Course info

Course Overview

Grief is a subject most of us do not want to talk or think about until we are forced to, and we will all be forced to

Whether you are Michael Jordan, or the parent of a recent terrorist victim, or Celine Dion, or the sibling of a refugee lost at sea, or Keanu Reeves, or the spouse of a suicide victim, or World Boxing Champion Oscar de La Hoya, or the friend of someone who overdosed, or Vin Diesel, or the child of someone who lost their battle with cancer, or Prince Harry, or the grandchild of someone lost to dementia/ALZ, or Liam Neeson, or the aunt of a teen killed in a car accident, or Whoopi Goldberg, or the parents of a stillborn baby, or CNN News Anchor Anderson Cooper, or someone grieving the loss of their lifelong companion pet - we are all in grief together.

Grief can kill us, but most of us and our families don't know it.  

According to a recent online survey of people who had experienced a loss:  

Over 80% of us felt completely unprepared to deal with the grief/grieving process and

the majority believed we should be providing greater education on the subject in our schools and universities. 

The focus of this course is on "practical" knowledge that you can use if you are grieving, or if you know others that are grieving alone at home, in your community, in your school or at work.  This is a course on grief, the grieving process, and how grief can impact our lives, our health, our families, our jobs, and our communities.

When one is grieving, any task can be a challenge; including an online course on the subject. However, in this self-paced course, you can take the sections of the course you are interested in learning about anytime/anywhere and come back to the others at a later date.  Like in our grieving processes, there is no right or wrong way to approach this course.

In the era of Twitter, Google Search, You Tube, Facebook, Linkedin, Mobile Apps, SnapChat, Instagrams, Apple's Siri - Intelligent Personal Assistant, Online Forums and thousands of other new online tools/platforms - Our grieving processes are undergoing major changes.  This course will examine their real-life impact on healing or deepening of our grief through examples & case studies from these media channels and optional links to over 250 short videos by individuals, celebrities, organizations, and others.

  • Did you know the loss of our loved one can double our risk of a heart attack or stroke within the first month, and the highest risk being within the first 24 hours?
  • Did you know that after the loss of a loved one in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) , the survivors have a higher risk of developing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
  • Did you know that years after the death of a sibling, adults still have a higher risk of having a fatal heart attack?
  • Did you know that social media can help grieving family and friends, but it can also prolong and deepen grief for many? Did you know that by the end of this century, Facebook will have more dead than living "users"?  
  • Did you know that workplace grief cost business billions annually? And that grief could cost you your job?

While grief can have a destructive physical and mental impact on many, the last section of the course will also examine the Good from Grief: The massive positive societal impact people grieving are making around the world.

This course's objective is to make more of us and our communities grief-aware, informed and better equipped for each of our own grief journeys now or in the future.  If you know others grieving that might find this course helpful, please forward the course link to them.

Whether you enroll now or in the future in this free Grief MOOC, please consider helping us in our on-going research with your answers to the linked short online survey on grief and the grieving process. 

Is this course for me?

If you have never wanted to learn or talk about grief; if you are now grieving; if you have grieved or if you have people around you grieving - this course is for you.  The course is presented in 5 easy to read lessons with direct links to over 250 optional short videos that provide individual examples/testimonials, greater explanation or additional research on the subjects being addressed. 

Are there any pre-requisites?

There are no pre-requisities for this course.

How much time do I have to complete course and how much time will I need to devote to the course weekly?

This is a self-paced course available to you at anytime and which you do at your own pace. As a self-paced course, you decide how much to devote to it weekly, but in general, it should not exceed 2- 4 hours weekly for 5 weeks. You are not required to watch all the videos suggested in their entirety - watch what applies directly to your interests and situation. Videos are only provided as additional visual support/testimonials resources to the subjects covered in this course.

This MOOC is organized into 5 lessons

Lessons are designed as self-study learning resources and can be taken selectively according to individual interests and purposes:

  1. What is Grief & the Grieving Process? What's the latest research on the subject?
  2. Health: How can Grief impact our and our families' health? Our jobs - Workplace Grief?
  3. Grief Attacks:  What are they? Role Models: How have others coped with them? What should we say or not say to people grieving?
  4. Online Grief: How has  technology, and social media impacted our grieving? How will future technologies impact us?
  5. Good from Grief: How can any good come from grief? What are some of the positive societal impact people grieving are making around the world? 

Thank You for your FEEDBACK / SUGGESTIONS:

1. Thank you very much to the many folks who have messaged us, or written comments here throughout the different chapters to express their gratitude to the non-profit "", their team, and the EMMA Team for their work in this Grief MOOC course, and provide us with suggestions on additional resources to include in future editions of the course. 

