SEPTEMBER 7, 2006 ? FOUR MOTHERS COPE WITH LOSS: ANNE DIONNE, DEBORAH LEBOUF KULKKULA, YVONNE LANCASTER AND JANE MAKI are four bereaved mothers from Massachusetts who joined together to write the newly published book, ?Every Step of the Way: How Four Mothers Coped with Child Loss.? They came together through compassion for one another and a desire to share their stories of lost sons. Each woman shares her personal grief journey of coping through the long dark days of bereavement, to ultimately arriving at peaceful acceptance. Their collective mission is to help others to cope with child loss with the hope of finding peace and healing, while also honoring the memories of their sons.

Jane:? He died alone on a street within sight of his apartment.? On that day that Chris was murdered, the life we?d once known and loved died right along with him.? We were trapped into a new world, one that we had no knowledge of.

Anne:? I felt guilty already knowing my son?s actions were responsible for their grief, and I really sought out therapy for about three years on this and I needed a lot of work on that but it helped a lot.? I really have found much more peace through the therapy that I went through.

Yvonne:? My son was a student against drunk driving and it was just amazing to me that he got into a car with someone that was drinking, and I could never understand it.? So that?s always been a real mystery for me and I think the anger was just that I wish I could turn time back but I try to be as open minded and not have anger.? I felt I had enough to deal with the grief and with my surviving children that I just did not want to get caught up in the anger part of it.

Anne:? If I could go back and live this over again and I had the choice to either have him or not even knowing the pain that I would go through or not have him at all and never know the pain, I would do this all in a millisecond pain and all, because he was such a gift for 19 years.? I?ve learned along the way that there?s still pain from the loss but there?s still the possibility of peace and joy.? I have joy in my life again and I have moments of peace.? I actually have a lot of peace.? I feel kind of semi-normal again but it has taken a long time to get that way.

Jane:? We have a foundation for Chris, and that has made me feel very good.? It has made me feel that it has brought a purpose to my life and I think it helps Chris to be remembered in a good way, I think, rather than just as somebody that was murdered.? That bothers me.? He was a very fun loving person and I just like to do things to honor him in his memory.

Deborah:? I found ways to honor my son by giving to a scholarship.? I found other things like having a highway island garden in loving memory of our sons so that they?re not forgotten.? That?s a big thing for most persons that they don?t want their children to be forgotten.? My faith also, but the fact that going to Compassionate Friends and being helped so much by Compassionate Friends in the first couple of months, then I was able to give back.? And giving back seems to me the healing process.? That?s what actually heals.


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