The benefits of an online group
In 2020, all of Camp Kerry’s programs went online. Yet the COVID-19 restrictions also gave us an opportunity to envision new ways of cultivating community, including creating the virtual perinatal loss group.
The format allowed women and families from communities across Canada to participate in our grief support groups. Trish and Kayren shared how freeing it was to be vulnerable with people they wouldn’t run into in other situations.
For Trish, the virtual format allowed her to attend the group despite her responsibilities mothering her son. For Kayren, the virtual group allowed her step-daughter, who had moved back to Trinidad and Tobago, to participate as well, bonding the women as they processed the traumatic experience together.
Alé Friesen, who co-facilitates the groups and has experienced multiple pregnancy losses herself, says it’s vital for women to have a place to process their grief without feeling like they’re being judged or expected to grieve in a particular manner or within a certain timeline.
“It’s so important to have our stories be seen and heard without being pushed under the carpet as insignificant or unwarranted,” Alé says.
“Life is hard and grief is harder, and having people around that can help you put one foot in front of the other makes this journey called life much more beautiful.”