Category Archive: submission

  1. Debbie G.


    This past year, after a year and a half battle with an aggressive cancer, my husband/best friend died just short of our 35th wedding anniversary. As a lifelong resident of the Syracuse area, I was fortunate to be surrounded by friends and family. In spite of their tremendous support, I felt lost and unable to share the true depth of my grief with those I cared about. That is where HOPE For Bereaved came in.

    We are so blessed to have this agency in our community. I learned of their services and began individual counseling with Ed. Not only has he been an empathetic listener, but he also provides me with practical insights, along with videos, articles and books to help me along my grief journey. Ed helps me reframe my thinking to gain a healthier perspective regarding my life without my husband.

    HOPE For Bereaved does not impose limits on the number of sessions allowed, all of which are free. This allows those who grieve to progress at their own pace. I still meet with Ed and I plan on taking advantage of a support group at some point.

    I’ve learned that one does not “get over ” the loss of a loved one. However, with the type of help that HOPE For Bereaved provides, one can work toward a new way of living that includes joy, hope and fulfillment. I will be forever grateful for the help that HOPE For Bereaved provides me.

  2. Leon M.


    I was helped with many situations of concern by attending the monthly Senior Support Group Meeting for the bereaved. One item in particular that became a monumental task was to prepare for a two month vacation. I had a hard time trying to understand why I was do depressed, and confused in trying to get ready. Nothing seemed together. It was pointed out by one of the group leaders that we always had a partner that helped and worked together, and now I had double the workload., and take care of the situation alone. It was a matter putting every situation into perspective. It is great to know that help is available, with kind and caring people associated with HOPE For Bereaved.

  3. Sandy V.


    I started coming to HOPE For Bereaved shortly after my mother died in October 2011. My mom and I were very close . We used to spend a lot of time together. Talked on the phone everyday. She was in her 80’s. She slowly started to close down each year. She went from someone very independent to someone needing assistance. She went from a cane to a walker to a wheelchair. She took it in stride along the way. She accepted going to assisted living. Later on she was failing and began falling a lot, had heart issues and a stroke. In the end I watched her pass away in the hospital. it was very hard for me. I lost my best friend. I came to HOPE, they were very good at listening and understanding what I was going through. I came to a lot of support group meetings, they helped a lot. I have no regrets. I wouldn’t give up helping my mom everyday for anything in the world. I miss her everyday. HOPE Is a great place with great staff. It’s 2018 and I still come. I’m a co-facilitator at the general support meeting – I give back to others what I’ve been given.

  4. Maureen


    Dear Pat,

    Thank you for the email and the invite from Therese. I honestly feel I am ready to stop by the center. Everyday is a struggle, as losing a child is not something you wish on your worst enemy. The recent suicide jump at carousel was right outside my store and all those feelings came rushing back. How my heart ached for his parents that night. The pain never goes away. You teach them never to take “the easy way out” and in essence that is what suicide is. Jon was the epitome of a buff young man with the world in his grasp. My job is to keep his memory alive and to remember that he knew I loved him, deeply and powerfully.

    Your newsletters are the beacon to my “strength” that all my friends claim I have. Your stories from those that I truly know the hurdles I face on a daily basis are a source of knowledge and warmth to me. No one knows a mothers’ pain than another mother who has the same pain.

    I have to share this story. Years ago, we lived in Buffalo, NY and a new neighbor moved in originally from Syracuse, NY. We bonded. Our kids are the same age. Her Joey the same age as my Will, her Mark the same age as my Jon and her Alex and my Missy shared the exact day of birth and year! We were both “old fashioned” moms and wives and we bonded firmly. Jon and Mark shared a love of Army Gear and playing and dressing up as GIJoes. Laurie moved a few years later and we kept in touch, until my husband got transferred to Syracuse 14 years ago. Two months ago, I got a phone call, a woman crying. It was Laurie. She lives in Florida now and she happened to Google my last name and she found Jon’s obituary. As it turned out, she lost her son Mark 3 months after I lost Jon. I told her how I saw a Mark Fundora brick at the Butterfly Garden and it was just a few feet away from Jon’s and I was unnerved thinking it was her son Mark. Sadly, it was. We cried and cried that our two middle children took their lives and devastated their families. We promised each other that we would make a connection and just hug and get each other through. She is flying from Florida the 17th of this month to the 22nd. It just struck me that two girlfriends that laughed and watched our kids grow up would be dealt the same evil hand in life.

    You can be sure that a lot of tears will be falling in Syracuse when we embrace the way girlfriends do. Unfortunately our tears will be non-stop. HOPE has been a resource for me, as it is the strength I get each month to “get through”

    Your work is priceless.

    Thank You,

  5. Maureen Lobko


    Your newsletters started appearing in my mailbox with the piles of condolence cards and bills in Jan 2006. It wasn’t until the numbness wore off that I came to look FORWARD to a piece of mail. A brightly colored packed that I tucked under my arm while I made a cup of tea and then nook in the house to absorb, learn, weep and weep some more. Losing my son Jonathan on 12/17/05 broke my heart and life came to a standstill. Every emotion that flooded me it seemed only my monthly packet from Hope could understand. I had a brick made for Jon and I visit the Butterfly Garden daily in the warmer months. It has become my escape from the daily pain. To be honest, I haven’t come to a support group, can’t just yet. But I couldn’t go another month go by without thanking you. However you got my husband and my name, it’s a blessing. I keep all the mailings in a binder and refer back to them when I need some solace, some understanding about suicide, losing a child. Your whole staff/volunteers are to be commended and Ms. Schoeneck deserves the biggest hug of all for finding such and helping so many to find the strength to go on……Thank you….thank you all so much.


    Maureen Lobko