Honoured to speak with a deeply committed, empathetic gentleman who lives here in Ottawa. Our talk covers so much centered around Don's attention to serving those in need.
Here, I offer his bio in his own words...
"A little bit about me and my life. I was born in 1953 and raised in Ottawa, Canada’s Capital. I’m married to Lauren, the love of my life. We have 5 kids, 9 grandkids, 2 active dogs, we work from home, we love to travel and are proud to say we are foodies.
I have over 3 decades of recovery from Alcohol and Drug addiction under my belt.
While A.A. educated me in the areas of self love, codependency, healthy boundaries and such, there were areas in my life that just never quite felt complete to me and I could never really put my finger on it until I was introduced to The Grief Recovery Method by an amazing friend who was interested in it for his role as a Chaplain with his Outreach Ministry here in Ottawa. Capital City Mission. (shameless plug)
The lights went on for me when I began to understand that the same emotions we experience while grieving a loved one who has died, are the same emotions that surface when we experience any form of loss.
Now on to the nitty gritty and very raw aspects of why I believe I can help you with your search for completion. Let me qualify as someone who understands loss but more importantly that recovery is not just possible, but likely if you plug in and trust the process.
At the age of 7 I attempted to kill my Dad. I attacked him with a butcher knife while he and my mother were in a violent fight and in drunken stupor.
Needless to say, I was disarmed and pushed aside with ease and experienced a deep sense of loss of self worth as I was unable to help my mother.
To this day I’m not sure who called my grandfather, but I do remember sitting on the front steps of our walk up apartment and him pulling up and walking past us into the house. He came out shortly after and tied the bunk bed that my brother and I slept in to the roof of his old green Ford.
He sat us in the back seat before securing it and all to the roof of the car and remember I was looking back at the open door to our apartment while my sister sat on one side of me and my brother on the other.
That was to be the last time I ever lived with my parents.
Now I was grateful on the one hand for the safety that this new home provided, but resented my grandfather because I held him responsible for my parents not having to do the right things to get us back.
I truly felt abandoned by them both.
At the age of 11 I was molested by a female neighbor and within a few months of that incident happened to find a liquor “closet” in a friend's basement and quickly discovered the comfort of numbing and not feeling any of the pain that lived inside my broken little heart.
I was instantly hooked. At 12 or 13 I found the newness of drugs and just how effective they were at numbing all the pain and the three of us became inseparable.
I lived that way until I was 35.
Because of the addictions, the friends and the lifestyle that I’d subjected myself to, loss came at me in just about every form and often at warp speed. I was subjected to suicides, over doses, gang violence resulting in death, incarceration of countless friends, divorces, depression, not to mention the non tangibles like loss of self worth, value, dignity. A whirlwind of chaos and the weight of it all just accumulating with no real way for me to deal with it. I often felt hopeless and helpless.
Now for the good news:
Every page I turned, of the Grief Recovery Handbook, was like the key to a lock that I had been powerless over.
Understanding began to awaken, and hope began to poke its head out even after all the years of sobriety.
I love the power of Ah! Hah! moments.
I was reading the story of my life on the pages of this book. The story of how ill equipped we all are when it comes to dealing with Grief and Loss. Was it any wonder that I was excited about becoming a Certified Grief and Loss Specialist?
While in the classroom taking the certification training, I experienced completion like I had never experienced before. Looking at the loss of my life in graph form was a difficult thing to experience but that discomfort was dwarfed by the weight of feeling incomplete that I had been living with all these years.
Once I understood the power of the process and experienced the freedom and weightlessness it delivered, how could I not want to help as many people as possible?
So if any of this resonates with you and you are brave enough to enter into conversation, know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I’ll be nothing but a Heart with Ears. If I can’t help you to the other side of your loss, I’m sure I know someone who can.
Take the chance, because I guarantee you, you are worth it." ~Don Lachance