Dear Compassionate Friend:

As Spring finally seems to have decided to stay, here is a brief reminder of some local events coming in the next few weeks. We hope that you be able to join us.

  1. Annual General Meeting – Tuesday, June 5th

Our 19th AGM will be held at The Olde Forge on Tuesday June 5th starting at 6:30pm. This is not a Sharing Circle but an opportunity to see what goes on “behind the scenes” and find out how you may be able to contribute to our mission of helping bereaved parents. We use an interactive round-table format with lots of time for discussion. Please feel free to bring finger food to share.

  1. Healing Broken Hearts Bereavement Conference – Saturday, June 9th

For information or to register for this one-day conference at the RA Centre, please see the attached flyer, contact organizer Sue Kavanagh at healingbrokenheartsinfo, or visit www.picatic.com/HealingBrokenHearts.

  1. Balloon Release – Saturday, June 23rd

The Balloon Release will take place on the grounds of Ronald McDonald House (407 Smyth Road, just west of CHEO) on Saturday, June 23rd at 2:00pm. Please arrive by 1:45 to register for this brief and emotional celebration of those children who have left us too soon. Balloons will be provided and The Canterbury Chorus will once again provide a musical backdrop. We are hoping to release some butterflies in The Butterfly Garden following the ceremony.

  1. Summer Social – Saturday, July 8th

Eileen and will be hosting our Summer Social on Saturday, July 8th starting at 4:30pm. Mark your calendar – more details nearer the date.

  1. Sharing Circles – third Tuesday

Our regular Sharing Circles will continue at The Old Forge on the third Tuesday of every month. The next meetings are on May 15th and June 19th.

  1. Newsletters

The TCF Canada April newsletter, including an update to the Humboldt Broncos tragedy, is attached for your information. Several newsletters from other TCF Chapters are posted on our website (www.tcfottawa.net) and include a wide selection of poems, articles and other items of interest from and to bereaved parents. We encourage you to browse them and perhaps discover that someone has already put into words exactly how you are feeling.

  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

Website: http://www.tcfottawa.net
E-mail: tcfottawa@rogers.com

TCF Ntl nl April 25, 2018[1605].pdf

HealingBrokenHearts Flyer_04 07 18.pdf

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 (www.tcfottawa.net) 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

Website: www.tcfottawa.net
E-mail: tcfottawa

HealingBrokenHearts Flyer_04 07 18.pdf

Dear Compassionate Friend:

This e-mail includes an important reminder about the Mid-Winter Social and news of an upcoming Bereavement Conference.

Mid-Winter Social – Sunday, February 18th

Following a successful inaugural event last year, Julia and Kevin Page have offered to host a second Mid-Winter Social from 12 noon to 2pm on Sunday, February 18th at their home in Britannia. The format will be a pot-luck lunch, similar to our Summer Social, and is open to any parent, regardless of whether or not you have attended a Sharing Circle or other TCF activity. If you would like to attend (and we hope that you will), please reply to this e-mail for directions and to help planning.

Bereavement Conference – Saturday, June 9th

Ottawa parent Sue Kavanagh is planning a one-day Bereavement Conference on Saturday June 9th at the RA Centre. The planned topics include all losses not just the death of a child and registration details will be announced in the next few weeks. If you would like to make a presentation or give a workshop, the attached Call for Presentations should be returned to Sue by February 15th. (Note that the date is June 2018, not 2017 as stated on the form.)

Sharing Circles – every 3rd Tuesday

Our Sharing Circles continue on the 3rd Tuesday of every month. The next meetings are February 20th and March 20th.

National Newsletter

The January newsletter from TCF Canada is attached.

Best wishes,

Andy Bond
The Compassionate Friends, Ottawa Chapter
http://www.tcfottawa.net
Kevin’s Dad

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Call for Proposal_Healing Broken Hearts conference-FINAL.pdf

TCF Ntl newsletter January 2018.pdf

Dear Compassionate Friend:

With the turning of a calendar page, a New Year used to represent the chance of a new start, a fresh beginning full of hope, promise and even resolutions to make positive changes. For those grieving the loss of a child, it represents another milestone on the grief journey, as days become weeks, months and years without our loved ones. Although the number of milestones on each personal journey is unknown, we can believe that at some point, there will be more behind than ahead, and we will be able to look forward with hope rather than looking back with regret.

May this new year be your time to look forward again.

  1. Sharing Circles – every third Tuesday

Our Sharing Circles continue on the third Tuesday of every month from 7pm to 9pm at The Olde Forge Community Resource Centre, 2730 Carling Avenue (at Richmond Road). Our next meetings are on January 16th, February 20th, March 20th and April 17th. There are no fees to attend and no need to register in advance – please arrive a few minutes early to sign in. You can find directions and a map on our Chapter website www.tcfottawa.net.

