Non-profit grief & healing organization dedicated to helping parents and families living with the loss of a child
COPE Newsletter June 2018
The Next Level of Healing is Helping

In this Newsletter
Words from Lilly
Healing Tip
Calendar of Events
COPE Golf Outing
Parent Column
Save the Date - COPE Walk
June Passings
June Birthdays
General Donations

Words from Lilly
COPE President and Founder
Dear COPE Families,

There are circumstances in every relationship that may cause us moments of regret. 

With grief comes regret. Regret for all that we're missing...regret for all that our loved ones missed. Regret for what we didn't say...regret for what we didn't do. 

Why is it easier to be pulled to a negative thought rather than a positive one? 

Why do we torment ourselves? Why is it easier to stay in pain for lack of what we cannot change?

At Camp Erin NYC, a program of COPE, grieving kids raise their voices throughout the weekend and shout, "NO REGRETS!"

In my moments of regret, I try to shift my thoughts to those young children and remind myself, "I was doing the best I could under the circumstances." 

In June, we think of fathers here and everywhere. We send love to everyone missing a father and to all those missing a child. 

COPE President and Founder
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Vulnerability Can Be An Act of Courage
By Clinical Director, Michelle Graff    

Grief is an experience that creates a feeling of vulnerability.

Brene Brown, famous author, Social Worker, TED talker and professor explains that vulnerability is experienced when you are emotionally exposed, taking a risk or facing uncertainty. It’s the feeling that you get when something feels so horrible inside that you just want to run from it.
Mid-IslandY JCC, 7:00pm

Mid-IslandY JCC, 7:00pm

East Meadow Library 7:00pm

COPE at Cedarmere 7:00pm

Merrick Library 1:00pm

Chai Center in Dix Hills, 7:00pm

COPE at Cedarmere 1:00pm
7,14 Teen Grief Support Group at Rockville Centre Recreation Center 7:00pm

For established parents at Syosset Public
Library, 7:00pm

For established parents at Jericho Public Library, 7:00pm

DASHA Flagship, The Galleria in NYC

United Methodist Church in Ronkonkoma

The 12th annual golf outing was a huge success.
The speeches by our honorees were very moving. Please take the time to read their powerful words.
Thank you to all who participated, donated and volunteered.
Jill Martin
COPE Honoree
Sandra R. Wolkoff , Ph.D., LCSW-R
COPE Parent & Professional Service Award

Honestly, I wish I had never heard of COPE. I wish I never had to call my children and tell them their brother was killed. I wish I could stop hearing the police banging on my door. 

I wish there weren’t so many grieving parents, brothers and sisters, families and friends. I wish things were different.

My friend, Sherry Radowitz, also now a Board member, first told me about COPE and its services. We have known each other for 40 years. Our boys knew each other; they went to Hebrew school together and SUNY Albany years later. They died 13 months apart.

Seven years ago, when Lilly asked me to be a support group facilitator, I cried and said I couldn’t. I don’t know what impulse pushed out the words that had me offer to start a writing group.  

I would like to think it was my grief leading me forward. I knew I wrote compulsively when I couldn’t sleep and those words became the snapshots of my life. Rereading them helped. Maybe if the words were outside of me, on the paper, I would be able to breathe.
Shaun Sharp
COPE Sibling Recognition Award

Fran was a loving mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She will forever be missed by all who had the privilege to know her. Fran’s bright smile lit up every room she entered as well as the lives of all whom she touched. She is remembered as a compassionate, independent, confident and smart woman who had an incredible passion for life. I am grateful for being a part of the special gift that was her life for 31 years.

It was pouring rain that evening, I got caught in traffic during my long commute home so I arrived a little late. Sharing is not something I care much for. So imagine my angst when I was the only one there that evening. Where am I and what am I doing? The shock had worn off but the why that forms in our hearts and all but bursts from our lips was and remains unanswered. My brother was going to group, my parents were going to group so I figured why not me. So many things we were now doing that we weren’t before that tragic Friday the 13th nine years ago this coming November. Now that night may not have worked out and I didn’t return the next month but eventually I found my way back for what were years and dozens of sessions to come. While it was so sad to see new members both come and go, I’d like to thank them all for the courage to show up. And to Tracey and Amy, thank you for your care and guidance.
Mother's Day
by Fran Gerstein
The sublime banality of Mother's Day
meant flowers and handmade cards
from you.
Your childlike and authentic display of love
always begot the question,
"How am I doing, as your mother?"

This Mother's Day I ask this question to the air,
the air once inhabited by you.
"Daniel, are you remembering me today,
celebrating me as I celebrate you and
the gift of being your mother?"

Since I'm not sure where you are,
I summon you while doing yoga.
You oblige me, whispering, 
"Go, Mom, you can do it."

As I tentatively take Half-moon pose
I feel your strong body bracing mine
holding me midair for an extra millisecond--
Our special Mother's Day moment. 
It still hurts.

Pangs of pain when I look at his clock which I have moved to my room.

Just for a moment when I see someone in a distance that looks similar - just a split second I think he is still alive!

