Losing a loved one is a journey that we all face at some point in life, and dealing with your grief following loss is always an arduous journey. When parents Scott and Tammy got a terminal diagnosis for their infant daughter Keely and doctors broke the news that they had limited time with her, it still did not prepare them for the lifelong journey they were on.
Keely Lousie Hill was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1 and when she was only five months old her parents heard news from doctors that the disease was terminal. Every day for the next year Scott and Tammy knew they would soon say goodbye but it still did not prepare them for the reality of walking with the grief of losing a child. Keely’s mom Tammy Point told the Two Row Times that this is a kind of grief that doesn’t fade away with time, “You just seclude yourself. At a certain point it just becomes easier to stay away from everyone.”
Not long after they said goodbye to Keely, hospital social workers connected them with another family who also lost a child to SMA. They recommended grief counseling support from the Coping Centre in Cambridge, a non-profit organization that aids bereaved families at no cost.
The Hills travelled to the Coping Centre just four months after Keely’s passing and were paired up with other parents who lost young children and were going through a similar process. Instantly the families became bonded in their grief and together they were able to talk through the unexpected journey they all faced. Point said, “When my 82 year old grandmother passed away I came to a place of acceptance with her death. To that point I thought that was the worst thing that could have ever happened. After Keely’s death, we were taught about the 5 stages of grief and learned that there really is no end to the grieving cycle once you’ve lost a child.”
It is this never ending cycle of grief for parents who’ve lost children that inspired Glenn and Roslyn Crichton to create a safe place connecting families who found themselves in similar situations.
The COPING (Caring for Other People in Grief) Centre was started by the Crichtons’ in 1990 following the sudden loss of their seven year old daughter Rachele. A website for the Coping Centre says” As a result of their own grief journey the Crichton’s quickly realized that support was needed for the whole family at such difficult times.” The Coping Centre has programs for people of all ages from toddlers to the elderly, customizing the program to where each of the bereaved are at in their journey.
After receiving so much help, the Hill’s wanted to do something to give back. The Coping Centre holds fundraisers throughout the year, one of which is a raffle on a Corvette Stingray 2D Z51 Coupe 1LT 1YX07 in Torch Red. This weekend the Hill’s are hosting raffle ticket sales on the $67,000 car at Townline Variety, the store the Hill’s manage. Tickets are just $10 a piece and go to support a worthy cause. If you want to purchase a tickets stop into Townline Variety which is at 7329 Indian Line; the corner of Mohawk Road and Townline. Tickets will be on sale July 25-27, 2014 from 11am-5pm. The draw will be held on November 1, 2014; 9pm at The Pines in Cambridge. Tickets are also available online here.