2. Updated Links to the Grief MOOC's supporting resources, research, articles and videos - We try to update any links to supporting materials that may be broken or outdated throughout the course, but we very much appreciate you letting us know immediately upon finding one of these in the course by emailing us at

3. MOOC Certificate of Completion - The main complaint we have received on this Grief MOOC is from students who were not able to get or print their Grief MOOC Certificate of Completion after completing the course. Our sincere apologies, but the Certificate of Completion is handled thru the EMMA MOOC platform/technical team, and we have no control over that piece. However, if you complete the course and you are still having problems with getting or printing the certificate of completion for the Grief MOOC - email us at, and put Certificate of Completion in subject line, along with your name, the date you finished the course, and the email you used to register for the course and we can use to send your certificate of completion after verifying course completion. 

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This MOOC is offered by My Grief Angels, Inc - A non-profit online grief support and education organization 'for and by' people grieving.

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Learning Objectives

Participants will,

  • Learn how grief is different for each of us, and how there is no right or wrong way to grieve – except your own.
  • Learn how some of the previously accepted research on grief and the grieving process stages is now disputed,
  • Learn how grief can have an impact on ours & our families’ health, our friends, our relationships, our jobs, our communities and our future,
  • Learn about prolonged and complicated grief,
  • Learn about the potential impact of Communal and Public Grief,
  • Identify and evaluate how technology can impact grief,
  • Learn how others are coping with their own personal grief,
  • Identify online grief support resources for your own type of loss, or interest,
  • Learn about tools that can help you create your own local grief support community.
  • Evaluate what each of us, as human beings, can do to help others near or far during one of the most difficult times of their lives

Refers to the new knowledge we hope users will acquire through the course content we provide, and the skills that users will develop through the specific tools/activities included as part of the course. When completing this section do not forget to give input / suggestions for threads to discuss in "conversations".


The Grief MOOC can never take away the pain of grief for any of us, but it will provide participants with the practical and most up to date knowledge and tools to better understand what we, our families and our communities are or will experience; how that experience will be different for each of us; the impact that grief can have on our health; the online resources available, and how individuals worldwide have and are coping with their own grief.

Certification and Additional Info

1. EMMA Certificate of Completion

- After completing the course, if you encounter any issues obtaining your Certificate of Completio, please email us directly at with subject matter EMMA.  Once we verify your completion, we can email you a copy of the certificate.

2. The initial course translations from English into Spanish, French and Italian were possible thanks to the EMMA MOOCs Platform and its team of supporters.  Please remember that online course translations are always "a work in progress", so if you have suggestions for edit/additions to any of the course translations - Please accept our gratitute for your assistance and we would appreciate it if you could email them to us at

Use of content and licenses

Terms of Access & Use:  "All of the information presented in this course is strictly for general educational and informational purposes, and should never be treated as any type of substitute for personal, professional, medical, mental health, grief counseling or other types of advice regarding any of the matters pertaining to you, your family, your workplace, or others. The accuracy of the information and/or studies shared and referenced here cannot be guarantee. Throughout this free course, there are many external links provided to videos, books and articles used as references in this educational and informational project, and no liability of any type can be accepted for any of their content or viruses that may be transferred by their sites and addresses. By your decision to enroll, register, access and/or participate in this 'free' Massive Open Online Course (“MOOC”), you accept full responsibility for and hereby release 'all' involved in the creation of this free MOOC; including, the researchers, developers, tutors, faculty, organizers, technical team and hosting platform of this MOOC from any and all claims; including any claims which may be made in your name by yourself or by your heirs, successors, administrators, and executors of your will.” 

Creative Commons licence CC BY SA - with Attribution-Sharealike - This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.    Any and all links to external resources and references cited in this free educational online course; including articles and public videos, are the property of their content originators.

Course Structure

  • Lesson 1 - What is Grief and the Grieving Process About? Do we all Grief in the same way?
  • Lesson 2 - Health: How Can Grief Impact our Health? Our Families? Our Jobs/Workplace Grief?
  • Lesson 3 - Grief Attacks: What are they? Role Models: How have others gotten thru them?
  • Lesson 4 - Online Grief: How are new technologies and social networks impacting our grieving process now? Future?
  • Lesson 5 - Good from Grief: How are people facing unimaginable grief making the world better for all of us?


May Chao & Augusto Failde

May Chao & Augusto Failde are colleagues from Harvard Business School whose own personal grief experience led them to conduct extensive research on grief, the grieving process, and online grief resources available to people grieving worldwide.  As a result of some of their research, they collaborated on “Good from Grief” – a book that looks at the powerful positive social impact being created worldwide by people facing unimaginable grief. 

May graduated from Wellesley College, Summa Cum Laude, where she also earned Freshman Distinction and was Business Editor of the Wellesley News. May’s background has been in foreign exchange trading, and investments. As a Commissioner for the NY State Governor, she served as Chairperson and Executive Director of the New York State Consumer Protection Board (CPB).

Augusto received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University, and his professional work experience has been in the Venture Capital, Media, International Campus-based & Online Education industries. He is the author of several books; including, Simon & Schuster’s “Latino Success”, and the recipient of the World Trade Center Institute’s (WTCI) - International Business Leadership award. He has been a board member of WTCI since 2008.