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Peer Grief Support 


May 2021

Dr. Laura Kehoe

Her Medicine Begins with Caring

By Kerry J. Bickford, VOICES Editor
A typical day for Dr. Laura Kehoe begins long before her workday starts. In addition to her job as medical director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Bridge Clinic, she is the mother of two teenagers and a pre-teen, so she and her husband, Eric, a middle school teacher, tag-team to get everyone’s day started. Once that is done, she heads into Boston, and her real workday begins.

Kim Rockwood with grandsons Aiden, Alex, and Cooper
Survival & Forgiveness
Go Hand in Hand

By Kerry J. Bickford, VOICES Editor
When Kim Rockwood’s first child was born in 1991, her husband was in the delivery room, their marriage was rock solid, and they were living their dream. By 1995 when her second child was born, it was quite another story. This time, Kim said, her husband was in a bar drinking, doing lines of cocaine when he came to the hospital -- and then went AWOL. Kim was left behind with two young children and a broken heart.
Brian Flynn’s final resting place
We Have Found Our Peace

By Jeanne D. Flynn, Peer Grief Group Facilitator

My son Brian once shared with me the fact that he had overdosed 17 times. He said: “Mom, some of my friends have died after the first overdose, but I am still here. God must have a plan for me if I haven’t died.”

Heroin addiction stole the last 10 years of my family’s life -- from 2005-2015. It stole the future away from our beautiful son. It stole the present away from all of us as we waited for a miracle or the next phone call. Would it come from a hospital, a cop, a friend, or Brian with his standard greeting -- ” I need a huge favor?”


Tanya and Noah Lord

Wisdom on Grief Triggers Passed Along

By Tanya Lord, SADOD DIrector
I remember my first Mother’s Day following the death of my son, Noah, at the time our only child. I was at a new church trying to find my way in grief and sort out my beliefs. I had been there once or twice before, and, in my shyness, I had pretty much stayed to myself. I was fairly sure no one knew me or the grief that I carried.

As the service ended, mothers were wished a Happy Mother’s Day and told that small gifts were being given to all mothers as they exited. I looked behind me to the sanctuary exit and realized that two women flanked the doorway holding decorated baskets. I froze in my pew. I had not expected anything like this, and I was overtaken by panic.  
Cheryl Juaire holds a photo of Corey at the Department of Justice

Peer Grief Helper Profile:
Cheryl Juaire


By Kerry J. Bickford, VOICES Editor
Massachusetts Team Sharing, a group dedicated to parents who have lost a child to substance use disorder, is the loving result of one mother’s grief after losing her son to an overdose in 2011. Cheryl Juaire is quick to say she knew nothing about addiction when her son, Corey Merrill, died at age 23. 

Ironically, Corey was planning to visit his mother in Florida the day after he died. Instead of a visit, she received a phone call from her oldest son telling her that his brother had died. At Cheryl’s request, he had called for a wellness check at his home in Arlington after Corey never arrived. Her worst fears were confirmed. Ten years later, she is still in disbelief. 

Album Cover of Remember Me

                                  By Kerry J. Bickford, VOICES Editor

Sally Ponzio was driving to Florida in 2017 when her son, Travis, began talking to her about the disease of addiction and how he wanted her to write a song. Sally was puzzled because, although Travis loved music, she could not sing or read a note herself.  When he persisted,  Sally pulled over to the side of the road to capture his words, which came tumbling out faster than she could write them. This was even more puzzling since Travis had died of an overdose six months earlier.     


I started writing the words that you were saying
On a napkin in my car
I had to pull over, I’ll never get over
Now that you’re gone
You said I’m alive in your broken heart
Let my love lift you, you can start a new start

Mother's Day painting by Kaileigh M. Bickford
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