  1. Mid-Winter Social – February 18th

Following a successful inaugural event last year, Julia and Kevin Page have offered to host a second Mid-Winter Social from 12 noon to 2pm on Sunday, February 18th at their home in Britannia. The format will be a pot-luck lunch, similar to our Summer Social, and is open to any parent, regardless of whether or not you have attended a Sharing Circle or other TCF activity. If you would like to attend (and we hope that you will), please reply to this e-mail for directions.

  1. Health Quality Ontario NIPT Survey

The attached notice regarding Non-invasive Pre-natal Testing (NIPT) may be of interest to parents who have experienced either pregnancy or infant loss. If this is relevant to your situation, please read the attachment and contact the HQO representative directly.

  1. National Newsletter

The attached December newsletter from the TCF Canada National Board includes the story of Vince Leitao of Toronto and “Jonathan’s Law”, which was recently passed by the Ontario Legislature to allow bereaved parents up to 104 weeks paid leave following the death of a child.

Similarly (but not in the newsletter), the passage of “Rowan’s Law” was the result of Gordon and Kathleen Stringer of Ottawa bringing to light the issue of concussion in youth sport, after the untimely death of their daughter Rowan.

These are some examples of how parents have turned the negative experience of their child’s death into a positive commemoration of their life. If you are considering what you might do to honour your child’s memory, remember that actions do not need a high public profile in order to have an impact, and that TCF does not participate in legislative or political activity.

  1. Website / Facebook

Our Chapter website (www.tcfottawa.net) contains additional information and resources, including our Chapter library and newsletters from other Chapters and the National Board. You can also read and post notices on our Facebook page – look for “The Compassionate Friends – Ottawa Chapter”.

We are currently looking for a Facebook host. If you are familiar with social media and have an interest in providing on-line support, please reply to this e-mail.

  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
The Compassionate Friends, Ottawa Chapter
http://www.tcfottawa.net
Kevin’s Dad

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NIPT Public Engagement.pdf

TCF Ntl n.l. December 2017.pdf

Dear Compassionate Friend:

A reminder that our 19th Annual Candle Lighting Celebration will take place next Sunday, December 10th at St Augustine’s Church Hall, 1060 Baseline Road (at Merivale). Parking is accessible from Baseline Road eastbound. Please use the entrance door on the east side of the building (away from the car dealership).

All parents, families and friends of children who have died from any cause, at any age, from infant to adult, are invited to attend a non-religious celebration of remembrance. Please bring a freestanding picture of your child/ren for the display table and arrive by 6:30pm for a prompt 7:00pm start. Candles will be provided and light refreshments will follow. There is no charge to attend.

The Worldwide Candle Lighting is held annually on the second Sunday in December. At 7:00pm in every time zone, candles are lighted in honour of all children who have died. As candles burn down in one time zone, they are lighted in the next, creating a 24-hour wave of light that encircles the globe … that their light may always shine.

We hope that you will be able to join us at this special event.

Note that our regular monthly Sharing Circle will be held on Tuesday, December 19th at The Olde Forge Community Resource Centre from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

Best wishes,

Andy Bond
The Compassionate Friends, Ottawa Chapter
http://www.tcfottawa.net
Kevin’s Dad

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Dear Compassionate Friend:

The clocks have changed, the days are shortening and winter is about to give us a taste of what we can expect for the next few months. We can have faith that it will only be for a limited time and that longer days and warmer weather will return almost before we know it. Similarly, we can hold on to the hope that the winter of grief will become more tolerable with the passing of time. Sharing our stories with others who understand is a sure way to ease that journey. Here are some opportunities to meet and share.

  1. Sharing Circles

Our Sharing Circles continue on the third Tuesday of every month from 7pm to 9pm at The Olde Forge Community Resource Centre, 2730 Carling Avenue (at Richmond Road). Our next meetings are on November 21st, December 19th, January 16th and February 20th. There are no fees to attend and no need to register in advance – please arrive a few minutes early to sign in. You can find directions and a map on our Chapter website www.tcfottawa.net.

  1. Candle Lighting Celebration

Our 19th annual Candle Lighting Celebration will be held in conjunction with the Worldwide Candle Lighting on Sunday, December 10th at St Augustine’s Church Hall, 1060 Baseline Road (at Merivale). Please bring a free-standing picture of your children and plan to arrive at 6:30pm for a prompt 7:00pm start. Candles will be provided and light refreshments will be available afterward. There is no charge to attend.

Please feel free to forward the attached poster to anyone whom you feel might benefit from attending, or print and post it in your workplace, community centre, library, doctor’s office or place of worship.

