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 clearinghouse 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 conduct events and provide services for staff and families whose loved ones were cared for by Duke University Hospital. Learn more below about some of our recent and upcoming events.

Service of Remembrance
Sunday, May 19, 2024, 11:30 am, Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center

This bi-annual observance is for anyone who wishes to remember and celebrate loved ones. The service features music, poetry, and a time for individual commemoration. To register, call 919-684-4750 or email

Grief Awareness Week -- November 18 - 22, 2024

Grief Awareness Week increases awareness of issues about grief and loss in the workplace, promotes strategies for healthy grieving, and encourages staff self-care. Events and activities during the week include a staff memorial service and other events designed to normalize grief.

Pediatric Day of Remembrance

This is an annual event. 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 conducted in the fall at Duke Chapel. Call 919-684-4750 for more information.

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 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).

Grief Counseling, Support and Resources


Staff is available to support and connect persons to resources pertaining to loss and grief. Call 919-668-0923 for assistance.

Grief Materials

Grief is a natural reaction to loss. The following grief materials can help you understand the grief process, and support your journey towards healing.


  • Dementia: Issues of Loss and Grief - English (PDF, 57 KB) / Spanish (PDF, 57 KB)
  • Helping Yourself After a Loss - English (PDF, 96 KB) / Spanish (PDF, 68 KB)
  • Understanding Grief and Mourning - English (PDF, 89 KB) / Spanish (PDF, 99 KB)



  • 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