Amid all the flowers and cards that came after the death of her son Tyler Miller last November, Laurie Mossey received a unique package.
It was a pair of pajamas from a friend who had previously lost her own child. Mossey was touched that someone knew exactly how she felt – so consumed with grief that she didn’t even want to get dressed.
A new pair of cosy pajamas somehow brought her comfort.
“It just struck my heart,” Mossey said.
That gesture has now inspired Mossey to do the same for other moms coping with the death of a child. She has launched a campaign, called The Pajama Project, that not only delivers a pair of pj’s and a book on grief to moms, but also provides them with an outlet to talk about their loss.
Mossey has so far delivered pajamas to six moms whom she heard about either through news reports or word of mouth. She then tracked down their addresses to mail the packages and, in some cases, even called them to let them know that she understood their pain.
“It’s helpful to know you’re not alone,” she said.
Mossey’s son was among the two ecstasy-related deaths that occurred in Abbotsford late last year. Tyler, her and husband Russ Miller’s only child, was 20 at the time of his death on Nov. 27, 2011.
The first grieving mom with whom she connected was Cathy McCormack, whose 17-year-old daughter Cheryl died from ecstasy use less than a month later.
Mossey sent McCormack a book on grief before she mailed her first pair of pajamas – to a mom whose child had died in a car crash.
Mossey said that speaking with these parents brings back the raw pain that she feels over the loss of her son, but she feels compelled to do it.
“I decided a long time ago that if I was going to continue living without Tyler, there had to be a purpose.”
McCormack has since joined Mossey on the board of The Pajama Project, as have two of the moms – Michelle Burge and Lori Morison – who received the pajamas.
The group held a night of entertainment and food on Sept. 20 at the Roasted Grape in Abbotsford to raise funds for the pajamas, the grief books and postal costs.
They hope to soon launch a Facebook page, titled “The Pajama Project,” to offer support to grieving moms.
Mossey said her hope is to provide a pair of pajamas to every mom in B.C. who loses a child.
She also encourages any dads to come forward who have suggestions about supporting fathers.
For more information or to donate to the project, send an email to email@example.com.