"Specializing in Self-Care Retreats for Grieving Mothers"
"Specializing in Self-Care Retreats for Grieving Mothers"

Helpful Reading ...


  There are so many books and resources available, and I will add to these as time goes on. Please check with your local library, or contact Bereaved Families of Ontario and Compassionate Friends/US/Ottawa for resources and also with other bereaved parents; chances are, they have a long list to share.


"Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief"

by Martha Whitmore Hickman


My sister bought this book for me five months after Matthew's death. It was an extremely dark time for me, and this book was a Godsend. Each day upon awakening after almost no sleep at all, I would read the entry and hold on to the words Martha wrote as she journyed through her grief after the sudden death of her 16 year old daughter.


Some days made the entries made no sense at all, but other days, I would re-read it 3 or 4 times a day. I still keep this book at my bedside, and read it on days that I need that extra support.



The Grief Club

By Melody Beattie


Beattie writes about the death of her 12 year old son. This book appealed to me because of the title. I read some of Beattie's other books years ago and had no idea that she too is a bereaved mom.


Writing helped her through her dark time. From this book, which I read about a year later, I learned that we do what we need to do, whatever works to get us through.


By Therese A. Rando

A good friend of mine who is also a therapist, purchased this book for me a few months after Matthew died.


Therese Rando is renowned for her work and published work on grief and loss. As a psychologist, she provides an overview of the process of moving through grief. She writes about the heady explanations as to why we do not feel thirsty, why we can not eat or want to eat too much, why we can not sleep, why we are unable to concentrate and why we are experiencing the roller coaster feelings. And, what I found helpful was why we may be rethinking everything we ever thought and every decision we ever made. And how other losses in our lives will come to the forefront at this time now.


Although I found this book to be a heavy read at times, when I was ready, it became a very helpful resource.

Below is reading list put together by Brenda, one of the volunteer moms; she is a librarian and also a bereaved mom. Thank you Brenda.


Healing A Parent’s Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas

By Alan D. Wolfelt

Presenting simple yet highly effective methods for coping and healing, this book provides answers and relief to parents trying to deal with the loss of a child. It offers 100 practical, action-oriented tips for embracing grief, such as: writing a letter to the
child who has died, spending time with others who will listen to the story of
your grief, creating a memory book, box, or Web site; and remembering others
who may still be struggling with the death. This guide discusses common
problems for grieving parents such as dealing with marital stress, helping
surviving siblings, dealing with hurtful advice, and exploring feelings of
guilt. This compassionate resource will aid parents who have been through the
death of a child, whether the passing was recent or many years ago, and whether
the child was young or an adult.




Understanding Grief: Helping Yourself Heal

By Alan D. Wolfelt


This classic resource helps guide the bereaved person through the loss of a loved one, and provides an opportunity to learn to live with and work through the personal grief process. Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding
the death and the person who has died. It is an essential part of healing. You are beginning a journey that is often frightening, painful, overwhelming, and sometimes lonely. This book provides practical suggestion to help you move toward healing in your personal grief experience.


To visit Dr. Allan Wolfelt's Centre for Loss website OR to view all of his amazing books go to:  www.centreforloss.com



When the Bough Breaks: Forever After the Death of a Son or Daughter
By Judith R. Bernstein, Ph.D.


When the Bough Breaks presents a breakthrough concept of mourning, documenting the process of evolution from initial grief to an altered outlook on life. Excerpts from interviews with 50 parents who lost a child from five to forty-five trace the road from utter devastation to a revised view of life, resulting in a work that is a tribute to
resilience and the indomitable human spirit. Author Judith R. Bernstein, Ph.D., speaks from the dual perspectives of bereaved parent and psychologist. She weaves keen psychological insight with the voices of parents to achieve an intelligent volume that is at once heartbreaking and heartwarming. The wisdom of her science and her heart combine to result in a book that teaches the psychology of bereavement with profound



Beyond Tears:  Living After Losing A Child

By Ellen Mitchell


Having lost a child, nine mothers met in a support group; now, under the direction of Newsday contributor Mitchell, they share what has helped them get up every morning and move through their grief. They discuss how relationships can be strained, why there simply is no answer to the question "why?" and what they do when a longtime acquaintance crosses the street to avoid talking to them. A chapter devoted to fathers reveals how they grieve differently than mothers. The thoughts and feelings related here are incredibly honest and courageous and would greatly assist any parent who has lost a child and feels alone.


