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.
*Names changed for privacy