Understanding the Grief of Non-Death Losses

What is Non-Death Loss?

Many people don't realize; there are experiences besides the death of a loved one that can cause life-changing grief. When, in reality, a person can grieve the loss of anything significant to their physical, psychological, spiritual, and interpersonal lives.

Some losses are relatively easy to cope with and integrate, and some turn our lives inside out. No matter where the experience falls on the spectrum – loss is loss, and grief is grief. Loss and grief don’t have to be severe enough to be acknowledged as such, and there’s no threshold one has to meet to feel grief-like things.

Throughout your life, you will likely experience many non-death losses. Some may result from a death loss (for example, a change in identity or the loss of a future dream). While other losses exist entirely on their own (for example, the loss of a job or the end of a relationship). Regardless of the details, there are unique considerations and challenges related to experiencing non-death loss, which we plan to address in this one hour webinar.


In this webinar, we will discuss concepts related to non-death loss including:

  • The need to expand our understanding of "loss"
  • Primary loss vs. secondary loss
  • When people deny you the right to grieve (i.e. Disenfranchised Loss)
  • Grieving someone who is still alive (i.e. Ambiguous Loss)

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect from a WYG webinar?
We hope you'll find our webinars informative and useful. We want all participants to end the webinar feeling that they've discovered new ideas and new ways of looking at grief, grief support, and grief coping. Further, we strive to equip participants with practical tools, useful resources, and creative outlets for coping with grief. We've participated in enough webinars and online courses to know it's easy to get distracted. For this reason, we work hard to create an engaging webinar experience by utilizing appealing presentation formats, real-life illustrations, and participant conversation.
Who should participate in this webinar?
This webinar would be beneficial to anyone grieving, regardless of the type of loss you've experienced. It's also helpful for anyone interested in learning more about grief, loss, and related concepts, especially professionals and volunteers working with bereaved individuals.
How can I access the live event?
The live event will take place using the webinar platform Zoom. We will provide instructions for accessing the webinar once you have registered for the event. We will also email you before the event and remind you to tune in.

Your Instructor

Eleanor and Litsa
Eleanor and Litsa

Hello, we are Litsa and Eleanor, the co-founders of the website, What's Your Grief. Thank you for joining our online learning community. We hope some of what you find here will help you understand grief an grief coping a little bit better.  

We are what we like to refer to as 'grief friends.' We both have backgrounds in mental health and plenty of experience working in the field of grief and bereavement. But what we ultimately bonded over was our shared experience of losing a parent to cancer in early adulthood. All our webinars and online courses are based on the ideas and information we've found most helpful in our personal grief, and in our daily work with grieving people.  

We teach all our webinars and courses, so we should probably tell you, we prefer to talk about grief and loss in realistic and regular ways. If you're looking for transformative butterflies and sympathetic head tilts, I'm afraid you've come to the wrong place. Sometimes we're serious, and sometimes we joke, sometimes we're matter of fact, and sometimes we're philosophical. No matter what, though, we believe your experience with grief should always be recognized and respected, not patronized.

Course Curriculum

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