Families affected by workplace tragedy have an opportunity to gather virtually each month for FamiliesConnect. This series of workshops bring us together throughout the year to learn, share, and heal. FamiliesConnect unites us from wherever we are–both geographically and emotionally. 

As the chill is returning to the air and summer is coming to a close, we’re leaning into planning our fall gatherings: family forums, Thanksgiving dinner, and FamiliesConnect sessions for September through December. Here’s what’s coming up – if you’d like to come, we will save you a seat!


Collage of photos depicting the upcoming fall 2023 FamiliesConnect sessions.

Christmas, Anniversaries and Celebrations… Oh My!

September 20, 2023 6-8 p.m. EDT (convert for my time zone)

Holidays such as Christmas and other celebrations, as well as anniversary dates of injuries, illness or fatalities, can leave us feeling overwhelmed. We may find ourselves saying, “Christmas, anniversaries and celebrations… oh my! How do I get through this?” Join us in discussing self reflection prior to, and during significant events and celebrations. We’ll identify particular situations and triggers that can lead us to feel overwhelmed. Being mindful and aware of what we’re feeling, and putting a name to those emotions, can help us develop effective self care strategies during holidays and celebrations. While each of us has different methods of practicing self reflection and self care, discussing and sharing what works for us as individuals allows us to learn from each other. We’ll also do a mindfulness and visualization practice as a way to acknowledge strong or negative emotions and thoughts, and a way to send them safely away from us. Join us in this interactive and collaborative session.

Donna is from Alberta and has worked in the public health sector for many years. Donna enjoys practicing yoga, going for long walks and long distance bicycle rides. In 2012, a workplace tragedy permanently affected Donna and her family. The ripple effects of that tragedy continue to this day. Donna has since become a volunteer Speaker and Family Guide with Threads of life, to promote workplace safety and help other families who have experienced a similar tragedy. 




Caring For Your Grief 

October 18, 2023 6-8 p.m. EDT (convert for my time zone)

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “care for your grief”? Is it going for a walk, or reading a book, or maybe watching a movie? Let’s discuss what works for each of us, and how we feel after doing the particular activity. What is your favourite comfort food? Does your family have any favourites that you turn to? We will chat about our food memories, and maybe share a recipe or two. Bring a mug of your favourite warm drink to enjoy during this session of sharing comfort with each other.

Kelley was born and raised in London, Ontario where she lives with her husband and two children and works as an Administrative Assistant at the Threads of Life London office. She is the friendly voice on the other end of the phone when you call! Kelley has a background in retail management and training and in her spare time actively volunteers with Girl Guides of Canada and the Salvation Army Christmas Hamper program in London.




Who Am I Now? Taking the Next Step 

November 15, 2023 6-8 p.m. EST (convert for my time zone)

A question that is often asked: who am I? What is the next step in the midst of grief and loss. In this workshop we will talk and share about who am I? We’ll think about how we can take the next step, all the while holding space for our grief, whether that grief is related to an injury, an illness or a death. This is a topic that I am passionate about and so looking forward to sharing my own journey through this very question.

Rebecca Orr lives in Olds, Alberta with her mom and her daughter and loves her work at a pre-school. In 2009, a workplace tragedy profoundly affected Rebecca and her family’s lives. The ripple effects of that tragedy continue to this day. Rebecca has since become a family member of Threads of Life, and joined the speakers bureau to share her story and help others.




Habits – Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results

December 13, 2023 6-8 p.m. EST (convert for my time zone)

In this session we will discuss the real reason habits matter. The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become. We will look at the science of how habits work and provide you with a four-step pattern your brain runs through in the same order each time. If you are having trouble changing your habits, the problem is not you; the problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves not because you don’t want to change but because you have the wrong system for change! How can you become 1% better today?

Sharon has been involved with Threads of Life since the death of her stepdaughter Amanda Peat in 2000. Sharon works for Threads of Life as a Coordinator and is also an active volunteer in her community as well as with Threads of Life as a founding member, speaker, and volunteer family guide.


Sarah Wheelan