I Am A Supporter
Nicole – Using Art and Creativity to Express Grief
Nicole discusses the work she does to allow access to creative outlets such as art hives and gardening.
Joyce – Walking beside people who are stuggling with addiction
Joyce explains why it so important to help people who are struggling with addiction
Beauty found at the edges: a portrait of community support
I’d sent a text saying “Hello friends, I’m putting out a call for flowers. I went to public school with Kory, the young man who died in downtown Cobourg this week, and though I hadn’t seen him in recent years, I feel the loss of him on a community level, as I imagine you do, too. Some of Kory’s people are gathering tonight in vigil at the bank where he died, and I’m gathering flowers from those of us who have gardens to share with this grieving community. Do you have some blooms in your garden that you’d be willing to share?”
Jessica M – The value of talking about grief
Jessica talks about living in North America and the fear many people have about talking about grief but that it is very important to talk. It makes us feel less alone and helps us move through our grief. It’s also how you can keep your lost one alive.
A Million Other Things: Grieving a Drug Poisoning Death
Sister, father, son, niece, best friend – some of these words might be how you would describe your loved one who has died of an overdose or drug poisoning. People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) are not defined by their substance use – they are a million other things to those who love and miss them dearly. Drug poisoning and overdose deaths are stigmatized in our society. The focus is on how the person died, not who they are. Society still holds onto old notions and beliefs about drugs which come with a value judgment about people who use drugs, which further contributes to stigma. Not everyone who uses drugs is an addict and not all drug use is inherently problematic. People who use drugs deserve dignity and respect when we are remembering and honouring those who have died by overdose or drug poisoning.
Nicole – Pandemic Leads to Increase in Drug Poisoning
Nicole discusses the increase in drug poisonings during the pandemic due to a number of factors.
Joyce- Learning to live with grief
Joyce shares a story of support from a friend and how she managed in her early grief
Nicole – Power of Speaking About Lost Ones
Nicole discusses the importance of sharing memories of those lost to drug poisoning and speaking their names.
Kristal – Attending Memorials as a Support Worker
Kristal discusses the importance of finding ways to honour people that have been lost and how they have impacted you. She speaks to how she often chooses not to attend public memorials for those she has lost as a support worker as they are often very overwhelming. Instead, she has her own personal rituals or ways of honouring those she has lost personally including opening a window. She discusses how this practice was used when she worked in palliative care.