About Us

GENESIS Bereavement Resources offers support and encouragement to bereaved people. Our carefully prepared books, brochures and DVDs address some of the issues around grief and bereavement as well as encouraging bereaved people in creating a new life.

About John Kennedy Saynor


The “Growing Through Grief” Series

These brochures are useful for:

  • brochuresFuneral homes
  • Doctors offices
  • Hospital Chaplaincies
  • Hospices
  • Churches
  • Chiropractic Clinics
  • Social Service Agencies
  • Cemeteries
  • Schools

Currently, the “Growing Through Grief” series consists of the titles listed below. An excerpt from each brochure is included.

Brochures may be purchased from this website.

  • $1.50 each for 1-49 brochures
  • $1.25 each for 50-99 brochures
  • $0.95 each for 100 or more brochures

My Child Has Died!

by John Kennedy Saynor

MyChildHasDied“Very few parents expect to outlive their children. In the normal course of events, children are supposed to outlive their parents. Parents have dreams and hopes for their children and the children are supposed to live to fulfill their parents’ dreams. So for parents an important element of their future dies with the death of a child.”

Tip: Hold on to your hope! In the days and weeks immediately following the death or your child, you will think you will never recover. This is not true. Open yourself to other parents who share a similar loss. The effects of this death will remain with you for the rest of your life, but you will find meaning and joy in life again as long as you don’t lose hope.

When Your Spouse Dies

by John Kennedy Saynor

WhenYourSpouseDies“Unfortunately, the time comes in every relationship when one spouse dies and the other is left to mourn the loss. Regardless of the nature of the relationship – whether it was good or bad – the loss will be significant.

The map of your life has changed. Not only do you not know where you are going, you probably don’t want to go anywhere. You would gladly go back to where you were especially if you were happy. In time you will slowly begin to find your way again. You will set new directions for your life. You will sense you are going somewhere again.”

Tip: Although your loved one is no longer with you physically, his or her love, influence and memory will never leave you. There will be days when you will be doing things that he or she would have wanted you to do. Then there will be days when you will say, “If Bob knew I was doing this, he would roll over in his grave!” or “If Jean could see me now, she would die laughing!” Let the memories and the stories be a comfort to you and give you the courage to carry on.

The Grieving Family

by John Kennedy Saynor

TheGrievingFamily“One of the least understood aspects of the grieving process is the affect it has on a family unit. A family functions much like an executive committee. Each member has responsibilities and obligations. Although not all members necessarily get along equally well, a way of relating develops over the years that allows the family to function as a unit. When one of the members dies, the remaining members often have to establish new ways of communicating with each other. They often begin to share the responsibilities of the one who died. The big difference between an executive committee and a family, of course, is that when a family member dies, the family can’t hold a vote to replace him or her!”

Tip: Work at keeping the lines of communication open. Involve all family members in decision making. Continue to celebrate important events no matter how difficult it is. A casual comment such as, “Mom and Dad would have been married 45 years today” is a simple way of keeping communication open. Talk about your loved one daily and share both happy and sad memories.

The Grief That Can’t Be Spoken: Suicide

by John Kennedy Saynor

TheGriefThatCantBeSpoken“In the musical “Les Miserables” there is a song that contains these words: “It’s a grief that can’t be spoken, a pain that never ends.” This brochure is about that kind of grief: when the death of a loved one is the result of suicide. There are many losses that people experience for which they are offered little or no support. When that happens, those people are know as “hidden grievers”.

Tip: Face the truth about the nature of this death. In my work with bereaved people, I often encounter those who find it difficult to admit, even to me, that the one who died took his own life. People tell me, “He had a heart attack” or “She had cancer”. If I know or suspect that suicide was involved, it may take me some time to get the survivor to face the reality of what actually happened. Creating myths around your loss isn’t helpful. If you don’t deal with the reality of this death, it will hinder your ability to resolve your grief and to rebuild your life.

When Your Parent Dies

whenyourparentdiesby John Kennedy Saynor

“We are at a point in history when a large percentage of the population finds itself faced with the death or potential death of parents. It is a time when children watch their parents deteriorate physically and often mentally. It is a very difficult time.”

Tip: Work at keeping the lines of communication open between you and your siblings. They understand more than anyone what your loss means. Remember, each member of the family has a personal loss and each will mourn the death of your parent for different reasons and in different ways.

Good Grief!

by John Kennedy Saynor

GoodGrief“Grief is such a mix of intense emotions that most people wish they could be over it within a month of the funeral. However, it is important to understand that recovery from the death of a loved one does not happen quickly. It also helps to understand what things help and what things hinder our recovery.”

