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Me & My Dad - Ashley's story

"Growing up in an Indo-Canadian family, Hospice wasn’t a word we used in our house. Culturally, our grief journey stays in the family and remains in the family, and is kept very private. You just don’t talk about grief and you don’t talk about the person who has died or about them afterwards.

When my dad died when I was 7, it was a shock to me as I couldn’t really grasp what death was. It was so hard on me and my brother (who was 5 years old at the time). Being a child and wondering if your loved one’s death was your fault can really impact you and hurt you. [In children] it can manifest in anger, sadness and acting out and they are labelled as a “problem child” when in reality, they’re just grieving.

Not having the space to talk about my dad really, really affected me, especially keeping it inside, and it manifested in different ways for me. It wasn’t until I started volunteering at AHS where I was able to understand that you don’t have to do the grieving journey alone. Even though your emotions and experiences are personal to you, you have a safe place to grieve. Be sad, or be relieved, or just be upset with no judgement or fear of talking about your loved one.

If you’re a part of an Indo-Canadian family, I highly encourage you to seek grief support if you need it at AHS. It doesn’t make you a weaker person. It’s just available for you and you are deserving of this. You deserve to grieve in a healthy and happy way.”

We are so grateful to have Ashley as an employee of AHS, working as a Coordinator with our Children & Youth Grief Support Program.


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