“However you survived is brilliant.”

I always liked this sentiment. We’re all survivors of one thing or another. As a father who has survived the passing of my first-born, 3 year old daughter Samantha, it’s an affirmation and a reminder of how far I’ve come in my grief journey. Yet, in the sweet heat of the summer, as my boys venture off to sleep-away camp, my friends and colleagues disappear to various spots to unwind and recharge and my home becomes very quiet, I’m reminded of the loneliness, trauma and isolation that never seem to completely go away with loss. And that grieving is really hard work.

Which brings me to how COPE Foundation fits into my life. I have found comfort and support by being together with others who have experienced loss and being able to freely express my grief with people who could understand. And in turn, also being able to provide that comfort and support to others. It is through this sense of community that COPE impacts our lives while remaining eternally connected to our children. That’s the best gift I can continue to give the sweet soul that remains gently perched on my shoulder. 

Nobody should have to grieve alone. This is why COPE exists. And with the continued support from the community we serve, we will be sustained.

I hope the rest of your summer is peaceful, joyous and filled with the things you love.

Stay safe –

Larry Mergentime
(Father of Sammi, Evan and Shane; Vice-President of Board of COPE Foundation)