Marny Williams Balodis
In 2002, after a short six week battle with cancer, my husband, Keith, died. I became a widow at the age of 30 and the only parent to two children, a son 3 years and a daughter 3 months old. I entered a journey that I was completely unprepared for. With the support of family and friends, joining local support groups and learning about grief, I have been able to recreate my world and create a new life for me and my children. I have since been blessed to meet someone new and was married in 2007 and the following year we welcomed a child into our family.
In 2005, Marny began co-facilitating mixed-loss support groups over a two and a half year period helping about 50 people in the community who were grieving a recent loss. During this same time, she guided monthly drop-in meetings of large and small groups that covered a wide range of personal losses and needs.
Since 2007, Marny has volunteered with Bereaved Families of Ontario – Midwestern Region in a variety of roles. She has been Chair of the Programming Advisory Committee where she was responsible for seeking project approvals, maintaining the standards of the programs, developing and managing events. As well, Marny has chaired three educational conferences. Topics included generational differences in grief, understanding masculine grief and the grief experience of the sandwich generation.
Marny has spoken to a various organizations and community clubs about grief and has provided training to new bereavement facilitators.
During these ongoing activities, Marny wrote, developed and facilitated a Spousal Loss Support Group Program designed for widows and widowers who have dependent children in the home.
- Marny is a member of the Board of Directors and the local representative for the Bereavement Ontario Network, an organization that maintains a network of volunteers and professionals who support the bereaved community.
- Marny has appeared in local newspapers and TV interviews.
- Marny has completed her Certificate in Grief and Bereavement studies at The University of Western Ontario.