Tip: Look after yourself. Make sure you are eating properly, getting plenty of rest and exercising regularly. If you do these things you will be better able to cope with your grief. Treat yourself occasionally. Listen to your favorite music. Eat a whole box of chocolates if you feel like it! Take time to do nothing if that’s what you want to do.

Also available in French as À Chacun Son Deuil!

Anticipatory Grief: What is it?

by John Kennedy Saynor

anticipatory-grief“When you think of it, much of life is spent anticipating events, both happy and sad, that are about to happen. This is true when we learn that someone we love hasn’t long to live. What many people don’t understand is that when we learn a loved one is dying we begin to grieve the loss even while he or she is still alive. This experience is known as anticipatory grief. It is important to recognize during this time that both the person who is dying and those who will be left are grieving.”

Tip: Take steps now to reduce the guilt later. You have been given time to say things you may want to say to the one who is dying. It may be an apology or one more time to say, “I love you.”

It is a time to talk about what life will be like after he or she is gone. It may also be a time when you can do some of the things you have always wanted to do together.

Also available in French


How Do Dead People Get Chocolate Cake?

by John Kennedy Saynor

“Children don’t always understand death or it’s implications for the family. One young boy told his mother that he wanted to go and be with his grandfather who had died. When she told him that if he went, he wouldn’t come back, he decided to stay here!”

Tip: Listen to what they are saying. Don’t put words into their mouths. Let them lead the discussion!

I Can’t Face the Holidays!

by John Kennedy Saynor

holidaysAs the summer months come to an end and the long shadows of autumn begin to fall across the landscape, it begins to strike many newly bereaved people that the first Christmas season without their loved ones will soon be upon them. This is one of the most difficult times of the year and it is quite common to hear the cry, “I can’t face the holidays!”

With this in mind, we have published a brochure to help with this time of the year. A section is devoted to telling you how you are likely to feel…intensified emotions, a feeling that you might be losing ground and many more. Then there is a section that will give you some ideas about how you can get through the holidays and pay tribute to the one who has died. The brochure pays special attention to the children in the family and how you can help them.

When a Young Friend Dies

by John Kennedy Saynor

youngfriendIt would be a gross understatement to say that death is an unwelcome guest in our lives. Not only is it an unwelcome and uninvited guest, death is an intruder. This is especially true when you experience the death of a young friend. The last thing you think about when you are making your plans and dreaming your dreams is that death will come and abruptly end your dreams.

Tip: A first principle of good grieving is, “allow yourself to feel pain.” Don’t mask your grief with alcohol, drugs or over activity. If you are a young man, this may be the first time in a long time you have wanted to cry. Go ahead, cry!

When I Grow Too Old to Grieve

by John Kennedy Saynor

too-oldThe grief experienced by those who are older is unique. An older person may grieve the death of a spouse, a child, grandchild or close friend and companion. An older person may also grieve the loss of mobility, independence, health and well being. There are unique factors that affect how an older person grieves. There are potential limitations our elders experience that may hinder their grieving process. There are, however, ways in which older people can be helped, or help themselves, to do their grieving in a healthy and helpful way.

Tip: A Encourage your elderly loved one to identify ways they have coped with previous crises. Encourage them to see that they were able to survive those difficult times. They can now draw on the same strengths.

When Your Brother or Sister Dies

by John Kennedy Saynor

brotherorsisterThis brochure is written to help those who have experienced the death of a brother or sister as an adult. It considers some of the unique characteristics of a sibling relationship, how you may experience the death of your sibling and what you can do to successfully recover from this loss.

Tip: The death of someone close to us is a call to new life for the survivors. We are often challenged in our values, our beliefs and our lifestyle. Don’t waste this important opportunity to reevaluate your life and make some decisions that could profoundly affect how you live the rest of your life.

When Your Pet Dies

by John Kennedy Saynor

WhenYourPetDies“One of Life’s great treasures is the relationship that human beings develop with their pets. Not everyone has this opportunity; indeed it isn’t something everyone wants. But for those who do, pets become our companions, and often substitute children. A family pet may be a dog, cat, hamster, horse, donkey, bird, fish or any other creature with whom we develop a special relationship.”

Tip: Create an appropriate way to memorialize your pet. This will, of course, be determined by where you live. Your pet may be cremated and then ashes buried in a garden or scattered in your pet’s favourite place. It may be that your pet’s body can be buried on the property where you live. You may want to create some sort of ritual for the time of the burial. A rock, a tree or bench may mark the place where your pet is buried. There are pet cemeteries in some communities and your veterinarian or local funeral director will be able to give you that information.

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