Kindred Spirits Peer Support

If you are interested in being a Kindred Spirit for Gardens of Grace, you will play an important part in the support network we would like to offer families throughout the Maritimes. Many of us can relate to the feelings of isolation that surrounded us as we tried to negotiate a system and society that has yet to acknowledge what supports need to be established.

Helping to create a positive situation out of a terrible experience is invaluable…the reassurances, the sounding board, just being there. Gardens of Grace is honoured to be offering this service, and grateful for those of you willing to volunteer.

Are you ready to be a Kindred Spirit?

Being a support for recently, and even not so recently, bereaved families can be an emotionally demanding role. If supporting in this way isn’t right for you at this time, there are many other ways you can contribute your caring to Gardens of Grace.

Becoming a Kindred Spirit

Before considering to be a Kindred Spirit, please consider the following:

           - A minimum of one year must be passed before you consider supporting in a formal way a bereaved family. Dealing with one’s own “anniversaries of firsts” makes it difficult to give constructive support to others. There is no need to make it more difficult on yourself.
          - Are you able to devote an uninterrupted hour, or able to arrange such a time, if you were to get a request?
          - Currently, our support is offered only in an on-line basis, so please consider your technical/data requirements.
          - Do you have good communication skills; can you maintain confidentiality; are you aware of your own support needs; can you maintain a non-judgemental position; are you able to manage your own experience.

Application Form and Training Materials

If you decide that you are ready to become a Kindred Spirit, an application form is available below. Currently, Gardens of Grace will offer only on-line support in a secure, one-on-one chat forum, so you will be able to set a schedule that would suit your time schedule. Once your application is approved, you will receive a training manual in writable PDF form to prepare you as a Kindred Spirit. This training manual is based on the UK model developed by SANDS UK, and adapted through Ontario’s Sunnybrooke Hospital and the Ontario Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network(PAIL). PAIL has generously offered these resources for our use.

After Completing the Training Materials

It is important that you give a lot of thought to the scenarios and processes laid out in the training course. It may be that you decide you are not, in fact, ready to support others who are grieving. Do not view this as a failure…being able to recognize both your strengths AND weaknesses is a support in itself. It is important that our Kindred Spirits are where they need to be emotionally to offer meaningful support. If this is not you at the present time, it may be better to consider focusing your efforts on another aspect of Gardens of Grace, and return to this at another time.