Circle of Life is a program built to help children and families who have been affected by loss. We believe in “wellness through healthy grieving”. Reaching the other side of pain is a difficult and complicated process. No one should have to go through that journey alone. We’re here to provide education and support — to help the healing begin.
Circle of Life (registered as Grande Prairie & District Grief Support Association) came to being in 1990. It was originally under the umbrella of the Canadian Mental Health Association — but, as the program evolved, it was eventually spun off as its own non-profit organization.
The mandate at that time was to focus on providing services to children. Funding was secured, which allowed us to launch Camp Heal-a-Heart and other regional children’s programs. Sadly, after five successful years, we lost our funding due to government cutbacks. However, with much spirit and determination, we gradually secured alternative funding sources, from both the City office and from the County of Grande Prairie’s Family & Community Support Services. We greatly value their continued support.
Circle of Life operates under the guidance of a volunteer Board of Directors. We’re staffed by a part-time Program / Office Administrator, a team of casual school support workers, a summer staff for our camp program, and a handful of additional volunteers. Their sacrifice makes the program what it is.
We need not walk alone.
Some of us are near the end of our grief journey.
Some of us are still at the beginning, lost in the darkness.
Some of us radiate strength and inner peace.
Some of us are broken and angry, beaten down by our guilt.
But we need not walk alone.
Our stories are all different, and our losses are all different.
But we share a love and a longing for those we lost, and that unites us.
Though we can’t replace what’s been taken, we can build something new.
We can move forward, together.
Your pain can be my pain, just as my hope can be your hope.
We can lean on each other as we heal.
We can share our faith along with our doubts, our fears with our joys.
Together, we’re strong enough to grieve, and to grow.
Though the past is written in stone, the future is written in hope.
We can reach a brighter place, together.
We must not walk alone.
– Adapted from The Compassion Friends‘ credo.