Grief is... Telling People

Grief is... Telling People

October 30, 20232 min read

Grief is…..telling people

In the early hours of Sept 27, 2020 I got the middle of the night call every parent dreads. I was in Whistler with my daughter and got a call from the police to inform me that my son had committed suicide. I then had to do the hardest thing of my life – I had to go to the other bedroom, wake my daughter and tell her that her best friend was gone. And then I had to phone my son’s dad to tell him. And I learned that to tell people would be absolutely gutting. Somehow, we managed to pack our bags and drive home. An amazing friend of Ben’s met us at the condo so we wouldn’t come to an empty home. What a gift that was. We learned a little about what had happened and talked a little about how to proceed.  We lay down to try and get some sleep which for me was impossible. When we got up, I made some more calls, to people we wanted to hear the news from us. We knew we would have to use social media to more widely share the terrible news. I knew we could craft one thoughtfully worded message and then we would need to use it to let people know. Here is the message I posted that day with the pictures that accompanied it:

 I write this with a heavy heart and hope you’ll sit to read it. 

 Ben died on his own terms early Sunday morning. I feel so blessed to have had him for 23 years and of course want more. To honour his dislike of memorials we are not planning one. We will never forget him. 

 Please let his passing inspire you to kindness. The world isn’t very kind to people who are different. And depression is real. When you buy something fancy that makes you feel like a million bucks think of him and wear it lots. He’d approve. 

 We’re just trying to breath but appreciate all your support even if we don’t reply right away. 

Please share the news with folks you think should know. 

Telling people what happened is still something I dread. It’s remains very hard. There is no easy way to tell people, regardless of their relationship to me or whether they knew Ben. It’s absolutely awful and is something I will have to continue to do for the rest of my life. I will always be the mother of two. The mother of a son who died. I’m learning to live with that. 

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Through her insightful teachings and thoughtfully designed programs, Suzanne offers a path guided by emotional intelligence and real life experience to address the full spectrum of the complex emotions and consequences of grief while expanding the capacity to engage fully with life post loss. Her heartfelt approach also honours the depth of loss through the invaluable practice of cherishing and expressing love for what has been lost and experienced.

Bonnie Lynn

Business Owner/Consultant


In a recent peer meeting, I shared the statistics you provided regarding the number of co-workers that are dealing with grief at any given time. We committed to not only acknowledging the grief but also to providing sustained support.

Kay McBreairty

Program Manager