Virtual wall honouring the ‘special places’ that memorialize our loved ones lost to SUDEP around the globe
SUDEP Aware was inspired to build an online 'Special Places Shared' wall after learning of mom Mary-Anne Fish's bench in honour of her son, Thomas Thorne.
Dealing with the death of a loved one is difficult and unique to each of us and, for some people, having a special place to visit in their loved one's memory can bring a sense of closeness and comfort. Working with Mary-Anne, we created this 'Special Places Shared' Wall as a way to help bring families together. Through the sharing of these personal refuges from around the world we hope this will bring some consolidation in helping other families feel less alone in their grief.
Mary-Anne encourages families to get involved, “I think it’s a great way to feel a part of something positive, amidst the terrible sorrow.”
If you have lost a loved one to SUDEP and have a special place you'd like to share, we invite you to do so by clicking here.
Mary-Anne Fish’s world became a painful, confusing mess after the loss of her 24 year old son, Thomas Thorne, to SUDEP in June 2017: “Since that moment I have tried to find meaning in it all and to find ways to keep his memory alive for all to see. There is nothing I like better than being asked about Thomas and having an opportunity to talk about him.
I’d seen memorial benches on my walks along the walking/hiking trails in Chilliwack, BC, and decided this would be a great way to honour my son, to have his name out there and to also be a place for me and my family to go and “be” with him. I wanted it to be a peaceful place, and one that felt just right.
When deciding what I wanted engraved on the bench plaque, I realized this could be an opportunity to also help bring awareness to something that still remains unheard of to so many people. I so badly wish I’d known about SUDEP. Even though it may not have changed anything, all of us living with epilepsy have to be fully informed of all the risks by our doctors so we can make healthier lifestyle choices and be diligent about taking the necessary medications.
The plaque reads, “Hey, my name is Thomas Thorne, and this is my bench. Have a seat! My family misses me so much because of epilepsy/SUDEP. Please read my story online at SUDEP Aware.”
Through this, I hope visitors to the bench will be curious to learn more about SUDEP and want to share this with their families and friends living with epilepsy.”