Coping with Grief: It Never Hurts to Seek Help

December 18, 2014

Vanessia and familyAfter coping with the tragic loss of her step-father, Vanessia was finally getting her future in order. She graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Liberal Arts degree and started a career in banking. She was focused on building a life together with her partner. And then her mom was diagnosed with cancer. 

The cancer progressed quickly and Vanessia found herself working evening shifts in Woodstock and then travelling to her mom’s to help care for her six-year old brother. She was exhausted. 

While Vanessia’s mother was receiving treatment, she could not take her son to school. He started missing a lot of school days. “The school was concerned, asked us about what was going on, and then connected us with Hospice of Waterloo Region for support.”

Through Hospice’s Volunteer Visiting Program, a volunteer was assigned to help Vanessia and her family. This allowed Vanessia to focus on her career, as well as spending time with her family rather than providing care for them. 

Her mother passed away in May 2013. Struggling with her grief, Vanessia reached out to Hospice of Waterloo Region again for counselling services. 

 “It helps to talk to people who knew my mom. At first, I didn’t think it would make a difference. But now, I’m not mad at anyone, and I don’t just start crying when I’m watching TV or when I think of my mom. These sessions are helping me to deal with those emotions”. She adds, “It never hurts to seek help”.

Hospice of Waterloo Region is there to provide the best in hospice/palliative support and education to clients, their families, and the broader community. Its mission is ensuring that no person will experience end of life without caring and knowledgeable support. Judy Nairn, Executive Director of Hospice, says, “People are sometimes reluctant to approach anything with the name hospice because they believe it is about dying. But it is also about living and about support and learning to cope with any situation. We have services available to the whole family prior to and after a loss.”

Losing someone so dear can be very devastating. For Vanessia, having access to services made a huge difference.

Photo: Vanessia, her younger sister Justine, her mom and brother London. This picture was taken in Feb 2008 about 4 years before her mom got sick. 

For more information:

Judy Nairn
Executive Director, Hospice of Waterloo Region
298 Lawrence Avenue, Kitchener, Ontario, N2M 1Y4
Phone: 519 743-4114
Fax: 519 743-7021