Category - grief

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Doves Of Hope—Honouring Loved Ones Impacted By Cancer
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Need Comfort? I’m Probably Not Your Best Bet
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Elmo For Zack
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Difficult Conversations With My Child – Part 2
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Zack

Doves Of Hope—Honouring Loved Ones Impacted By Cancer

Childhood sleep-overs and camping trips, always there for me with a joke; wiping tears of laughter from her cheeks as she attempted (and usually failed) to get to the punch line. My aunt. Everyone has a story to tell about a person who helped shape them into who they are—someone who inspired them to be a better person. For me that person was my Auntie Jan. Jan lived each day thoughtfully, with purpose. Her relationships, her commitment to fitness, her love of the outdoors and putting family first—she lived well by valuing what is important. I sometimes forget. Thinking about Jan reminds me. She used to play this game where she’d make eye contact with a stranger passing by and smile at them. She’d keep smiling until they eventually smiled back. They almost always did.  When she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of sixty, far too young and too healthy for the likes of cancer, we were crushed.  Her initial biopsy was on my birthday, but despite her frightening day, she still phoned to leave me a Happy Birthday message. Oh my god her phone messages were the best—veering off topic and looping back again, laughing so[…]

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Need Comfort? I’m Probably Not Your Best Bet

Shortly before 6 AM on a Sunday morning our daughter came into our room sobbing. “I had a bad dream,” she cried. As she lay with us, the phone rang and we learned that my husband’s mum had passed away at 5:55 AM. Avery and her Grandie were so deeply connected in life, it makes sense to me that they were connected at the end.   When a loved one dies it’s a blessing for them if it’s quick—to go without suffering. But for those left behind, it’s heart wrenching. So how do people get through it? There’s no right or wrong way. Actually, that’s not exactly true. When you’re trying to comfort your grieving husband, there things you should definitely not do. For example, the day my husband’s mum died we sat on the couch exhausted, unable to do anything but stare. Avery wanted to play but we just couldn’t. Then I remembered I’d picked up some movies from the library earlier in the week so I popped one in the DVD player to keep her occupied. When I noticed my mistake, it was too late. The movie I had chosen was Up! If you know the sentimental story,[…]

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Elmo For Zack

Last year when my friend Heather‘s son Zack passed away, every parent’s worst nightmare became a reality. But what Heather and her husband Paul chose to do with such insurmountable pain, is beautifully inspiring. They are keeping their boy’s spirit alive by celebrating him, every day. So many of us have never met Zack, but we know him because his parents have found ways to share him with us. Heather has spoken at conferences and on television, sharing stories about Zack and her quest to raise money to build Zack’s Dream Room at York Central Hospital. This dream is about to become a reality. Heather has not only raised enough money to build the room, there are now two rooms intended to make any child’s hospital stay more comfortable. Heather also shared Zack with his hero — Elmo. Kevin Clash reached out and made this message not only for Zack, but also to comfort those children who will be staying in one of Zack’s Dream Rooms. If you haven’t seen the Being Elmo documentary yet, you must. A truly amazing story. We loved it. Heather wrote: My dream was for Elmo to know now much Zack loved him, and that[…]

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Difficult Conversations With My Child – Part 2

Forget the babbling brook, I’m a rambling river. I’m not sure why I feel compelled to tell people everything. Maybe it’s the need to vent, to seek feedback, validation, advice, a laugh. Who knows? But if loose lips sink ships, I should really have my own personal Coast Guard.   I may over-share on a regular basis within my social network (and the occasional innocent bystander at the grocery check-out) but I am able to curtail my TMI tendencies when it comes to my kids.   Children hang on our every word. WHAT we say and HOW we say it—it’s our job to try to insulate our kids from worry, horror, despair, and unthinkable sadness.   We can’t completely shelter our children from the harsh realities of life. But if possible we can try to shield them from the really scary sh*t so they can feel safe and secure for as long as possible.    This is why I chose initially not to tell my son that Zack passed away.   The boys never met in person, but my son knew about Zack and his family. He knew Zack was Avery’s friend. He heard me speak about Zack’s parents. He knew[…]

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Zack

My thoughts this week have been consumed by my friend Heather and her beautiful boy Zackie. Zack is at Sick Kids Hospital battling pneumonia and Influenza. Last night the physical toll was too much and his heart stopped. Zack is now on life support.   There is nothing more gut wrenching for a parent than witnessing their child in peril. Helpless and terrified can’t begin to describe what Heather and her family must be feeling right now.   Tonight, my son and I put aside our regular bedtime story and together we visited Heather’s blog. We looked at pictures and watched videos of Zack and his two brothers.   Zack, your mummy says you’re a fighter. Please fight. We adore your smile and your laugh. We would all love nothing more than to hear it again soon.    If you’d like to leave Heather and her family a note of encouragement, you can do so at Wishes For Heather.

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