Bereavement Services

Care for the Grieving

Our mission is to facilitate and support healthy grieving for patients, families, and significant others before, during, and after death, and to educate and support the staff who provide their care.

"The way we deal with loss shapes our capacity to be present to life more than anything else. The way we protect ourselves from loss may be the way in which we distance ourselves from life. We burn out not because we don't care but because we don't grieve."
-- Rachel Naomi, Remen Kitchen Table Wisdom

We provide a clearing house for information, resources, and support regarding grief, loss, dying, and death. Support is available in a variety of ways for patients, families, and staff through the services listed below. Contact us at


The Department of Chaplain Services and Education and the Bereavement Services Program staff hold a number of grief events and services for both staff and the general public. Learn more below about some of our recent and upcoming events.

Grief Awareness Week
The 2021 Grief Awareness Week was held November 15 - 19. The purpose of the activities, events, and displays during Grief Awareness Week is to increase awareness of issues pertaining to grief and loss in the workplace, to promote strategies for healthy grieving, and to encourage staff self-care at Duke University Hospital. Events and activities during the week included allowing staff and visitors to write messages on memorial flags, a music on the green event, a staff memorial service, and a virtual session made up of small groups to address grief followed by a virtual symposium.

Details for the 2022 Grief Awareness Week will be posted here in the fall of 2022.

Pediatric Day of Remembrance
E-mail for more information. 

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Day of Remembrance Service
On October 29th, 2021, Duke held a remembrance service for those that have lost a child. Watch a video of the service. Details will be posted here about the next event.

Service of Remembrance
More details about the 2022 event are forthcoming.

Staff Memorial Service
The Staff Memorial Service is a time for community, prayer, reflection, music, grief, hope, and space to remember Duke employees who have died. On November 18, 2020, Duke Chapel and Duke University Hospital ministers lead an online service of remembrance for recent and former faculty and staff members who have died during the last year. This half-hour, pre-recorded service included music, candle lighting, and reading the names of those who have died. Watch a video of the staff memorial service.

This memorial event is typically held every spring and fall. More details about the next event is forthcoming. Call 919-684-4750 for more information.

Tree Dedication
On November 20, 2020, a sycamore tree was planted in honor of loved ones, their families, and health system employees affected by the pandemic. The tree is located on the lawn in front of the Duke Medicine Pavilion. Watch a video of the tree dedication service.


Bereavement Advisory Council

The Bereavement Advisory Council (BAC) is a multidisciplinary committee that works closely with the Bereavement Services Program to develop and sponsor programs for patients, families, and staff in areas of grief, loss, death, and dying. We recruit new members in the fall. New BAC members start in January and serve two-year terms. Call 919-684-4750 for more information. Download an application (PDF, 30 KB).

End-of-life Care Programs

The following programs offer an overview of local, state, and national news, legislation, events, calendars, newsletters, resources, and initiatives.

Grief Counseling, Support and Resources


Staff is available to develop, facilitate, or present training or support opportunities regarding dying, death, loss, and grief.

Grief Materials

Grief is a natural reaction to loss, and each person grieves in their own unique way. The following grief materials can help you understand the grief process, and support your journey towards healing.




  • A Father's Grief - English (PDF, 87 KB) / Spanish (PDF, 110 KB)
  • Healing Together as a Couple - English (PDF, 27 KB) / Spanish (PDF, 27 KB)
  • Helping Yourself After the Loss of a Baby - English (PDF, 84 KB) / Spanish (PDF, 34 KB)
  • How Family and Friends Can Help - English (PDF, 55 KB) / Spanish (PDF, 25 KB)
  • Understanding Grief and Mourning - English (PDF, 89KB) / Spanish (PDF, 27 KB)

Traumatic Loss

Additional Grief-related information