Who we are

About BFO Ottawa

We have been operating in Ottawa since 1978, when two mothers came together through their common experience of losing a child. 

Today our expert facilitators run about 120 peer support groups each year, attended by more than 2000 participants. We help and support people in our community who are dealing with grief that stems from many different types of losses:

  • loss of child
  • loss of spouse
  • loss of parent/other
  • loss of sibling/friend
  • perinatal loss (miscarriage, stillbirth, infant)
  • for youth (grades 7-12)
  • for francophones 
  • by suicide
  • by substance use 
  • by Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID)


We are a volunteer-run organization made up of people in Ottawa who have each experienced our own grief, and who have decided to share our courage and knowledge with others. 

Expert Facilitators

Our trained facilitators have experienced their own losses. They offer peer support through our different weekly and monthly support and share programs throughout the year.  


We are growing as an organization, as more people continue to seek out our support  and as more people participate in our memorial events. 

Our Team

Margaret Lorrie Beaton_Photo
Margaret Lorrie Beaton, MA(Counseling Psychology), C.Hyp™, R.P. (Q)
Program Director

Lorrie first became involved with BFO Ottawa in 2009, following the loss of several family members, which started her own personal grief journey. Her goal in working with BFO Ottawa is to support others by fostering a collaborative professional relationship that creates a safe environment for positive wellness, change, transformation and healing.

Jane Davey

Jane has been involved with BFO Ottawa since 2004 following the death of her daughter Emily. She now pays it forward through helping others. She is a grief support facilitator, and was previously program director and a Board member. 

Jane retired as a financial analyst after spending her career at Calian and The Ottawa MacDonald Cartier International Airport Authority.

Lisa Vadeboncoeur
Office Administrator

Lisa provides bilingual administrative assistance. She is an experienced grief facilitator, often working with people who have lost a sibling, friend, parent or relative. She has many years of work experience in health care and  with community centres.  She is passionate about supporting others who have lost a loved one.  She also supports community food programs, the arts and mental health initiatives. 

Antoine Babinsky
Board of Directors

Antoine joined our Board in 2019. He is a trained facilitator. His involvement is helping BFO Ottawa offer bereavement support services in French. He enjoyed a long and successful career with the RCMP. Following the sudden loss of his oldest son, Michaël, at age 23, BFO Ottawa gave Antoine the hope and support he needed to deal with the pain of grieving. He volunteers with BFO Ottawa  because he believes we can make a difference in the lives of people who have lost a loved one. 

Doug Cargo
Board of Directors

Doug has been with BFO Ottawa since he lost his wife to liver cancer in 2004; first as a participant and then as a facilitator. He joined the Board of Directors in 2010 and has held various positions on the Board since then. Today he coordinates liaison with BFO’s provincial office and provides guidance to other Board members.  Doug retired from the Canadian Forces after a 37-year career. He happily remarried in 2013. 

Elaine Dean
Co-Chair, Board of Directors

Elaine joined our Board in 2019. She  looks after our communications, marketing and brand portfolio. She volunteers her time with BFO Ottawa in honour of her son Christopher Dean Moran, who she continues to hold close in her heart.  It is her desire to help others who have also lost someone they love deeply. 

Michel Desloges
Board of Directors

Michel is a retired diplomat with 35 years service at Global Affairs Canada. He joined our Board in 2020 to help others as he was helped. He previously participated in a closed group after the loss of his daughter Annemarie in a terrorist attack. He provides bilingual and other support to the organization.

Barb Hayduk
Co-Chair, Board of Directors

Barb is a facilitator and trainer who joined our Board in 2018.  She looks after our human resources portfolio.  She understands the value of grief peer support because she benefited from BFO Ottawa services after the loss of her 25-year-old son Chris in 2012. His death coincided with Barb’s retirement from the RCMP after 32 years of service. It is her wish to be able to help others as she herself has been helped.

Sean O'Brien
Board of Directors

Sean looks after business and financial planning on our behalf. Recently retired from a successful career with Bell, Sean joined the BFO Ottawa board in 2019 to support the organization that  helped his family heal after the loss of their 20-year-old son in 2014.

Daniel Read
Board of Directors

Daniel has been involved with BFO Ottawa since 2015 following the loss of his father. He is a trained facilitator who supports youth, children and adults. Daniel joined our Board in July 2020 to help with fundraising and communications. He has been involved in various community initiatives over the past few years, advocating for individuals with disabilities as well as underserved populations.  

We are extremely grateful to our many volunteers

Without them, we simply would not be able to offer the quality of services we do

BFO Ottawa is made up of a community of people who have been brought together by loss and love. Volunteering provides an opportunity to connect with others who understand life-changing loss and is a beautiful way to honour the legacy of a lost loved one.

Our Volunteers

Clodelle Abdo

Manii Aponte

Greg Atkinson

Leah Bell

Dina Bell-Laroche 

Jan Casselman

Susan Clarke 

Cathy Crepin

Gail Christy

Anne DeButte

Madeleine Desloges

Carl Dowsett

Barb Duncan

Kathryn Dunlop

Karen Gardner 

Lisa Glavin

Linda Goldberg

Kathryn Harper

Mary Ellen Henniger

Rita Jackson

Lynne Lajoie

Lorraine Lefebvre

Sue Lefebvre

Micheline Lepage 

Allene Lewis 

Tara MacMaster


Barrie Marfleet

Mary McQuillan 

Samantha Medaglia

Paula Naponse

Catherine Paris

Nathalie Pickell

Andrea Purcell

Marion Rattray 

Rebecca Ross 

Jadzia Romaniec

Hilda Sabadash

Vanessa Scott

Donna Sharkey 

Barbara Simpson 

Andrea Solman

Randy Sorenson

Andrea Steinwand

Gillian Sullivan

Heinrich Teworte

Christine Tomlinson 

Cathy Trebinskie

Donna Troop 

Joey Ward  

Lianne Zitzelsberger

Our friends

About Bereaved Families of Ontario

BFO Ottawa is part of a provincial network of local charities that make up Bereaved Families of Ontario. 


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