The Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

In 2007, the very first family bereavement retreat program in Canada – Camp Kerry – was launched off of the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. Since then, these retreats have grown significantly in size and are now offered in various locations across the country. Having helped hundreds of families and thousands of bereaved individuals experience joy and become part of a real compassionate community, we do have a lot to celebrate.

Thanks to two of our very special alumni, Dave & Cathy, every Camp Kerry volunteer across Canada will receive a t-shirt this year with a logo Dave designed to mark the tenth anniversary of Camp Kerry. Our volunteers contribute thousands of hours each year to our organization and really do make up the foundation of all that we do. We were curious to know what motivates people to continue giving back and asked Dave a few questions…

Over the past couple of years you and your wife have been participating throughout the year to give back to the Camp Kerry Society, could you tell us what motivates you to do so and/or why you do it?

Camp Kerry volunteers and staff are such compassionate people, and we instantly connected with them as they “get” where we are at in our grief journey. They bring comfort but importantly they bring back joy and smiles. Giving hope to our lives is vital. We recognized the vision of Kerry’s family and Dr. Mohan and wanted to be part of it. Action and honouring have become part of how we carry the memory of our daughter Laura with us. We did a small fundraiser after Kathy and I attended the Camp our first year, through “A Day to Remember” to honour Laura, and the monies went towards sending another family to Camp. Our two grandchildren had a life changing experience at Camp the second year. We helped after year two by being involved with the Circle of Strength group in New Westminster, BC.

Every Camp Kerry volunteer and participant across Canada will be wearing t-shirts featuring a logo that you designed to celebrate ten years of Camp Kerry. How did you come up with the idea? How do you feel about it?

I love the tie dye look of the shirts! For the anniversary I thought of large brush strokes to depict the 10 years with the logo inside. And candles on top! One of Camp Kerry’s “tools” is art therapy. It’s healing and very insightful to revealing what is happening…the picture is worth a thousand words. And there is the tag line across the bottom about Camp being available from coast to coast. It’s wonderful to see grieving families in Canada being able to experience the support, counseling and healing of Camp Kerry!

Is there anything you would like to say or share that might help others who are living with loss?

Don’t avoid your grief, deal with it now and embrace it. It is a long journey and it can’t be rushed. When you are able to focus on and help other people, your grief takes on a new meaning. Be around other people who understand you, and encourage and are uplifting. Share your stories, because these really bring healing to you and impact others.