About Centre for Living with Dying
Valle Monte League has supported The Centre for Living with Dying since 1972. The Centre for Living with Dying program provides emotional support to adults and children facing life-threatening illness or the trauma of having a loved one die. The Centre also provides crisis intervention services and broad-based educational programs on grief and loss. Whether clients choose individual counseling or grief groups, they are gently given tools for coping with loss and trauma. Individual and small group grief support is available for adults, children, teens and families.
Healing Heart Program
The Healing Heart Program, a special grief program offered by the Centre for Living with Dying, is a resource where families and youth can connect in life-altering times of grief and loss. The program offers grief groups for youth ages 5-17, as well as parent/caregiver groups to assist adults supporting children through the grieving process.
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Making a Difference
Lisa* and her children Olivia* and Blake* came to the Healing Hearts program at the Centre for Living With Dying after her husband died in a traumatic accident. Lisa witnessed her husband’s death and was both traumatized and suffering from profound survivor’s guilt. She was unable to sleep at night as she replayed her husband’s death in her mind each night. She did not share the details of their father’s death with her children (a teen and a child). Lisa was in such pain that Olivia and Blake felt emotionally shut off from her and unable to talk about the loss of their dad.
Each of the three went to a specific Healing Hearts programs:
Facilitators in the adult program helped Lisa to express her memories, feelings, regrets and forgive herself. They guided her in allowing her children to express their grief.
Facilitators for the Teen program supported Olivia in determining how she wanted to communicate her needs to her mom. By the close of the program, mother and daughter were connecting with each other again. Olivia made a friend in the group and they deeply supported each other.
Blake had a lot of energy! His group engaged in activities to help them express their grief: making memory boxes, and memorial candles with images of activities that he had done with his dad and connecting with other children about the experience of loss and grief.
At the end of the Healing Hearts program, the Lisa was able to sleep and found things to reconnect with that were still good in her life. Most important Lisa, Olivia and Blake reconnected with each other.
*Name changed for privacy*