7654 Conservation Road, Guelph ON N1H 6J1  519-836-8141 ext 237

Tom & Anne’s Story

August 27, 2001 was the day our lives were forever changed. Our 16-year-old son David was killed in a watercraft accident. He was the youngest of four sons.

My husband Tom is an extrovert and he grieved through talking about it and lots of tears. My approach was to find a plan, follow it and hopefully I would be able to live again.

Shortly after David’s death we were introduced to the Coping Centre in Cambridge and we chose to join a group for bereaved parents. I thought it would be good for Tom, so I went along to “help him out!” Little did I realize that I too would benefit from participating in my grief journey with the other parents. We all shared a commonality of experience, but as we spent time together, expressing our grief and fears, in a safe environment at the Coping Centre, healing began in our hearts.

Through our times together, we learned to appreciate the personal differences during one’s grief journey. We learned that the grief journey is unique for everyone. It has no timetable, no specific patterns for emotions, and it is unique to the relationship we had with our loved one and to our own personality.

We grew to look forward to our group support evenings, even though some nights were more emotional than others.

It has been said that “Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable, but sticks alone can be easily broken.” I think this really applies to group support. We need each other. As a result of our attending the group for bereaved parents we have learned to reinvest in life and now we have the privilege of companioning other parents as they face the devastation of child loss. 

Tom & Anne, Griefwalk Leaders