When is the best time for people to benefit from Threads of Life’s programs following a work-related death, serious injury or disease diagnosis? Threads of Life does not contact families directly. Instead we believe that families need to determine for themselves when they are ready to reach out to us. Some will search and find us in the immediate hours or days following their tragedy and others will connect after two, three or more years. There is no single “right time“. That is as unique as the experience of grief. We have learned that each in his or her own time will be what is best for them. There is no hard and fast rule nor is there a time limit when Threads of Life feels anyone is no longer eligible for support and connection. The heart does not follow the tick of time. Grief is a powerful journey and when family members feel ready to contact us we will be here.

The only flaw in this approach is that sometimes a family cannot contact us at their “right time”, because they don’t know we exist. Sometimes it is many years later that a family finds us and I have often heard “I wish I had known about Threads of Life when this first happened”. We rely on our many partners, word of mouth, social media and other sources for families to learn about us. We know that not everyone does find us. It is one of our goals for all Canadians to be aware of Threads of Life so that should the unthinkable happen to them they can make the choice to connect when they are ready.

Different members of the same family connect with us differently so it makes sense that they may come to us each in their own time when it is right for them. Alex and Todd are good examples. Both completed speakers training in 2016 with the aim to share their stories in the hope that no other family would have to experience what they have. When you read their stories, the emotion and the intensity of the loss is so similar. Alex connected with Threads of Life in 2015, a year and half after his brother, Kris died. Todd has been aware of Threads of Life since its early days. Now, 15 years after his brother Sean’s death, Todd has become actively involved. The timing was different but it was right for each of them.

Time is a strange concept if you think about it too much. Those days that fly by, the week of vacation vs. the week waiting for the vacation to start and the minutes that crawl so slowly when you are waiting to hear important news. The clock doesn’t change and yet our perception of all of these events is so drastically different. Even stranger is how years later grief can hit you so hard and take you back in time as if it happened only yesterday.

At Threads of Life, we know that there is no timeline for grief. Everyone’s experience is different, as unique as each of you are. Our lives have been forever changed and we need to honour our loved ones and our changed lives. With your help, we will continue to raise awareness that Threads of Life will always be here and for as long as families need us.

Do you know someone who could benefit from Threads of Life’s programs? Be sure to send them to our web site where they can learn more and decide if the time is right for them.

Woman walking down a boardwalk
Kate Kennington

Kate Kennington

Kate Kennington is the Family Support Manager for Threads of Life. With a background in volunteer management and event planning, Kate oversees the peer support program of Volunteer Family Guides and is a family member herself.
Kate Kennington

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