This month many provinces observe Family Day, also known as Heritage Day, Louis Riel Day, and Islander Day. It is a day to celebrate the importance of families, family life and communities. Like so many special occasions, this one can be a mixed blessing for families affected by work-related tragedy. There are lovely memories of family, the chance to spend time together, but the day may heighten our sense of loss if we have an empty seat at the table, or if injury of illness limit the activities we can do with our loved ones.

If you’re reading this, then you are likely part of the Threads of Life community. Certainly hearing someone else’s story has made others feel less alone, and less confused. Sharing personal stories connects us and makes us feel understood. In many ways it can be very healing for ourselves and those who we are sharing it with. On Family Day we reflect on all families affected by a workplace tragedy, and in particular, we recognize the more than 2900 family members who are our community. We are grateful for all who share their experience with others – we have learned so much together. Families are important to us, and our mission is to help families heal through a community of support and to promote the elimination of life-altering workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths.

Throughout the year we share many stories of families affected by a workplace but as we are nearing Family Day we thought we would highlight three different stories from across Canada, each representing a workplace tragedy that deeply affected their family. Families changed forever.

This Family Day, we’ll be thinking of all of our families who’ve experienced a workplace tragedy. Thank you for sharing your journey with us – it’s an honour to walk with you.

Karen Lapierre Pitts

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