Hummingbird Centre for Hope

Hummingbird Centre for HOPE provides bereavement support to men and women after the death of their spouse or partner. A peer-to-peer environment of hope facilitates the rebuilding of a new sense of self as an only parent.

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Program Information

Legacy KidsParents will understand and learn strategies to support their child's grief.Bereaved parents who have lost a spouse in last 3 months; Supporting children's grief

Story of Resilience

A week after her husband died, the young mother found out she was pregnant. When she came to Hummingbird, she was overwhelmed with exhaustion, grief and the effort she was making to put her children first and meet their needs. She asked Marny, one of the co-founders of Hummingbird, “Is ‘widow’ who I am going to be for the rest of my life?’ Marny said “Yes, you are a widow, but widowhood does not define you. It changes you, teaches you, and helps you grow.” And a few years later that mother was able to say to Marny “My family is where we are today because of your support.”

Marny understands the experience because she’s been through it herself: when her husband passed away, she had a three-year-old and a three-month-old. After realizing that the participants in most groups for widows were decades older, she decided to found Hummingbird, which provides support for widows and widowers who have children still at home. Her friend Beth is the co-founder.

“We call ourselves widowed parents, because the grief journey is quite different when you have children.” Marny and Beth will provide phone counselling to people across Canada looking for support and they also facilitate groups in the Waterloo region. An eight-week group called Finding Hope provides opportunities for sharing and building community; another group called Making Tracks is for people who are at a later point – usually two years or more after the death of their partners. LEGACY Academy is offered once a month, both face to face and virtually. Each month has a specific topic relating to the unique needs of widowed parents and the challenges faced supporting their grieving children. They also offer a monthly virtual Widowed Dad's Group. LEGACY Family Days are opportunities for parent and child to grieve together while honouring their decreased parent and spouse.

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