Bereaved mom helps others cope with loss

Photocredit Amboo85 on Flickr

Photocredit Amboo85 on Flickr

Mother’s day has come and gone. My son and our friend took me to brunch. It was a happy day for me, but my thoughts kept returning to something very sad. A friend of mine – also my “ex-mother-in-law” (or “outlaw mom”) – lost her son in a mountain biking accident last year. He was the father of my son, and also a dear friend of mine after the initial turbulence of family break-up. It hit hard to get the news, and everyone is processing it in their own way.

I kept wondering how his mom might feel on Mother’s Day – thinking about her lost son. I expect she was enjoying the good memories, savouring them, as she does. Their family self-published a beautiful picture book with stories of his life recently, and they are very good at keeping “the good” alive in memory.

But I couldn’t help thinking about the feeling of loss. I’ve heard it said the worst type of loss to deal with is loss of your child. It made me look at my own son at lunch and feel a pang in my heart to imagine it. I knew she was with her husband – a.k.a. Grandpa – on a vacation well-timed to absorb their heavy emotions, and support one another. They have a daughter and grandchildren and her mom/Gran role is still strong.

Losing a son

Just before Mother’s Day I read about the mother who created the Threads of Life organization, which I wrote about in my post Supporting families after workplace tragedy.

Shirley Hickman – A mother’s story is a new podcast from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health. In it, she shares her personal story of how losing her son in a workplace accident affected her life and inspired her to create an organization for other people dealing with this kind of family tragedy.

Feeling “loss” takes many forms and can go through many phases, and it can be helpful to makes sense of one’s own feelings when you hear what it’s like for someone else.

The Steps for Life Walk is an annual event in which money is raised for programs run by Threads of Life for family programs, counselling, and other support.


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