Download the latest copy of the Grief Resource Guide here. (The Guide opens in a new tab. To download the Guide, hover over the link and “Right Click” and “Save As” with your mouse. )
Why Grief Matters was created by a small team of dedicated people without professional or financial backing. We began our work to provide support for individuals who had lost a loved one in the COVID-19 pandemic. Because few mental health resources were available, we began to search for material online that could help fill this gap. We looked for resources to help bereaved people address their grief, manage difficult emotions, build resilience, and improve their mental health and well-being. We reviewed hundreds of websites and identified a wealth of information for those who lost a loved one during the pandemic. When we saw what the internet had to offer, we were determined to make these resources available in one place. We selected the best of these resources and combined them into a comprehensive, searchable guide. We recognized that this compilation of resources could benefit anyone who is grieving, not just those who are suffering a loss from COVID-19. Over time, we broadened our content to include many other kinds of losses.
We sent the Guide to several grief experts before circulating it more widely. Without exception, their responses were extremely positive. For example, Dr. Robert Neimeyer, Director of the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition (Link opens in a new window), described the Guide as “a Godsend…Countless mourners will suffer less because of this remarkable compendium.” Our resource guide has also received attention in the media. On three separate occasions, The New York Times reporters have included a link to our guide in their article about grief. The Harvard School of Public Health referenced the resource guide in its monthly newsletter.
Coming Soon: A New Website
Numerous people have urged us to transform our resource guide into a website, which would enable us to make these materials available to a much larger audience. We have made excellent progress on this endeavor. We obtained a domain name, whygriefmatters.org, which is also the name of the new website. We were extremely fortunate to connect with Dan Chambers, a very talented front-end engineer, who has volunteered his time to create a website for whygriefmatters.org. The site should launch within a few months. Converting our resource guide into a website will greatly increase the potential for bringing the material to those who would benefit from it.
What Our Website Will Offer
1. Best grief resources consolidated
There is excellent material about grief on the internet, but it is scattered around and can be hard to find. We have identified outstanding resources on dozens of topics pertaining to grief and loss. Examples include coping strategies for dealing with grief, how to handle feelings of guilt and anger, and coping with the death of a pet. For each topic, we have compiled the best articles, opportunities for peer support, stories, and websites pertaining to that topic.
2. Peer support and support groups
Contact with those who have experienced a similar loss can provide validation for one’s feelings and play a vital role in the healing process. Why Grief Matters integrates and organizes resources on forums, peer support and support groups from dozens of other sites.
3. A wide array of resources for underserved groups
The pandemic highlighted the striking inequalities in access to resources for members of marginalized and underserved groups. Identifying valuable materials for these groups has been a major focus of our work. Specifically, we have included a rich array of resources for the following communities: African American/Black; Asian American/Pacific Islanders; Indigenous Communities; Latino/Hispanic Americans; the LGBTQ+ community; and people with disabilities.
4. Stories touching on all types of grief/loss
We have included hundreds of stories that cover losses of every type, spanning countless situations. Stories about grief can be instrumental in restoring hope and helping the bereaved to recognize that they are not alone.
5. A special collection of COVID-related grief resources
COVID-19 has claimed over 1 million American lives, leaving tens of millions grieving in its wake. Why Grief Matters offers unparalleled resources for those who lost a loved one during the pandemic.
6. A wealth of information for individuals who want to provide support to the bereaved
In coming to terms with the death of a loved one, nothing is more important than receiving support from others. Yet many people are reluctant to reach out to the bereaved because they do not know what to say or do. We describe the best and most effective ways to provide support to people who have experienced many different losses, including the death of a parent, spouse, child, sibling, and pet.
During the past three years, we have updated and expanded the resource guide. We have identified and added valuable resources on dozens of topics. We have also included new topics, such as grief resulting from Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, and the deep feelings of loss often associated with infertility.
Transforming our resource guide into a website will enable us to make these resources available to anyone and everyone who can benefit from them. We are unwavering in our commitment to this goal. We are interested in partnering with others who share our vision. If you are interesting in supporting our non-profit organization, please contact Dr. Wortman at email@example.com.
About the Authors
Camille B. Wortman, Ph.D.
Dr. Wortman is a Professor Emerita of Psychology at Stony Brook University in New York. Her research focuses on grief, with an emphasis on how people are affected by the sudden, traumatic death of a loved one. She has authored four books, including one entitled Treating Traumatic Bereavement, and more than 100 articles and book chapters dealing with grief, loss, and trauma. Dr. Wortman has received awards for her research from the American Psychological Association and the National Science Foundation. Her work has been featured in such media outlets as The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio (NPR), Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and The Wall Street Journal. Over the course of her career, Dr. Wortman has been involved in public service and has volunteered her time to several projects pertaining to traumatic loss. She was invited to develop educational materials on trauma and loss for several websites, including those of the American Psychological Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. She also assisted in creating a website on grief for PBS. She posted a number of blogs on that website for bereaved individuals (e.g., How to Get Through the Holidays) and their family members and friends (e.g., Offering Support for the Bereaved: What to Say and Do). Please note that she is unable to respond to individual requests for support. You can email Dr. Wortman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica Gregory, M.S.
Jessica is a graduate of the Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at the Northeast College of Health Sciences in Seneca Falls, New York. She is an NCCAOM National Board-Certified Oriental Medicine practitioner and has worked in private practice as a licensed acupuncturist for over ten years. Ms. Gregory now co-owns Family Billing Solutions, LLC, a medical billing company for complementary and alternative medicine healthcare professionals.
Andrew Wortman, M.S.
Andrew received a BA degree from Stony Brook University, where he majored in Psychology. He also obtained a master’s degree in Psychology from Stony Brook University. At present, he is devoting most of his time to political activism and social media.
Chérie Mahady, M.S.
Chérie received a BA degree from Stony Brook University, where she majored in Psychology. She also obtained a master’s degree in Secondary Education – Mathematics from Dowling College. She has served as an assistant to Dr. Camille Wortman for the last 30 years.
The authors owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Brian Wong, who was incessant in urging us to transform the Internet Resource Guide into a website. He played an instrumental role in helping us to obtain a domain name and nonprofit status. The authors also thank Dr. Eoin Gregory for his contributions.
Finally, the authors wish to acknowledge the experts who provided feedback on the Guide: Christine Courtois, Ph.D., ABPP, Kenneth J. Doka, Ph.D., Howard Friedman, Ph.D., Jack Jordan, Ph.D., Karestan C. Koenen, Ph.D., Wendy Lichtenthal, Ph.D., Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D., Laurie Anne Pearlman, Ph.D., Therese Rando, Ph.D., Ginger Rhodes, Ph.D., Christine Dunkel Schetter, Ph.D., Donna L. Schuurman, Ed.D., F.T., and Roxane Silver, Ph.D.
The information in this Guide is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional help. The information has been provided in good faith. However, the authors are not representing the information included in the Guide as accurate or valid. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate any information contained in the Guide and to seek the advice of mental health professionals as necessary. This Guide includes links to many other websites. The inclusion of a link does not constitute an endorsement of the website or the views expressed therein. Under no circumstances do the authors accept any liability for problems that users may incur as a result of relying on resources contained in this Guide. Those who rely on these resources do so at their own risk.