Grief is…finding gifts in amongst the pain

October 30, 20232 min read

Grief is…finding gifts in amongst the pain

Shortly after Ben died, his friend K did a GoFundMe in his honour as a way to get through her birthday. There was an unexpected gift that came from her setting this up. At my work, people often posted things on the bulletin board for various things they were fundraising for. When the GoFundMe started I asked our office coordinator if, since so many of us were working from home and not allowed into the office kitchen, she could distribute it somehow for me. She said sure so I wrote something up for her to share. She sent it to the whole of our crew. Many more people than would have seen it on the office kitchen bulletin board. That was a huge gift to me. It meant that everyone I would encounter at work already knew what had happened. It lessened the amount of telling I would have to do…and the telling remains one of the hardest parts. The GoFundMe wildly exceeded our imagining which was another gift. Everything that happened around the GoFundMe helped me pivot to trying to maintain my gratitude through the darkest days. 


Nov 18, 20


We tried to find everyone we could but I'm sure we missed some and some people donated anonymously. For those that we missed here's our message:

We wanted to reach out to all of you to thank you for your donation to the GoFundMe in memory of Ben. We were so touched when Ben’s good friend set it up and were overwhelmed with the support it received. In the darkest days, we got so much comfort from watching the number rise and seeing that people cared about us and him and mental health. So many donations, at a time where so many people are dealing with financial insecurity and many have been out of work, really touched us.

The fundraiser far surpassed K’s original goal and there is enough that there will be a plaque in Ben’s name at CAMH in Toronto which is just amazing. In times to come, when Kathleen returns there she will be comforted by having a place to visit which memorializes him.

We hope in sharing our story it helps people see the reality of mental health issues. We need to think about mental health as a health issue like diabetes or cancer. We must end the stigmas so people can access the help they need when they need it. We need more funding so services are available and we need better medication so people can manage their symptoms.

In this moment where there is so much fear, we need more love. That’s how we can make a difference. As you go forward in the world be a light bearer and share love.

Thank you so much for your support. It means the world to us.

With love, light and hope,

Suzanne and Kathleen

Back to Blog



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