From BFO Ottawa Community

Always With Me: Parents Talk About the Death of a Child

Edited by Donna McCart Sharkey, BFO Ottawa loss of child group facilitator and participant.

Chapters written by many others from BFO Ottawa who have lost a child.

How does a parent cope after the death of a child? Each essay in Always With Me: Parents Talk about the Death of a Child reveals the experiences of parents who have lived through the devastation and upheaval of their child’s death. Parents describe the maelstrom they face in their inner landscapes, coping strategies, and realigned place in the world. The writers in this collection of stories take on such topics as shock and isolation, despair, guilt, and how they attempt to make sense of their shattered lives. They offer insights into how their grief and loss are worked through, and why certain personal connections are severed, others strengthened. Importantly, they describe how, with lives altered indelibly, they try to press forward to find a new place in the world.

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Always With Me
Surviving My First Year of Child Loss

Surviving My First Year of Child Loss

Essay written by Samantha Medaglia, BFO Ottawa perinatal loss group facilitator.

The death of a baby, whether through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal loss, or the death of an older child, is the worst experience a parent can endure.

This book by Nathalie Himmelrich includes 26 heart-wrenchingly honest essays by parents who convey their personal challenges and the ways they coped during the first twelve months after losing their children.

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The Little Black Funeral Dress: Five Things I Wish I Had Known About Grief

Written by Jennifer Thiessen, BFO Ottawa 2021 guest speaker.

It's not if, but when. Those who love will also grieve. To our detriment, society would rather sanitize or skip over the topic of grief. Twelve days after her son's wedding, Shirley Thiessen was thrown into the unimaginable task of planning his funeral. Grief threatened to extinguish her purpose for living. Gradually, hope and resiliency emerged as Shirley learned to recycle the pain of loss for good purposes. While everyone's grief journey is unique, there are tips to be shared and missteps to avoid.

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The little Black Funeral Dress
Falling Together

Falling Together: a Family’s Story of Mental Illness and Grief

Written by Donna McCart Sharkey, BFO Ottawa loss of child group participant and facilitator.

The author anticipated building an ordinary family. And that’s what happened. But mental illness and grief also happened, undermining the security of home and changing the familial experience from ordinary to extraordinary. A hard story to live, a hard story to read, this book describes the day-to-day life in a family navigating their increasingly fraught lives. A must-read for any family who has experienced this and a must-read for anyone wanting to know about this.

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A Culture of Caring: A Suicide Prevention Guide for Schools (K-12)

Written by Theodora Schiro, BFO Ottawa 2021 guest speaker.

As awareness grows about the alarming increase in youth suicide rates, school leaders need information on suicide prevention and postvention. Tragically, the search often begins only after the school community has suffered the loss of a student. Schools must start to be proactive and educate themselves about risk factors and prevention strategies.

This book includes information about prevention, intervention and postvention, along with commentary from experts in the field. School leaders, counselors, and teachers can use the information to create their own plans or just glance through it to get ideas. With this book, any school community that takes suicide prevention seriously will have access the knowledge, tools and resources to save lives.

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