The past 18-20 months have been so stressful, we’ve barely had a chance to process any emotions. For those who have lost a loved one, whether to COVID or other causes, finding the time to grieve and work through their feelings might seem impossible.
On November 14, National Grief and Bereavement Day, a group of Canadian musicians will perform as part of Saying Goodbye, a livestream presented by the National Arts Centre (NAC) and the Canadian Hospice and Palliative Care Association (CHPCA).
Among the performers set to appear are Fred Penner, Johnny Reid, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Michelle Wright, Shari Ulrich, Gregory Charles, John McDermott, Jenn Grant, Ray Legere, Tara Shannon and others.
“There is never a ‘good’ time to lose a loved one. The Saying Goodbye concert has the potential to create really great awareness around grief and bereavement as we experienced it as never before during this difficult time of social isolation,” says Laurel Gillespie, CEO of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association.
The concert is an effort to give people space, time and opportunity to grieve for the loved ones they lost in the past nearly two years since the pandemic started. It’s a chance for people who could not work through their loss due to social distancing restrictions, the inability to spend time with their loved ones in their last days and moments and loss of normal practices for expressing and sharing grief.
“The goal is to help normalize conversation around the dying process and recognize grief and bereavement as a natural response to loss,” CHPCA says.
The first “Saying Goodbye” campaign launched in early 2020, just as the pandemic began hitting North America. “This campaign called on health authorities to implement a more compassionate approach to end-of-life visitations across Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic,” CHPCA continues. “Many people were also unable to have funerals or celebration of life events during the period of social distancing and isolation, which can have a profound effect on the grieving process. Saying Goodbye acknowledges the grief of those who have lost a loved one and are experiencing grief, specifically those affected by loss during the quarantine period of the COVID-19 pandemic. The message also applies to anyone dealing with grief and bereavement.”
The concert is free to attend but donations will be welcomed and gratefully accepted. Proceeds collected from the concert will be shared by CHPCA and provincial-level palliative care associations. More information can be found here.