Journey on the Path of Grief
"My daughter Remianne was stillborn at 6 months of gestation on May 24th, 1994. Leaving the hospital with empty arms and breastmilk flowing, I returned home to a silent nursery completely broken hearted and inconsolable. I began to understand fully why losing a baby brings such silent sorrow. With the exception of her father, no one knew her, no one saw her. My arms were heavy with emptiness.
After several months passed, an article appeared in the local NewsAdvertiser about Sue Hendricks, a bereaved parent, who was starting a BFO chapter in Durham Region. So I called her immediately and a short while later, I was enrolled in an Infant Loss group.
What an impact that had on my life. Finally, I was in a group of my peers who listened with care and without judgment. We cried, we laughed, we shared stories and experiences. With Sue and Shelley (peer facilitator) leading the group, I was instilled with hope by observing where these two bereaved parents were in their healing journeys, and I wanted to get there too. I wanted to feel happy again.
With the encouragement and kindness of the group, I found the strength to journey along the path of grief, to accept my loss, to celebrate my daughter in countless ways, and to embrace my life again. Thank you BFO! My husband and sons also appreciated the positive impact BFO had on me."
Mother To Mother
“Mother To Mother – Easter 1989. I am a young Religion teacher in a high school. I have two children of my own; happy, well, secure, oblivious. Suddenly I am badly shaken by the news that Kristina Hendricks, a vibrant, lively young lady who sat in the front row of my Grade 9 class, has been killed in a car accident.
I attend the visitation, greet her mother, Sue, and our eyes meet, mother to mother. Agony. It is the worst, I think, the worst. How can she live through it? How will she survive?
Summer 1998. My own eleven year old son David has just died. Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Amid the exhausting relentlessness of my grief, I think of Sue, of Kristina, of the connection forged by loss. During the past years, Sue's legacy to her daughter has been, I am aware, to bring Bereaved Families of Ontario to Durham Region. As a founding member of the Durham Affiliate, Sue has carried her own grief with creative and healing energy. Because of her and her associates, there is a place where I, as a newly bereaved parent, will now be welcomed, mother to mother, with compassion and understanding.
I pick up the phone.
I am still here. On Sue's behalf, in memory of Kristina and David, I am now here for the bereaved parents who, sadly, are to come.”
What BFO has come to mean to me
"My first experience with BFO-Durham was the Angels’ Tree Lighting Ceremony which took place 6 months after the death of my nephew, Kevin. My sole reason for attending this event was to support my sister, brother-in-law and godson in their recent loss, never realizing that I would become so involved with BFO-Durham through fundraising events, programs such as Family Support Nights and The Walk to Remember, as recording secretary for the Board and now as a Board Member.
I cannot imagine the pain and anguish bereaved parents feel on a daily basis, I can only surmise.
Being involved for the past 12 years as a bereaved aunt has made me realize that there is a great need for volunteers at BFO-Durham, whether one is a bereaved parent or not, to assist in the daily tasks so needed by this organization. The rewards reaped by volunteering in order to keep BFO-Durham alive really do outweigh the time freely given."
Changed for ever
"After my son Martin passed away suddenly on April 13, 1990 at the age of 15, I was completely overwhelmed by my grief and I did not think that I could go on with my life. The outside world could not understand the depth of my grief and despair.
After several months, I was directed to the Bereaved Families of Toronto and they became my lifeline. I attended a group of mothers who would meet on a weekly basis to discuss all the aspects involved in the loss of a child. We could speak openly about our grief and feelings as we were all in the same sad situation. We would cry and laugh together and we would listen to each other's story. The facilitators of the group were also bereaved mothers who showed us that we still could go on living and they gave us hope and faith that we would be able to manage our grief.
With the support of BFO, I have been able to go on living although I am changed for ever."