Grief is…remembering lessons

October 30, 20232 min read

Grief is…remembering lessons

Halloween was the first holiday after Ben’s death we had to navigate. Halloween had always been a bit tricky for Ben. The candy was awesome, of course, but going around the neighbourhood was never his favourite thing. He always had super creative costumes because he was a super creative kid. The last time he trick or treated he was the ocean. He was dressed all in blue including face paint and we had found fish hats which he had on his hands so they could swim around. People kept asking him, “What are you supposed to be?” which was so hurtful. He never trick or treated again. Instead, we bought his candy and he often answered the door. One year we had an epic jack o lantern which is what I chose to write about:

Oct 31, 20

I’ve been thinking about this all week and wondering if I had a picture. This is a perfect example of life with Ben. He’d learned somewhere about this extreme jack-o-lantern so we did it. If you want to try, choose a very safe place. Soak a toilet paper roll in kerosene for a few hours and stick it in the carved pumpkin. Light it. Flames shot to the sky about 5 feet and burned for a couple hours in the centre of our driveway. We had to greet trick or treaters at the end of the driveway as they were scared to walk up to the door. Lesson learned...when you find something cool you want to try, do. Sometimes it’s exactly as awesome as you think it will be. 

I learned so much from the way Ben was treated in the world. If everyone who encountered him that night had said, “Cool costume!” I wonder what a difference that would have made for him going forward. Instead of being othered and feeling misunderstood and different, perhaps he would have felt accepted. Let’s do what we can do to help people feel accepted. 

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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