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.

Memorial Tile Ceremony
May 26 at 6:00 pm

This program will be held on Zoom and includes music, readings and personal reflections of loved ones.

Service of Remembrance
Sept. 10 (time TBD)

An annual observance for anyone who wishes to remember and celebrate loved ones. The service features music, poetry, and a time for individual commemoration. To register, call 919-644-6869 or email

Grieving Through the Holidays Virtual Workshop
Thursday, Nov. 10 at 5:30 pm

This workshop provides a safe, supportive, and educational environment to help anyone prepare for the holidays after experiencing loss. Registration is required by calling 919-644-6869.

Grief Awareness Week
Grief Awareness Week increases awareness of issues pertaining to grief and loss in the workplace, to promote strategies for healthy grieving, and to encourage staff self-care. Events and activities during the week include 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 announced this fall.

Pediatric Day of Remembrance
This event is typically held in November each year. E-mail for more information. 

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. This memorial event is typically held every spring and fall. Call 919-684-4750 for more information.

Lights of Remembrance
Dec. 6 at 6:00 pm

A remembrance ceremony featuring luminaries that represent loved ones who have died. Individuals and families order a luminary with a donation to Duke HomeCare & Hospice. The program features music, poetry, and time for personal reflection. Donors receive a commemorative placard with their loved one’s name and any inscription they wish to add. 

Tree Dedication
On Nov. 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