On January 25, I stepped up to the podium as the keynote speaker for the amazing CURE Childhood Cancer Organization www.curechildhoodcancer.org. CURE provides funds for childhood cancer research and is there for the families while their children are going through cancer treatment and when a child does not survive.
The morning of January 25 marked the beginning of some life-changing experiences for me as well, since it was the first time I had ever spoken in front of a room of parents, grandparents, and siblings whose children had all died from cancer, the same thing that took Erika from us. There were about 125 people there, and I gave a PowerPoint presentation that included education about grief, as well as the latest on the grieving brain.
On Saturday afternoon, I facilitated two workshops on the greatest grief myths and what you can do about them.
Sunday morning marked my final, inspirational presentation that ended with a beautiful song written by Erika for me, including a new video that goes with it—a song that we dedicated for the first time to all mothers and fathers around the world. Once the video/song ended, there was a tearful standing ovation and the room was filled with so much love.
Thank you to the CURE staff for everything you have done to support those families in need and for allowing me to be there throughout such a beautiful and inspirational weekend.
Susan Whitmore was awesome! Please have her come back.
To Susan Whitmore---Thanks so much for the time & energy that you are devoting to grieving parents. It was especially comforting to hear from someone like us who lost their only child and understands the pain of no grandchildren, empty tables, etc.
Enjoyed Susan's candid & research oriented presentations; also the tips to deal with grief.
Thank you to Susan Whitmore for coming all the way out here and sharing things I've never heard before, such as the neuroscience behind grief.
We always enjoy hearing about our wonderful children and the journeys we have all been on. We continue to grow from the experiences that you spoke about "with ways to handle grief". It is a comfort for us to be in a room full of people who have been on the same journey as us as they GET IT like no one else.
Kristin Connor, Executive Director – I cannot find words to express how grateful we are to have had you with us for our weekend of Hope and Healing. Not only did you completely relate to our families, but you were able to give them real tools to help them. We have received so much extremely positive feedback from the parents and professionals. Thanks again from the bottom of our hearts.
Lisa Branch, Director Patient and Family Services - I can never thank you enough for the “extra” love you showered on our families. You blessed them AND me in countless ways! There were many examples of you going above and beyond what we asked of you. It was a truly amazing weekend. Thank you.
Sharon Bryan, Patient & Family Services Liaison – Wow! What a weekend! One of our newly bereaved dads said to me as he was leaving on Sunday, "It takes a lot to impress me, but I was wowed.” By YOU! I think that everyone felt the same way.