About KidsGrief.ca

KidsGrief.ca can help you understand how children (ages 0 to 18) grieve and how to support them as they face the life-limiting illness, dying and death of someone important to them. It also suggests ways to introduce children to the cycle of life and death long before someone they know is dying or has died. KidsGrief.ca learning modules have been developed by a team of experts in grief, and specifically children’s grief, together with people who have experienced loss and supported children through grief. (see Who developed KidsGrief.ca). It is not meant to replace professional counselling or other health care services.

Is there a charge for using KidsGrief.ca?

KidsGrief.ca is free to all users.

How do I use KidsGrief.ca?

Depending on your reason for using KidsGrief.ca, you may find certain topics speak more strongly to you than others. There are 3 modules to choose from. Each includes a number of topics, each of which have several pages with text and video clips. You may work through the entire module topic by topic, or focus on specific subjects that you can chose from the list on the left side of the module page.

Getting started

On the KidsGrief.ca home page, you’ll see the 3 modules, one each in orange, green and turquoise: The Basics, Difficult conversations and Supporting grieving children.

  • Click on the module to open it and find the module overview.
  • Select a topic from the list on the left-hand side to go directly to that section, or click the arrows to navigate through the content.
  • To select another module, simply click on the module title, which you’ll find highlighted by either green, orange or turquoise on the left side of the page.

To select a video, click on the arrow to start. You can expand the screen and click the X to close the video.

Where does the content come from?

The content for KidsGrief.ca comes from several sources: peer-reviewed and published professional literature, including current bereavement research; the clinical expertise of the expert contributors; individuals who shared their story of loss; and the family members who have been involved from planning through to launch of KidsGrief.ca.

The literature cited below has informed the content of KidsGrief.ca either directly or indirectly. We are indebted to those who research, educate and practice in the field of grief for sharing their wisdom and moving the field of bereavement support forward.

What if I start feeling strong emotions?

If the content brings up uncomfortably strong emotions, you may wish to stop and return to the content later. If you wish to connect with a professional about the content, select our Ask a Professional feature and post a question. A member of the Canadian Virtual Hospice team will respond within 3 business days. Our Discussion Forums provides a safe, welcoming place to find support from people who have “been there.” These forums are professionally moderated and, by using a username, your identity is protected.

What is the survey and rating system at the end of the sections?

The survey at the end of each section has 4 questions and takes about 2 minutes to complete. Your responses help us to improve KidsGrief.ca.

Can I use KidsGrief.ca on my cellphone or tablet?

KidsGrief.ca can be viewed using cellphones, tablets and personal computers.

What if I have questions?

If you have questions regarding the content, you can use our Ask a Professional feature. A member of the Canadian Virtual Hospice team will respond. Or join KidsGrief.ca Q&A, our free monthly online forum where children’s grief specialist Andrea Warnick answers your questions.

What if I have technical issues?

Please email info@virtualhospice.ca

Who developed KidsGrief.ca?

Canadian Virtual Hospice

The Canadian Virtual Hospice is the most comprehensive online centre in the world on palliative and end of life care loss and grief. It provides information and support to more than 1.8 million people living with a life-limiting illness, their families, health providers, educators and researchers. Virtual Hospice operates VirtualHospice.ca Portailpalliatif.ca MyGrief.ca LivingMyCulture.ca and Methadone4Pain.ca.

Funding for KidsGrief.ca was provided by:
Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)

CIRA is building a better online Canada through the Community Investment Program by funding innovative projects led by charities, not-for-profits and academic institutions that are making the internet better for all Canadians. CIRA is best known for our role managing the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians. While this remains our primary mandate, as a member-based not-for-profit ourselves, we have a much broader goal to strengthen Canada's internet. The Community Investment Program is one of our most valuable contributions toward this goal and funds projects in digital literacy, online services, research and infrastructure. Every .CA domain name registered or renewed contributes to this program. To date CIRA has supported 100 projects with over $4.2 million in contributions.

Hope & Cope

Hope & Cope is a volunteer-based, professionally managed organization that provides support to cancer patients and their caregivers from two locations – its home base at the Jewish General Hospital’s Segal Cancer Centre and at its freestanding Wellness Centre, which focuses on cancer wellness and recovery. Hope & Cope’s comprehensive and innovative programs offer support, connection, information and practical resources to patients at every stage of cancer.

Project Co-lead

Andrea Warnick RN, MA
Registered Psychotherapist
Andrea Warnick Consulting
Toronto, Ontario

Shelly Cory MA
Executive Director
Canadian Virtual Hospice
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Content team

Antonietta Petti RN
Nurse counsellor, pediatric palliative care/bereavement
Le Phare Enfants et Familles
Montreal, Quebec

C. Elizabeth Dougherty BSW, MSW, RSW
Palliative Care Psychosocial Clinician and Educator
Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct), Division of Palliative Care
Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario

Camara van Breemen MN, CHPCN (C)
Nurse Practitioner (F)
Canuck Place Children’s Hospice
Vancouver, British Columbia

Candace Ray MEd, CAGS
Director of Services and Operations
The Lighthouse for Grieving Children
Oakville, Ontario

Christopher MacKinnon PhD, Psychologist
Faculty Lecturer, Department of Oncology, McGill University
co-Founder and Director of Training, Mont Royal Psychology
Montreal, Quebec

Courtney Teetaert RN, BA
University of Manitoba, Masters of Nursing
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Darcy Harris PhD, FT
Associate Professor/Thanatology Coordinator
King's University College, Western University
London, Ontario

Eunice Gorman RN, BSW, MSW, PhD, RSW
Associate Professor
Department of Interdisciplinary Program (Thanatology)
King's University College, Western University
London, Ontario

Fred Nelson MSW, RSW
Clinical Team
Canadian Virtual Hospice
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Joan Hamilton RN, BN, MSc(A)N
Clinical Nurse Specialist Cancer Care
Nova Scotia Health Authority, Central Zone
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Lysa Toye MSW, RSW, ExAT
Counsellor, Dr. Jay Children’s Grief Centre
Clinical Director, Camp Erin Toronto
Toronto, Ontario

Marney Thompson MA
Bereavement Coordinator
Victoria Hospice
Victoria, British Columbia

Nadine Gariepy-Fisk MA, PGDip, CPT
Director, Programs & Services
Hospice Calgary
Calgary, Alberta

Suzanne O'Brien MA
Executive Director
Hope & Cope
Montreal, Quebec

Susan Cadell PhD
Professor, School of Social Work
Renison College, University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario

Stephanie Rabenstein MSc, RMFT
Family Therapist, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Care Program
Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Schulich School of Medicine &
Dentistry, Western University
London, Ontario

Family advisors

Kirstin Doull
Ottawa, Ontario

Sylvie Lalande
Ottawa, Ontario

Expert reviewer

Donna L. Schuurman Ed.D., FT
Senior Director of Advocacy & Training
Executive Director Emeritus
The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families
Portland, Oregon

Video content

Wendy Rowland BAH, MA
Toronto, Ontario

Robin Bain
Toronto, Ontario

Web development


Graphic design

Mark Haak
Partner and Creative Director

Kelly Shelton
Partner and Graphic Designer


Les Boites - Rene Morin