Mothers connected by a singular reality

1 May 2024

Karine, a member of our team, meets Sarah-Claude and Geneviève, two grieving mothers, at Le Phare. They find each other and embrace in their sorrow. They generously share their story with you today.

Despite the terrible circumstances, their children brought them together. Several years had elapsed before they even met for the first time. After several respite stays at Le Phare, previously unaware of each other, their paths finally crossed.

“I remember singing a song in Ariane’s presence, Geneviève’s daughter, and having played with her hair when I came to pick up my son, Esteban, after a respite stay at Le Phare,” Sarah-Claude told us.

Three years ago, Ariane and Esteban, paved the way for their mothers to meet. Both children passed away only a few months apart, leaving Geneviève and Sarah-Claude in immeasurable sadness; losing a child is a parent’s greatest trial.

Then one day, they each received an invitation from Le Phare to join a support group for grieving parents.

“I already felt so lucky to have the support I needed from Marion, my social worker at Le Phare. I was hesitant about attending the support group, but I had a feeling that I might really miss out on something if I didn’t. I clearly underestimated the power of the group,” continued Geneviève.

Something unexpected happened in the group: a connection. Connection, that’s the word that resounded in unanimity.

This goes beyond friendship. There is no word to describe the profound connection experienced with the other parents in the group. Everyone knows what it is to experience heartbreak. Here, however, we are talking about the loss of your child, something that most people just cannot fathom. We share deeply personal details that, to this day, no one in my immediate circle knows anything about – or ever will,” confided Sarah-Claude.

“When one of the mothers in the group started telling us her daughter’s story, my entire body started shaking uncontrollably. It was like staring at myself in the mirror. Somebody else was relating MY daughter’s story, speaking of MY suffering and MY losses. I had never allowed myself to see myself that way, from the outside looking in. I just couldn’t. It was my responsibility to remain strong. As I listened to her, I just couldn’t believe the extent to which what we were going through could impact a person’s life. That moment was extremely liberating for me,” said Geneviève.

Over the course of the eight group sessions provided by Le Phare, the connection between these two mothers flourished. The intimacy created between the two women continued following these sessions through their written communications with each other. They were able to process at their own pace and exchanged freely with no filters or judgement. They welcomed each other’s state of mind in total comprehension, with utmost respect, love, and solidarity.

Today when they arrived at Le Phare, they gave each other a big hug. I chose to sit in silence, giving them the moment they needed to reconnect. Face to face, holding hands for a few minutes, they updated each other, as if it were yesterday.

We’ve all heard, “You’ll understand the day you have children.” In hindsight, they were right. Today, no one could understand each other better than them. These two mothers, unified by this trial that no parent should have to endure, will forever be intimately linked through this sisterhood.

It is thanks to the services that we provide, which are made possible by your donations, that Geneviève, Sarah-Claude and countless others are able to continue on their journey. Le Phare lights their way, guiding them, watching over them in loving memory of Ariane, Esteban, and all the other children who left way too soon.

It is difficult to truly understand the pain that a grieving parent feels unless we have experienced such a tragedy ourselves.

In the absence of such comprehension, let us stand in solidarity. Give generously.

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