OUR VOLUNTEERS MATTER

As a peer-to-peer based organization, our volunteers are critical to our organizational success. We rely heavily on their lived experience and their unique loss-specific perspectives to help facilitate our groups and services. Read how some of our volunteers feel about their journey from participant to program support.  

 

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT

WHAT OUR VOLUNTEERS ARE SAYING

I think anyone who has suffered through grief understands the difficulty in navigating the journey. The road winds and curves with multiple delays, and there is no Google Maps to provide directions. For the country lanes, well past dusk, where darkness seems to swallow HI beams. I wanted to be part of an organization which provides light to those lost in loss.

 

Aside from the kind souls with whom I am blessed to associate, there are two aspects of volunteering with the Centre for Grief & Healing that I particularly favour. The first is the opportunity to help another by drawing upon my own experiences with loss. From pain to purpose. The silver lining of grief, I like to say. It is a beautiful way to transmigrate what was once no more than memory. The second is the connection and community unlike what we regularly encounter. The sense of commonality, a collective support for those whom know what it is like. It is wonderful to witness (when we see we are not alone).

   

To understand each story of grief is unique. The journey is independent. There will be times your heart will break as you hear each tale unfold. It is a humanity for which it is difficult to prepare. To watch another suffer... But most rewarding are those moments, when our souls are shared.

—  Mark, Facilitator and Events Committee Member

WHAT OUR VOLUNTEERS ARE SAYING

I think anyone who has suffered through grief understands the difficulty in navigating the journey. The road winds and curves with multiple delays, and there is no Google Maps to provide directions. For the country lanes, well past dusk, where darkness seems to swallow HI beams. I wanted to be part of an organization which provides light to those lost in loss.

 

Aside from the kind souls with whom I am blessed to associate, there are two aspects of volunteering with the Centre for Grief & Healing that I particularly favour. The first is the opportunity to help another by drawing upon my own experiences with loss. From pain to purpose. The silver lining of grief, I like to say. It is a beautiful way to transmigrate what was once no more than memory. The second is the connection and community unlike what we regularly encounter. The sense of commonality, a collective support for those whom know what it is like. It is wonderful to witness (when we see we are not alone).

   

To understand each story of grief is unique. The journey is independent. There will be times your heart will break as you hear each tale unfold. It is a humanity for which it is difficult to prepare. To watch another suffer... But most rewarding are those moments, when our souls are shared.

—  Mark, Facilitator and Events Committee Member

SPECIAL ADDITIONS FROM OUR VOLUNTEERS

POETRY WRITTEN AND SHARED BY MARK MATEJA, VOLUNTEER AROUND HIS PERSONAL EXPERIENCES OF GRIEF

"Holiday Hope"

 

Souring sugarplums.

Candy cane cell.

Moonlight stripes

shackle the sunrise 

in eternal silhouette. 

Hangs in the horizon with care.

 

Stockings are stuffed  

with sympathetic suggestion.

Inside this box

without any ribbon. 

The present is lost in an attic.

 

Regifted fruitcakes.

Amity stale.

Winter warmth exhales 

onto memory panes.

 

Fingerprints 

frosted opaque

by the breathless cyclical chill. 

 

Starless snowdrifts.

Buried footsteps.

The sound of silent carols.

 

They sing angel dawn. 

Merry mourning.

Happy trigger warnings. 

Tis the season for magnification. 

 

Tis the season, but never a new year. 

Can this just be another day?

To be alone in my loneliness. 

 

I miss her like I miss Christmas. 

Hollow as an ornament. 

Sharp as the point of an icicle. 

These holidays I hope to get through. 

 

The only gift you could never give. 

 

 

"Hope is This Holiday"

 

We will put dinner on in the morning. 

There will be too many leftovers. 

Set stockings by the fireplace.

One will be left empty. 

There will be fewer presents, 

but we will think of Christmas' past. 

We can warm our hearts 

where these embers burn forever. 

There will be an extra seat at the table 

we do not see as vacant. 

New traditions bring us closer.

They do not ask us to let go. 

We will memorialize grief

in venerable endeavour. 

Hope is this holiday 

we get to remember. 

 

 

Grief is a difficult journey, maybe even moreso at this time of year. When Christmas becomes your trigger, how do you get through December? As my own began on the twenty fifth, to be annually repeated, helping others navigate this season is something I hold dear. Grief is individualistic. A wish in sharing my peregrination is perchase an illustration of the hope still in this holiday. 

Copyright © 2020 [MARK MATEJA]. All Rights Reserved.

ABOUT US

The Centre for Grief & Healing

Bereaved Families of Ontario - Halton/Peel is a registered non-profit charitable organization offering compassion and care for individuals dealing with the death of a loved one.  

Registered Charity #118803667RR0001

CONTACT

T: 905-848-4337

 

A: 33 City Centre Drive

Suite 610

Mississauga, ON L5B 2N5

 

E: info@bereavedfamilies.ca

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Thank you to our generous funders for supporting us:

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Bereaved Families of Ontario - Halton / Peel