We always appreciate your support in whatever way you can contribute, so if you would like to assist with organizing ahead of time or participating on the day, please reply to this e-mail.

  1. Website / Facebook

Our Chapter website (www.tcfottawa.net) contains additional information and resources, including our Chapter library and newsletters from other Chapters and the National Board. The October newsletter from TCF Canada is attached. You can also read and post notices on our Facebook page – look for “The Compassionate Friends – Ottawa Chapter”.. Check the item in the attached National newsletter about joining the TCF Canada Facebook page.

We are currently looking for an Ottawa Chapter Facebook host. If you are familiar with social media and have an interest in providing on-line support, please reply to this e-mail.

  1. United Way

The Compassionate Friends is a volunteer, peer support network. There are no membership or any other fees to use our services or to participate in our groups or activities. We do not solicit funds from our members nor do we have fundraising campaigns.

This is not a request for funds. However, we are grateful for any donations received and use them to further the activities of TCF.

If you wish, you may donate directly to TCF Ottawa by cheque or cash and you will receive a tax receipt from us for the full amount of your donation.

You may also donate through United Way and designate TCF Ottawa as the recipient of your contribution.. The official title of the Chapter is “The Compassionate Friends, Ottawa Valley / Outaouais Chapter” and our charitable organization number is 86493-2520-RR0001. United Way will provide you with a tax receipt but please note that an administrative fee will be deducted by United Way from your contribution.

Thank you for your support.

  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
The Compassionate Friends, Ottawa Chapter
http://www.tcfottawa.net
Kevin’s Dad

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TCF Nat nl Oct 2017.pdf

Candle Lighting Poster 2017 (1 page).pdf

Dear Compassionate Friend:

Just as the calendar has noted the change of seasons, the previously absent summer weather seems to have arrived. Just as we are returning to our post-vacation work routine, we look back longingly at the happier days slipping by. As we move forward on our grief journey, we look back on the times with our children no longer with us, wishing that they could return. But they cannot return, and we cannot go back; we must face the winter of our grief despite our worst fears and misgivings. Just as we know and expect that Winter will eventually give way to Spring, we hold on to the hope that our grief will become more bearable in our new future.

Our strongest anchor in these times of emotional turmoil is the understanding and support of others who have made and are making the same grief journey. Remember the message of The Compassionate Friends – “We Need Not Walk Alone”. Here are some of opportunities to take advantage of that support.

  1. Sharing Circles

Our Sharing Circles continue on the third Tuesday of every month from 7pm to 9pm at The Olde Forge Community Resource Centre, 2730 Carling Avenue (at Richmond Road). Our next meetings are on September 19th, October 17th, November 21st and December 19th. There are no fees to attend and no need to register in advance – please arrive a few minutes early to sign in. You can find directions and a map on our Chapter website www.tcfottawa.net.

  1. BFO Closed Group

The Ottawa Region of Bereaved Families of Ontario (BFO) is currently taking registrations for their 10-week closed group for the loss of a child. These weekly sessions are scheduled to run from October 5th to December 7th. Interested parents can pre-register on-line at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/loss-of-child-10-week-grief-bereavement-support-program-registration-36989490562?aff=es2.

  1. Candle Lighting Celebration

Please mark your calendar for our 19th annual Candle Lighting Celebration to be held on Sunday, December 10th starting at 7pm. The location will be St Augustine’s church hall, 1060 Baseline Road (at Merivale). More details will be provided nearer the date.

If you would like to assist with organizing ahead of time or participating on the day, please reply to this e-mail.

  1. National Gathering

From August 25th to 27th, the Medicine Hat Chapter hosted the first TCF Canada National Gathering in several years. Approx. 70 parents from across the country attended workshops, presentations and discussions on a range of topics. Overall feedback has been very positive with a request for another conference as soon as possible.

Eileen and I presented a workshop on Facilitating a Sharing Circle, as well as MC’ing the Banquet and leading the Candle Lighting Ceremony. We were also honoured to receive the Gwen Brown Memorial Award, presented in memory of Gwen Brown, who was the driving force behind the formation of the national organization. Gwen passed away in 1993 and many of her articles and writings still form the basis of our operations to this day.

  1. Chapter Website and Facebook Page

Our Chapter website (www.tcfottawa.net) contains additional information and resources, including our Chapter library and newsletters from other Chapters and the National Board. You can also read and post notices on our Facebook page – look for “The Compassionate Friends – Ottawa Chapter”.

We are currently looking for a Facebook host. If you are familiar with social media and have an interest in providing on-line support, please reply to this e-mail.

  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
The Compassionate Friends, Ottawa Chapter
http://www.tcfottawa.net
Kevin’s Dad

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