Archive for April, 2018

Dear Compassionate Friend:

The tragic bus and semi-trailer collision in Saskatchewan that resulted in the deaths of 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos hockey club and left 13 others critically or seriously injured sent a shockwave across the country. A modest GoFundMe campaign initially aimed at covering travel expenses has raised over $8 million that will require professional management. This outpouring of grief and support for the families from the international hockey community shows that “they need not walk alone” as they slowly begin to rebuild their lives around their loss. Members of The Compassionate Friends know from direct experience that they face a long and painful journey and we offer our understanding and support.

The leaders of the TCF Saskatoon Chapter attended the vigil last Sunday to begin the outreach process. The Board of TCF Canada is presently considering other actions to make the community and each family aware of the support that TCF offers. If you have any suggestions or would like to help directly, please reply to this e-mail or visit the TCF Canada Facebook page.

Please read on for information about some upcoming local events: Annual General Meeting, Balloon Release, Bereavement Conference, and Summer Social. We hope that you will join us.

  1. Sharing Circles – every 3rd Tuesday

Regrettably, our March Circle had to be cancelled as our room booking was cancelled in error by staff at The Old Forge. We have been in contact with them and emphasised the importance of these meetings to parents who are suffering the loss of a child. In this particular situation, several parents had made the effort to attend their first Circle but were unable to do so. If you were one of those, or you know who they were, we strongly encourage you and them to come to the meeting next Tuesday, April 17th.

In our 19 years of operation (since May 1999), this is only the second time that our monthly Sharing Circle was cancelled. The first was in February 2016 when The Olde Forge had to close due to burst pipes.

  1. Annual General Meeting – Tuesday, June 5th

We invite you join us for our 19th Annual General Meeting at 6:30 pm at The Olde Forge. This is an opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes in our Chapter and also to learn how you can contribute your time and talents to helping others on their grief journey. We follow an informal round-table format with lots of time for discussion.

  1. Bereavement Conference – Saturday June 9th

Registration is now open for the Healing Broken Hearts Conference organised by Ottawa parent Sue Kavanagh. The attached flyer includes contact information and a link to the conference website with program details.

  1. Balloon Release – Saturday June 23rd

This annual event now organized by CHEO will be held on the grounds of Ronald McDonald House starting at 2pm followed by the release of butterflies in The Butterfly Garden. This brief but moving ceremony includes music by the Canterbury Chorus and is open to all parents, families and friends suffering the loss of a child.

  1. The Butterfly Garden at CHEO

It was with great sadness that we learned last month of the passing of Elaine Routledge, the master gardener who has overseen the rejuvenation of the garden since 2014. Since initiating the Butterfly Garden project in 2002, our small group of TCF volunteers has looked after its upkeep and maintenance. More recently, under Elaine’s guidance and with on-going donations through the CHEO Foundation, the Garden has undergone a major overhaul to ensure its long-term sustainability. It is now an established resource in daily use by patients, families and staff from both CHEO and the General. Eileen and I continue to represent TCF Ottawa at the Butterfly Garden Committee planning meetings.

We were also sorry to hear of the retirement of Gerardo Quintanar, Spiritual Support Director at CHEO. Gerardo has been an ardent promoter and supporter of the Garden within CHEO and a key player in the renovation project. Eileen and I attended Gerardo’s retirement presentation on behalf of TCF Ottawa.

  1. Summer Social – Saturday, July 7th

Mark your calendar for our annual Summer Social, a casual, pot-luck style dinner hosted by Eileen and Andy. More details nearer the date.

  1. Website / Newsletters / National Facebook Page

Our Chapter website ( contains many useful resources and materials, including newsletters from other Chapters and from TCF Canada. The Spring newsletters in particular contain many timely informative and inspirational readings.

TCF Canada maintains a closed Facebook group where bereaved parents across the country can post and share their stories and other information. To join the group, log into Facebook and look for “The Compassionate Friends of Canada”. Answer a couple of questions to be accepted by the Moderator.

  1. Unsubscribe

If you would prefer not to receive these occasional updates, please reply to this e-mail and I will remove you from our mailing list.

Best wishes,

Andy Bond
Kevin’s Dad
The Compassionate Friends, Ottawa Chapter

E-mail: tcfottawa

HealingBrokenHearts Flyer_04 07 18.pdf

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