Past SSN Speakers

Here is a list of our previous speakers for our Monthly Support and Share Nights and the topics they spoke about.  Click on the name and topic to open up a drop down box with a brief summary of their talk.  Please remember, Support and Share Night is held the first Tuesday of every month, and the night begins with our speakers.

June 2018 - Catherine Paris with 'One Foot in Front of the Other'
Catherine is a retired teacher, a Bereaved Families Facilitator, and the founder of our weekly support and share walks.   She is speaking about the healing power of walking in grief, and shares her experiences through the multiple losses in her life, including the loss of her brother through MAID (Medical Assistance in Dying).

May 2018 - Jane Davey-Keogh with 'Grief is Universal - Grief is Unique'
Jane is a bereaved parent and grief support group facilitator with Bereaved Families of Ontario-Ottawa Region. Grief is Universal because we share common grief experiences with others who are grieving…experiences such as sadness, anger, loneliness, relationship changes and struggles with holidays.Yet Grief is Unique because processing these experiences is as individual as we are. What makes your grief unique to you?

April 2018 - Ian Henderson with 'What Grief Is... and Isn't'
Ian gives a fireside chat about grief suitable for both the new and ‘experienced’ griever, with advice on allowing grief to unfold in its natural process. We say natural, because grief is a very natural reaction to losing someone we love. His topic focuses on how grief affects us, and some key factors that will influence your personal grief journey.

March 2018 - Heinrich Teworte with 'Parents, Kids, and Onions'
After losing his second parent, mother thirty years after father, Heinrich found himself thinking about his parents. A lot. Families can be tricky structures and grieving a parent can get complicated by the specific parent-child relationship. Heinrich describes some grieving skills learned at BFO after his wife had passed away that were essential to his healing. What worked, what didn’t, and how a child can simplify an adult’s grief journey.

February 2018 - Mike Fry with 'Where Am I Now?'
Mike sought the support of Bereaved Families after the death of his wife, Karen. He refers to Bereaved Families grief groups as his ‘circle of support’. With “Where Am I Now?’ Mike describes his ‘journey back to life’ with many of the common sentiments and feelings a grieving person will experience relating to loss, working through grief, and getting back to finding joy and happiness.

January 2018 - Jane Davey with 'New Years Resolutions for Grievers'
As the clock ticks forward into 2018, we all want to move forward in our grief. Bereaved Families will offer 13 simple resolutions to incorporate into your 2018 life, resolutions we hope will be easy for you to keep throughout your bereavement process. We each grieve differently from each other, and some resolutions might resonate with you more than others.

December 2017 - Ian Henderson with 'Surviving the Holidays, Part II'
Ian goes further into the coping strategies for navigating the constant reminders of celebrations, traditions, and knowing that spending time with family and friends will no longer be the same, with the second part of ‘Surviving the Holidays’.

November 2017 - Ian Henderson with 'Surviving the Holidays, Part I'
Ian is a bereavement educator and coach who has helped many through their grieving process. The holidays can be anything but Merry for those who are grieving the death of a loved one. There are constant reminders of celebrations, traditions, and knowing that spending time with family and friends will no longer be the same. ‘Surviving the Holidays’ helps navigate us through the holiday emotions, surviving celebrations and how to handle traditions, by offering coping tips and techniques to make this difficult season a little easier.

October 2017 - Caprice Barre with 'What Just Happened'
In an instant, our lives can be forever changed with the unexpected death of our loved one. One day, Caprice is a happily married young wife and mother whose expecting a future filled with togetherness. The next day, Caprice is a widow, the sole family breadwinner and a single mom to 3 children, the youngest being 9 weeks old. Caprice speaks about her grief and how she came to terms with what just happened. Caprice is currently a teacher and a past participant in our Bereaved Families loss of spouse 10 week group.

September 2017 - Janet Leroy with 'No Longer in Hiding'
Janet grew up in a family that suffered a hidden loss from suicide, and this interfered with a healthy family interaction.  ‘No Longer in Hiding’ is Janet’s story about the need for disclosure and support regarding this loss.  Disenfranchised grief occurs when a person’s death is undermined by social attitudes and beliefs, as it is deemed taboo to speak to others about the loss. At a time when support is needed, the bereaved face isolation and judgement in these circumstances.  Janet reveals how talking about the family secret, a suicide death, has allowed her to live a fuller, healthier life.  She is grateful for the opportunities the Support and Share programs here at BFO offer, as they have provided Janet with a safe place to speak about her issues surrounding her disenfranchised grief.

August 2017 - Heinrich Teworte with 'A Message on a T-Shirt'
Heinrich is a retired professional engineer and is currently completing his facilitator training with Bereaved Families. He will be wearing a commemorative t-shirt as he talks about how his world imploded when he suddenly lost his wife of 24 years. We will hear how he survived the initial shock, the challenges of dealing with his children and extended family, his work, and even his changing self. We will hear how Heinrich’s “we” turned into a “me”, and how this “me” was changed throughout his grief journey. He will tell us what resources helped him through the immediate aftermath of his loss, and how his vague feelings of hope solidified over time. Finally, he will explain how the Bereaved Families 10-week closed group helped him pull together the fragmented pieces of himself and bring him to a place of healing and growth.

July 2017 - Ian Henderson with 'What Grief Is... And Isn't'
Ian is a grief educator and facilitator who has helped many through their grieving journey. His topic is a basic introduction to grief suitable for both the new and ‘experienced’ griever. Ian will give us a better understanding of grief and its natural process. We say natural, because grief is a very natural reaction to losing someone we love. His topic focuses on how grief affects us, and some key factors that will influence your personal grief journey.

June 2017 - Gail Christy with 'Getting Through the Summer'
Holidays, celebrations and occasions are a part of summer. These can be a challenge when one is grieving. Come listen to Gail as she gives us tips, tricks and ideas for how to get through the summer.

May 2017 - Kylie Shibli with 'Disenfranchised Grief'
Disenfranchised grief is likely something each bereaved person, at some point during their grief, will encounter.  It is a term describing an aspect of the loss that is not openly acknowledged by society.  That what is lost is considered socially unacceptable, not important, embarrassing or stigmatizing.  Even widely recognized forms of grief can become disenfranchised when well-meaning people discount the impact of the loss on the bereaved or the length of time it takes to grieve.  This results in the bereaved feeling uncomfortable opening up and sharing their grief with others.

April 2017 - Barbara Duncan with 'Surviving Grief'
When we lose a loved one, we feel our life as we know it, is over.  We feel we will never “get over it”.  We feel as if we are no longer living…just existing.  And we survive by living one day at a time.  Through her story of loss, Barb is here to give us hope that no matter how difficult our journey or how much we struggle, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we do survive our grief.  We survive our grief in our own time and in our own way that is unique to each of us.

March 2017 - Laurie Rail with 'Closure'
For those of us experiencing intense grief, we can’t wait to reach ‘closure’ because the word implies that our grief is over/done/finished/complete.  It implies we are all better and this is the end of a bad chapter of our lives.  How wonderful that sounds.  But what exactly is ‘closure’?  And does closure exist for those who have experienced a life altering loss?

February 2017 - Ian Henderson with 'The Mourner's Bill of Rights'
The Bill of Rights is a list intended to assist a person in grief.  What do you need to do for yourself in order to feel comfortable in your grief, when around others?  What do others, who want to help you in your grief, need to know about you?