Module overview


She was such a wonderful mentor. When you lose someone like that, there’s just so many levels of loss. Our team really struggled.

They were sick for a long time but still came to work everyday. I felt shocked when they died and I know I wasn’t the only one.

This resource has been designed to help you understand and care for yourself as you grieve. It was developed by the Canadian Virtual Hospice in collaboration with national grief specialists and people who have grieved the death of a co-worker. We are grateful to those who shared their wisdom and experiences. 


About this resource: When Your Co-worker Has Died

The death of a co-worker, whether expected or not, sends ripples of grief through your workplace as each person tries to come to terms with what has happened. The sense of loss that you and others feel may have both shared and unique aspects, depending very much on the nature of the relationship you had with the person who died. Differences can mean that your co-workers don’t understand your experience of grief, and family and friends may not grasp the impact of your loss. You may be experiencing a range of thoughts and feelings that can change as time passes.


Getting started

We recommend that you review the nine Grief Basics modules found on our site:


As you read through this information…

You might be reading this shortly after your co-worker died, or sometime down the road. We encourage you to revisit these resources often as you may only be able to absorb so much at any one time. What you find helpful may change over time. You might recognize your experiences or find that some of them aren’t reflected here. If there is content you believe should be added, please tell us about it in the survey at the end.

As you read this, you may have strong emotions or feel uncomfortable. It’s okay to step away from it for a while, or it might help to talk with a trusted family member or friend. Canadian Virtual Hospice provides online Discussion Forums where you can connect with others who may have experienced similar losses. You can also ask our healthcare team a confidential question at Ask a Professional. You will receive a written response within three business days (not including Canadian statutory holidays).