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When I was a kid, I used to love when my mother would read my sister and I stories. How these tales captured my imagination. I would sometimes picture myself in that story, usually as the hero, of course.   But there were other more personal, real life stories that I remember as part of growing up. My Dad used to tell us stories of his youth, later to his regret sometimes, especially when I bought my first motor cycle and answered his concerns with “Well, YOU had one!” My grandparents, uncles, aunts and other family members had their stories too, and they remain as a legacy of who these people were and what they meant to me in my life.   My grandfather fought in the First World War, and would regale us with tales of his exploits, especially the time when he was wounded. We would groan when the same old anecdotes would be repeated time and again … although I have to say I now wish I had paid more attention, or had captured him telling his story on a video or recorder. It is often with regret, all these years after his death that we realize …

  I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I just don’t have the will power. Besides, the moment you “blow it”, (which is usually by January 2nd) you give up on your resolutions, and slip back into more of the “same old, same old.” I prefer to set GOALS. Things I want to accomplish in 2018. Goals are something you can keep working towards. For many people, this past year may have brought many changes. Sometimes after a loss, the way people see everything in their world changes. At times we may even regard OURSELVES differently. But we have to be careful. Not too long ago, I was having trouble with my eyes. I just couldn’t seem to focus on the print in the newspaper, and everything seemed just a little foggy. I made an appointment with my ophthalmologist, who checked my eyes and pronounced that all was well. When I told him about my problem, he took my glasses, examined the lenses through a light, squirted some liquid from a spray bottle, and cleaned them with a tissue. Then he put the glasses back on my face. WOW, everything looked so CLEAR! You see trouble wasn’t with my eyes or …

Remember the mournful cry of the old song , “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth?”   If I were to ask you all you want for Christmas this year, I think I know what it would be. All I wanted for Christmas 1983 was my wife back, for life to be back to normal, or for things to be the way they were the last Christmas before she died.   Perhaps you can understand those feelings. After losing someone we care about, it does NOT feel like “The most wonderful time of the year”. Oh, it’s more than the usual “bah humbug!” stuff.  This year Christmas is going to be different for you, yet the world doesn’t seem to notice or care. A myriad of Christmas images still flood your senses: chestnuts roasting on an open fire; sleigh bells in the snow; stockings on the mantle awaiting Santa’s visit. “’Tis the season to be jolly”, they say …  but you feel anything BUT jolly.   In fact, this year the Christmas bells may have a different ring for you. Circumstances have meant a significant change in your life. Perhaps someone you care about has died. There …

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