Grief and the Courts
Three years following her son’s death, Gwen was asked by Christine Goguen, Bereavement Services Coordinator, Bereaved Families of Ontario-York Region, if she could write a paper on how grief is impacted by the court system. This article expanded into a not-for-profit booklet: Grief and the Courts is available online.
In 2010, Gwen was recognized with the Attorney General’s Victim of Distinction Award: as an individual, personally impacted by crime, who has raised the profile of victims’ issues in the province of Ontario.
If you are faced with a court session, which stressfully involves the person who has caused the death of your loved one, please read this booklet. It’s a little bit like having your hand held, by someone who “gets it.” I am deeply sorry for your loss.
For your print ready copy of Grief and the Courts click here
One of the contributing writers to Life Came to a Standstill, Suzanne (Suzy) Richardson, held an enduring dream:
Suzy yearned to create a grief-booklet in honour of her daughter Robin, who had tragically died.
As well, she sought to offer consolation to others in the midst of their darkest hours.
Through the auspices of Bereaved Families of Ontario—Midwestern Region, under their banner, with tireless contributions from their volunteers, her vision began.
Now because of BFOMR, in conjunction with invaluable consistent input from Helen Jay (bereaved mom of Adrian, and contributing writer to Life Came to a Standstill), Suzy’s dream is a long-hoped-for reality.
To view and/or print this helpful not-for-profit booklet please
More resources for your journey:
Life Came to a Standstill, along with the above booklets make an excellent beginning to your support library. However, below are additional titles worth checking out. Books offer compassionate solace anytime of day or night. To quote Suzy (Robin's Story): "Reading: A Light in the Darkness." Following are fifteen suggestions for now:
- The Worst Loss: How Families Heal From the Death of a Child, by Barbara D. Rosof: powerful, comprehensive, and oh so helpful.
- Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working through Grief, by Martha Whitmore Hickman. You can cherry-pick the days that "speak" best to you, read this little book in one gulp, or keep it on your bedside table for nightly comfort. Ms. Hickman knows about grief.
- Choices: Taking Control of Your Life and Making It Matter, by Melody Beattie, has often been one of my "go to" choices for getting through the day.
- Unattended Sorrow: Recovering from Loss and Reviving the Heart, by Stephen Levine, addresses, with compassion, the cumulative hurts and disappointments of a lifetime.
- Man's Search for Meaning, written in the 1940's by Viktor E. Frankl, is a timeless and life-affirming work . . . small in size, yet, large in stature. During his living nightmare, as a prisoner, and following his survival of the Holocaust, Dr. Frankl puts forth a path for survival through a search for meaning.
- One of Helen Jay's (Adrian's Story) favourite books on grief: After the Darkest Hour The Sun Will Shine Again, by Elizabeth Mehren.
- Grief Works, Stories of Life, Death, and Surviving, by Julia Samuel: A powerful, sustaining, and validating handbook for your life journey.
- Mourning Has Broken: Love, Loss, and Reclaiming Joy: Erin Davis, a beloved broadcaster, bravely shares the tragic loss of her daughter, Lauren; thereby, holding forth a glimmer of hope to those who walk the lonely isolating path of grief.
- Beyond Tears, Living After Losing a Child, by Ellen Mitchell. Debbie, bereaved mom of Ryan, lists this as a favourite.
- Many Lives, Many Masters, by Brian L. Weiss, M.D. "The true story of a prominent psychiatrist, his young patient, and the past-life therapy that changed both their loves."
- Postscript, by Cecelia Ahern: although a work of fiction, the storyline offers powerful examples of reconnecting with "meaning," after loss, and how to give yourself permission to love again. A comforting read for anyone who has experienced the roller-coaster-ride of grief.
- The Company We Keep, a novel, by Frances Itani: welcome to Tuesday nights at Cassandra's Café, where 6 grieving strangers (4 women and 2 men) find validation, solace, hope, and even humour all wrapped up in a commonality they hadn't intuited they so desperately needed. Beautifully written, meticulously crafted, and peopled with characters who steal your heart while sharing ways to cope with loss, ways that you may not have yet discovered.
- The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse, is a magical tale by Charlie Mackesy. This small tome packs large wisdom and charm into its few pages. Beautifully illustrated this book invites the youngest and oldest amongst us to bask in the kindness, compassion, and warmth of the author's encouraging words and drawings.
- The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, is a comforting, compassionate, and truly lovely little book. Although not written to specifically sooth your grief, it gives gentle guidance for "life." And, as we well know; grief is such an integral part of life.
- How Lucky, by Will Leitch: most-likely will not "speak to you" in the early days of your grief journey. Still, this brave novel encompasses so much of what love, grief, loss, and hope are at their inner cores. Daniel leads a rich life, in a university town in Georgia, even though he's coped with a debilitating disease since he was a small child. While largely confined to his home, Daniel works online for a regional airline. With the support of his close friend, as well as several care-givers, he's assisted with the many things he cannot do for himself. Then, one day a young women he has observed (with kindness) for months seems to be abducted before his very eyes. Can Daniel, despite his severe handicaps, make the difference?
Please offer feedback anytime, and if you have a special book you would like featured, please let us know.