Support group helps young widows, widowers with grief

A new support group is helping younger widows and widowers. Many of the challenges faced by younger people are different from those of older people, says Marny Williams-Balodis, the group’s leader and a volunteer with Bereaved Families of Ontario-Midwestern Region.

KITCHENER, Ont. — A new support group is helping younger widows and widowers.

Many of the challenges faced by younger people are different from those of older people, says Marny Williams-Balodis, the group’s leader and a volunteer with Bereaved Families of Ontario-Midwestern Region.

Often, they have young children or teenagers, are working full-time, or have lost their sole income earner. They’re learning to cook or use the lawnmower. As single parents, they’re also helping their children grieve.

The first LEGACY group started in February with six families. Meeting over a 10-week period, it’s one of several support groups offered by this area’s Bereaved Families of Ontario. LEGACY stands for Learning to Embrace Grief and Care for the Young.

The new support group is filling a need in the area, says Rose Greensides, co-executive director of the not-for-profit charity.

The LEGACY support group is helping families acknowledge their grief and move beyond it. It’s one of several peer-to-peer grief support groups offered by the charity.

“I used to call it (grief) my 24-hour, seven-day-a-week job. It’s everywhere you go in the early stages,” said Williams-Balodis, 37, who lived in Calgary when her husband died in 2002, six weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer. She was turning 30, with a three-month-old baby and a son, three.

At first, “I wanted to stuff my head under the pillow and not come up,” she said. But you can’t, particularly if you have children.

“It is a journey,” she said. “It is not a straight path. You have to make a decision. You have to choose to heal.”

Just Posted

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

Time for a central Albertan in cabinet, says chamber of commerce

Central Alberta had no cabinet ministers in last government

Trump Russia probe finally delivers some answers

WASHINGTON — After nearly two years of waiting, America is getting some… Continue reading

Trans Mountain Pipeline deadline extended

OTTAWA — The federal government is delaying a decision on the Trans… Continue reading

WATCH video of Innisfail resident creating the world’s biggest caricature

Watch as Innisfail resident Dean Foster creates the world’s biggest caricature of… Continue reading

Study: Genetic test predicts middle-aged obesity risk

NEW YORK — Can a genetic test identify newborns at risk of… Continue reading

Downtown Red Deer Co-op Plaza Food store closing

Central Alberta Co-op is closing its downtown Red Deer Plaza food store… Continue reading

Earth, meet Polo: Ralph Lauren unveils plastic bottle shirt

NEW YORK — Earth, meet Polo. Polo Ralph Lauren on Thursday launched… Continue reading

Statistics Canada reports retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in February

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in… Continue reading

Inflation rises 1.9% on higher prices for fresh vegetables, mortgage costs

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation was up last month as price pressures… Continue reading

Netflix adds 9.6M subscribers in 1Q as competition heats up

SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix kicked off the year with the biggest subscriber… Continue reading

Liberals find anti-Trudeau sentiment on campaign trail in Prince Edward Island

OTTAWA — When voters in Prince Edward Island go to the polls… Continue reading

Officer tells of finding body at trial for B.C. dad accused of killing daughters

VANCOUVER — A police officer choked up Tuesday as he recalled finding… Continue reading

Most Read