Meet the Storytellers
We are grateful to those who generously shared very personal stories to assist others during this difficult time of life. Thank you to the experts who also shared their wisdom.
Catherine’s children, Lila and Noah, were 10 and 8 when their “Gumpa” Tony died in 2016.
On November 6th, 2014, David’s wife, Erica, was killed by a careless driver while walking her dog. Their three boys – Dylan, Gavin and Matthew – were 11, 9 and 6 years old at the time.
Elaine’s husband, David, died of lung cancer in 2012. He spent the last weeks of his life in a hospital palliative care unit. Their four children, Eloise, Anais, Thomas and Frederick, were 4, 5, 8 and 9 at the time.
Galith’s husband, Eric, died in 2010, two years after being diagnosed with sinus cancer. He was 39. Their three children, Shirel, Gabriel and Benjamin, were 10, 9 and 4 at the time.
When Hamayun’s wife, Humara, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2013, it had metastasized to her lungs. Their daughter was a teenager and their son two years old when Humara died in 2014.
Jean and Omo
Jean and Omo’s son Ari was 2 years old when his friend Stella was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour. She died 16 months later, in 2012, at the age of 3. (You can learn more about Stella and her parents, Mishi and Aimee, in MyGrief.ca.)
Kelly’s son, Max, was 8 years old when his father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Bruno died 16 months later, in 2014, in a hospital palliative care unit.
Mishi & Aimee
Mishi and Aimee's daughter, Stella Joy, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour at age two. She died 16 months later. Stella Joy has two younger brothers, Hugo and Sam.
Neenu’s husband, Shekhar, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013 and died a year later. Their sons were 8 and 10 when he died.
Valerie’s daughter Natalie was 9 when she died of leukemia. She had two sisters.
Victoria, British Columbia
Betty Davies is a Professor Emeritus with the School of Nursing, University of Victoria, British Columbia. Dr. Davies is internationally recognized for her work on death, dying and bereavement and for setting up the first free-standing children’s hospice in North America – Canuck Place in Vancouver.
Children’s Grief Counsellor
Andrea Warnick is a nurse, educator and children’s grief counsellor with a Master’s degree in Thanatology (death and dying). A registered psychotherapist, she specializes in helping families, professionals, volunteers and communities to prepare children for a death and support them in their grief.
Kimberley Widger is an Assistant Professor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto. She has spent her entire career working with children, mostly those diagnosed with cancer. The goal of her research is to enhance the quality of palliative care received by children living with live-threatening illness and their families.