Lost so young.
COPE Walk 16

Sunday, September 30, 2018
at Long Beach Boardwalk

An opportunity for all our local families to come out
and meet and support one another. A great day for connecting our paths.  We hope to see you then!
In the month of June, we remember the following loved ones
who were taken from us before their time.
June Passings
Jonathan Cotromano (2012, Passing) son of Suzanne Cotromano
Holly Cullen (2013, Passing) sister of Amy Cullen
Keith O'Malley (2014, Passing) son of Barbara O'Malley
Gabriel Kane (2003, Passing) son of Jeff & Janet Kane
Richard Carbone (2012, Passing) son of Richard & Billie Carbone
Terry C. Long, Jr. (2005, Passing) brother of Jen Gaynor
Rachel Lynch (2009, Passing) daughter of Doreen & Chris Lynch
Phillip Clemens (2010, Passing) son of Frieda & Philip Clemens
Brian Bazuro (2012, Passing) son of Janet & Ralph Bazuro
Samuel Okoronkwo (2016, Passing) father of Marizu Okoronkwo
Nathan Davidson (2008, Passing) son of Kimberly Davidson
Larry Yerys (1990, Passing) son of Abbey & Paul Yerys, ) brother of Ben Yerys
Stephen Fay (2012, Passing) son of Pennie Fay Licalzi, son of Thomas Fay, son of Thomas Grover, brother of Andrew Fay
Rutger Osterroth (1975, Passing) father of Karen & Alan Flyer
James William Brown (2015, Passing) son of Lucy Brown
Blakely Kay (2004, Passing) daughter of Barbara Russell
Steven Grauer (2008, Passing) son of Susan Grauer
Stacey Mickus (2011, Passing) daughter of Debbie & Bill Carberry, sister of Samantha Nanni
Jon Wakiya Krug (2014, Passing) son of Kari Krug
Jonathan Staudigel (2016, Passing) son of Sharon Gunther
Michael Liebowitz (2016, Passing) brother of Danielle Liebowitz
Kayla Schwartz (2017, Passing) sister of Brooke Schwartz
Karen Rose Eichin (2010, Passing) daughter of Karen & Daniel Rose
Dean Galasso (2011, Passing) son of Priscilla Galasso
Andrew James Cherpak, III (2009, Passing) son of Lee Ann Cherpak, brother of Christine Cherpak
Reza Abedi (2009, Passing) son of Parvaneh Abedi, brother of Leyla Abedi
Anthony Maletta (2005, Passing) son of Eleanor DeFalco
Adam Pomper (2012, Passing) son of Bruce Pomper
Andrew Weiner ( 2014, Passing) brother of Leslie Glick
Samantha ("Sammi") Mergentime (2009, Passing) daughter of Melanie & Larry Mergentime
Andrew Gerber (2016, Passing) son of Laurie Gerber
Scott Biggart (2011, Passing) son of Jeanne & Kurt Biggart
Rebecca Swender (2008, Passing) sister of Melissa Swender
Kevin Gilday (2012, Passing) son of Eileen Gilday, brother of Kathleen Harten
Justin Carroll (2009, Passing) son of Jean Carroll
Jacob Grady Smith (2010, Passing) son of Jason & Kathleen Smith
Kimberly Coffey (2012, Passing) daughter of Patti Wukovitz
Sean Alger (2010, Passing) son of Frances Alger
Warren Kraft (2013, Passing) son of Warren Kraft
Alan Cohen (2015, Passing) father of Lindsay Cohen
Lonny Ostrofsky (2001, Passing) son of Marilyn Ostrofsky
Brendan Aykroyd (2011, Passing) son of Sandi Aykroyd
Boruch Teldon (1991, Passing) son of Chaya & Rabbi Tuvia Teldon
Leeor Perl (2004, Passing) daughter of Aliza Perl
Edward Ennis (2009, Passing) son of Paula Nolan
Jeffrey Wagner (2015, Passing) son of Brian & Rosemary Wagner, brother of Tara McErlean
Joseph Mastrangelo (2011, Passing) son of Christine & Michael Mastrangelo
John Sopack (2015, Passing) husband of Rosanna Sopack
Kenny Block (2016, Passing) brother of Cheryl Block
David Leslie (2016, Passing) husband of Karen Leslie
William H. Long (2011, Passing) bother of Jen Gaynor
Dawn Leslie (2008, Passing) daughter of Karen & David Leslie
Jordan Anthony Ruoccomonares (2012, Passing) son of Anna-Margareta Ruoccomonares
Josephine Avolio Kovacs (2010, Passing) sister of Cathy Avolio
Steven N. Wolkoff (2008, Passing) son of Sandy Wolkoff
Haylen Ava Lee (2013, Passing) daughter of Natalie Johnson Lee
Mario Guy Mendez (2004, Passing) son of Ellen Pontecorvo
Bryan Eastwood (2016, Passing) son of Joanne Eastwood
Blake Carlin (2013, Passing) son of Jacqueline Carlin
Beth Adams (2005, Passing) daughter of Becky Garduno
Finneaus Joseph Egan (2012, Passing) son of Emily Snyder