The Worst Loss 
"How Families Heal from the Death of a Child"

By Barbara D. Rosof


Rosof, a child psychotherapist who has worked for many years with families who have lost children, offers a clear, sympathetic, no-nonsense guide to surviving "a loss like no other."  Using effective anecdotes from her practice, she explains why grieving is
necessary, the stages of grief parents and sibling will likely go through, possible barriers to grieving, and learning to let go and create a new life.  Throughout, she stresses that parents will never be the same as they were before their child's death. Rosof wisely deals with specifics such as coping with the death of a newborn or death from illness, murder, suicide, and accidents, though inevitably there is some ground she cannot cover, e.g., a stepparent's grief and the loss of an adult child or sibling. Nevertheless,
parents mourning the loss of a child will find that Rosof's many insights ring true.


The Grieving Garden

"Living With the Death of A Child"

By Suzanne Redfern & Susan K. Gilbert


Grieving parents Redfern and Gilbert, along with 20 others, fill a void in the literature of child loss that both discovered after the death of a daughter; having "devoured every
grief-related bit of writing," they found no relief for their escalating isolation: "what I needed wasn't information, but company." Unadornedby "expert" commentary, Redfern and Gilbert address directly the personal experience of living out "a parent's worst fear" with the voices of those who have. Organized by issue (24, in six sections) rather than
contributor, it's easy to find a wide variety of perspectives on specific challenges ("Surviving the First Few Days," "Pursuing Counseling," "Encountering the Void" and "Continuing the Connection"). Parents take turns weighing in on each issue in
conversational first-person contributions (most solicited in written interviews), occasionally including journal entries, verse and straightforward guidance (especially helpful is the long view provided by Martin Katz, whose son died in 1981). A "More About Us" section provides photos and brief profiles. A variety of backgrounds and circumstances, along with a shared dedication to speak out on a notoriously unspeakable loss, make this brave volume cathartic and comforting; grieving parents may well find it invaluable.




How to Go on Living When Some You Love Dies

By Therese A. Rando, Ph.D.


Mourning the death of a loved one is a process all of us will go through at one time or another. But wherever the death is sudden or anticipated, few of us are prepared for it or for the grief it brings. There is no right or wrong way to grieve; each person's response to loss will be different. Now, in this compassionate, comprehensive guide,
Therese A. Rando, Ph.D., bereavement specialist and author of Loss And Anticipatory Grief, leads you gently through the painful but necessary process of grieving and helps you find the best way for yourself. Whether the death was sudden of expected,
from accident, illness, suicide, homicide, or natural causes, Dr. Rando will help you learn to: understand and resolve your grief; talk to children about death; resolve unfinished business; take care of yourself; accept the help and support of others; get through holidays and other difficult times of the year; plan funerals and personal bereavement rituals.  There is no way around the pain of loss, but there is a way through it.
Dr. Rando offers the solace, comfort, and guidance to help you accept your loss and move into your new life without forgetting your treasured past.


Unattended Sorrow: Recovering from Loss and Reviving the Heart
By Stephen Levine


According to Levine, "unattended sorrow," even years after a loss, casts a shadow over
one's entire life. In this valuable addition to the literature on mourning and
bereavement, Levine writes in a soothing voice informed by many of the principles of Buddhism, but also encompassing all the major spiritual traditions. Levine (A Gradual Awakening), who has done grief counseling with concentration camp survivors, Vietnam vets and many others, points out that a new loss may be intensified by earlier, unresolved griefs about the death or divorce of parents, the loss of a sibling or other
psychological traumas.


Levine identifies three stages on the path to easing the anguish of loss: softening the pain, cultivating mercy and making peace with the pain. He recommends a number of techniques, including a breathing exercise to loosen a stomach constricted by fear and denial and periods of silent time spent meditating or walking. All of his easy-to-follow suggestions involve extending kindness and forgiveness to the self, which, Levine says, will lead to the practice of dealing with others in the spirit of mercy and love.  Although, as Levine acknowledges, the healing process is slow, opening the pain-filled heart can lead to the unfolding of a new life.


Kimberly Ryan 

  is a bereaved mother. Her son Matthew died suddenly in August 2009 at the age of 27 as a result of complications from addictions. Kimberly had been involved in meditation and alternative health modalities long before the tragic loss of her son, and now uses her knowledge and wellness background to offer a place for other moms who are bereaved. She does this as a give back or pay it forward; this is a not for profit offering, and she is always seeking practitioners who will donate their time to the moms.


Please contact Kimberly at:


Phone:  +1 519 909 9644       


Email: ryankimberly1023@gmail.com




Dates of Upcoming Retreats

The May retreat has been cancelled. Updates on future dates will be posted as soon as there is information available to confirm a date. Those moms who were interested have been contacted, if for some reason, you have not been notified please contact Kimberly. Thnnkyou and be well.









   Welcome ALL mothers who are bereaved. There is no time frame on our grief, whether your loss was long ago or recent. Each of us has experienced the death of a child.

  We gather together for self care, support, and comfort. Please do not hesitate to contact me for a chat and learn more about who I am, what this is all about, and discuss if this is good timing for you.


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