Health and Safety: Faces Behind the Statistics, Geraldine & Greg Wheeler

Six days into his job as an ironworker at a Northwest Territories diamond mine, 27-year-old Greg Wheeler’s work platform collapsed and he fell to the ground. He died instantly.

At 20, Newfoundlander Greg Wheeler had found his calling as an ironworker. But seven years later, at a diamond mine in the Northwest Territories, his work platform collapsed and Greg fell to his death. Even after many years, says his mother Geraldine, “the pain remains fresh, my heart remains broken.” A member of Threads of Life’s Speakers Bureau, she finds comfort in sharing stories about him and helping others who are grieving.

Grieving may be a private process for some, but not for his mother Geraldine. Telling stories about Greg keeps him alive in her heart. “He is always with me,” says Geraldine. “I need to share my memories and my feelings. I need to talk and laugh and cry.”

Geraldine is now a member of the Threads of Life Speakers Bureau in Newfoundland. In addition to the Speakers Bureau, Geraldine has been a Threads of Life volunteer family guide and active supporter of the annual Corner Brook Steps for Life event.

“I will always be a bereaved mother who misses her son more than words can say, but I survive. I do my best to help others who are grieving and I also commit to being a voice in promoting workplace safety.”

Read more of Geraldine’s story on page 2 of the Winter 2007 newsletter and in Forget Me Not, a Threads of Life book of family stories available at

You can help families like Geraldine’s, coping with the devastating impact of a traumatic workplace fatality or other workplace tragedy. Here’s how:

Donate: your gift will directly support Canadian families affected by workplace fatalities, life-altering injuries and occupational disease
Designate: make Threads of Life your company’s Charity of Choice
Volunteer: help out with our annual Steps for Life walk – see
Spread the word: let those who need help know where to find it.

If you or a loved one have experienced a traumatic workplace fatality or other workplace tragedy, read about how Threads of Life can help you.