About HOPE for bereaved



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,


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