time. This article explains that grieving can take a toll on the body in the form of stress. Intense feelings of sadness are normal when we’re grieving. But some people become depressed. This article explains the connection between depression and grief. A medical doctor offers a few suggestions to help those who are grieving to slowly get back into a routine (albeit different and difficult).

Grief After a Murder

The grief of murder may be even more difficult to deal with than loss from a disease because the answer to “why” is always a third party. It is important for people to understand that gradually, in your own time, you can begin to find some solace with what has happened. In these situations, such as murder, it is vital to understand we have a legal system, not necessarily a justice system. For some, the only justice would be to have their loved one back. Acceptance is a process that we experience, not a final stage with an end point. This page provides some tips to help with the grieving process after a murder.

From the U.S. National Library of Medicine – MedLine Plus

This site explains that grief is a reaction to a major loss of someone or something. It is most often an unhappy and painful emotion. The page lists possible causes, symptoms, treatment options, and times when you should consider contacting a medical professional for help with feelings of grief.


Dealing with Grief: Confronting Painful Emotions

From the Mayo Clinic

Grieving the loss of a loved one is a challenge like no other. How can you cope with the loss and heal your emotional wounds? How can you imagine a life without that person while honoring memories you shared?  Although there are no quick fixes for the anguish after a loved one’s death, there are some steps to make the coping easier. In this article, a Mayo Clinic oncologist explains that grieving is a process. It will be unique to you, depending on your own personality, your relationship to the person you lost and even the circumstances of the death. The acceptance of your loss, the memories of your loved one, and your sorrow will gradually become an integrated part of how you see yourself as a whole person.

Grief: Coping with Reminders After a Loss
From the Mayo Clinic

Grief doesn’t magically end at a certain point after a loved one’s death. Reminders often bring back the pain of loss. This article provides suggestions to help with coping — and healing.


Resources from the American Hospice Foundation

  • Grief at Work: A Guide for Employees and Managers (pdf)
  • This booklet is for anyone affected by loss. If you are grieving, the first two sections are especially for you. If you are a manager, understanding these sections, as well as the specific advice for you, will help you deal effectively and compassionately with workplace grief.


    • Death at the Worksite: Helping Grieving Family Members
    • Deaths — from accidents, heart attacks, or violence — can happen during working hours. Thus, it is important that employers know in advance how to deal with such crises, not only to avoid disruption in workflow, but also to address the needs of the families and co-workers involved. Few responsibilities are more difficult for managers than that of informing the family about an employee’s death at work. When an employee dies on the job, the manager suddenly takes on new and unfamiliar tasks that require immediate attention. After the call to 911, the family needs to be notified — a difficult but necessary task. Who will do it? What should be said? This page offers suggestions for managers and supervisors who may have to be prepared for such incidents that occur in the workplace.


    • The Bereaved Employee: Returning to Work
    • After a death in the family, the time comes when grieving family members begin to re-enter the routines of everyday life. Out-of-town relatives return home. Children go back to school and grieving adults must get back to work. For some, returning to work is a welcome change. It is a part of their life that did not include their loved one, and it can create a break from what has been an ever-present grief. The library or office may be the only part of life that seems normal and routine. However, for many who have experienced a recent loss, returning to work can be difficult. If you are grieving, you may be dreading the thought of returning to work. This page provides suggestions to follow before returning to work as well as once you are back to help you, your coworkers and managers. Thinking ahead will make your return to work easier and less painful. Healing from the death of a loved one is a long, slow process, but getting back into a routine is an important step in the journey.