top of page


We are the bereaved helping the bereaved learn to live with grief.

We empower grieving individuals and families by providing inclusive mutual support programs, fostering hope and healing, and educating the public to help reduce the stigma surrounding grief and bereavement.


We want to acknowledge the land on which we gather, and where the Centre for Grief and Healing (BFO-H/P) operates. This land has been and is still inhabited by many Indigenous Peoples since the last Ice Age which was 13,000 years ago. In particular, we acknowledge the territory of the Anishinabek-Ojibway/Chippewa, Huron-Wendat, and Haudenosaunee peoples. The land that is home to the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit people. We are grateful to now be on the land that is the land of Indigenous Peoples since time began.

The land we are presently on is under the stewardship of the Mississaugas of the Credit, who are the signatories of the treaty and holders of the area. We recognize that the land we are on was taken away through colonization, oppression, and expropriation. In the hopes for a better future and building relationships, we recognize, require, and honour what is in the truth and reconciliation report and the calls to action. We acknowledge and are grateful for having the privilege of being where we are, for this land, and for the Indigenous Peoples who have and continue to inhabit this land. 

This Land Acknowledgment was created in collaboration with Indigenous Elder, Cat Criger. 


In 1977, John McKibbon, part of the chaplaincy department of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, whose own daughter had died of leukemia, initiated a parental bereavement support program endorsed by the hospital’s chaplain, Hugh Gemmell. 

Margaret Darte, Marilyn Lee, Diane Oakes Foster and Irene Clarfield, participants in this program then became involved in the development of a bereavement support program now known as Bereaved Families of Ontario (BFO). 


To provide inclusive mutual support, improved awareness and education about grief, that fosters hope, healing and improved health and wellness outcomes in the Halton-Peel community.


To be the recognized leader in the Halton-Peel Community in support of grief and healing.


We believe everyone has

inherent dignity and worth


We believe everyone

individual is the expert of their

own life


We believe everyone has the

right to self-determination


We believe in mutual support


We believe in compassion and



We believe in understanding

and acceptance


We believe in diversity


We believe in building healthy


Our Founder.jpg

After the death of her daughter Madeleine, Margaret Darte, along with four other bereaved mothers, co-founded Bereaved Families of Ontario through the Hospital for Sick Children. 

In 1989, Bereaved Families of Ontario - Halton / Peel became a Registered Charity committed to supporting grieving individuals and families.

We are one of eleven affiliates located throughout Ontario, all with strong community spirit that mirrors the commitment made by volunteers and staff. BFO programs are facilitated by trained volunteers who are themselves bereaved. 

For more information about BFO Provincial or any of the affiliate chapters, please click here


"This organization helped save my life. They are dedicated and caring."

~Mixed Loss Group Participant

"A good way to know that whatever you are going through can be healed or that it has a solution."

~Child Loss Group Participant

"Enjoy coming to these meetings, sharing and listening to others share their experiences, and learning how they deal."

~Mixed Loss Group Participant

bottom of page