Andrew Blackman (2009, Passing) son of Marcia & Jay Blackman
Justin Carlo (2014, Passing) son of Al Carlo
Martin Belonsky (2014, Passing) son of Medline Belonsky
Michael Joseph Fisher (2010, Passing) son of Carol Fisher
Eric Britton (2013, Passing) brother of Laurie Britton
Corey Loeliger-Myers (2013, Passing) brother of Kenny Loeliger-Myers
Jonathan Glasgal (1997, Passing) son of Judith Long, brother of David Glasgal
Brian Stabile (2016, Passing) son of Sharon Stabile
Melissa Giorgio (2008, Passing) daughter of Mary Giorgio
June Birthdays
Derlo Woolard (1984, Birthday) son of Connie Hardman
Jason Coriarty (1966, Birthday) father of Matthew Coriaty
Jaclyn Weil (1993, Birthday) daughter of Korinne Weil
Kenny Beers (1963, Birthday) brother of Amy Resnik
Robert Reilly (1992, Birthday) brother of Meagan Reilly
Erin Rose Clemens (1981, Birthday) daughter of Frieda & Philip Clemens
Alfred Speehr (1967, Birthday) son of Margaret Perillo
Joel Preddy (1980, Birthday) son of Josette Preddy
Shaun Brala (1991, Birthday) son of Lisa & John Brala
Amanda Krieger (1971, Birthday) sister of Jessica Kieninger
Andrew Goldman (1987, Birthday) son of Valerie & Gary Goldman
Michael Unger (1968, Birthday) son of Patricia L Unger
Caitlin Petrou (1985, Birthday) daughter of Bridgette Dooley
Cory Vogel (1987, Birthday) son of Lisa & Jay Vogel
Evan Spiegel (2017, Birthday) son of Jessica Spiegel
Gabriel Kane (1981, Birthday) son of Jeff & Janet Kane
Holly Oestreich (1978, Birthday) daughter of Joyce Oestreich, sister of Lindsay Oestreich
Stephen Fay ( 1992, Birthday) son of Pennie Fay Licalzi, son of Thomas Fay, son of Thomas Grover, brother of Andrew Fay
Lakeya Strickland (2006, Birthday) daughter of Lakesha Strickland
Kelly Dinonno (1968, Birthday) daughter of Sally Ryan
Laura Lee Flynn (1974, Birthday) daughter of Lee Flynn
Kenneth Michael Warren (1986, Birthday) son of Karen Warren
Kathy Holvknecht (1990, Birthday) daughter of Anne Holvknecht
Joseph Miles (1985, Birthday) grandson of Audrey Robinson
Lance Topol (1972, Birthday) son of Arlene Topol
Hilary Paige Bernstein (1991, Birthday) daughter of Barbara Varnhagen, daughter of Neal Bernstein
Morgan Crofton (1991, Birthday) sister of Megan Crofton
Sabrina Garfield (1979, Birthday) daughter of George Garfield, daughter of Jugnu Garfield
Kiana Ianotti (1978, Birthday) daughter of Diane Diblasi
Michael Schwartz (1957, Birthday) son of Lotte Schwartz
Jaclyn Scarabino (1988, Birthday) daughter of Diane & Robert Scarabino
Ed Schuldner (1968, Birthday) son of Barbara Schuldner
Christopher A. Basmas (1982, Birthday) brother of Cynthia Russo
Owen Sheridan (1977, Birthday) son of Jim Sheridan
Kelly Salgine (1983, Birthday) daughter of Michael & Tina Salgine
Jacob Grady Smith (2010, Birthday) son of Jason & Kathleen Smith
Liam Barry (1989, Birthday) son of Matthew & Andra Barry
Brian Pupke (1994, Birthday) son of Robert & Heather Pupke
Pauline Nemati (1979, Birthday) daughter of Mitra & Iradj Nemati
Kenneth Grym (1989, Birthday) son of Kelly Grym
Alyssa Seaman ( 1988, Birthday) daughter of Mary & Donald Seaman
Michelle Bergman (1967, Birthday) daughter of Marc & Jean Levinn, sister of Sharri Chahalis
Suzanne Fox (1972, Birthday) daughter of Carol Fox
Alexis Pilkington (1992, Birthday) daughter of Paula Pilkington
Haylen Ava Lee (2011, Birthday) daughter of Natalie Johnson Lee
Steven Kovacs (1987, Birthday) son of Wayne & Elaine Kovacs, son of Joni Howe, son of Michael Howe & Debra Mochado
Aram Chowdhury (1976, Birthday) son of Ellen & Faizur Chowdhury
Cody McKenzie Gainey (1992, Birthday) son of Michelle Wright
Gabriel Pierro (1986, Birthday) son of Fabian Pierro
Kevin Lynch (1961, Birthday) son of Barbara Lynch
Janna Alterac (1984, Birthday) sister of Jocelyn Verbeeck
Mark Anthony Governale (1985, Birthday) son of Diana Roscigno
Janna Altarac (1984, Birthday) daughter of Faith Altarac
Tracey Young (1969, Birthday) sister of April Young
Hemant Mehta (1966, Birthday) father of Priyanka Mehta
Chloe Weil (1985, Birthday) daughter of Dina Weil
James Geros (1990, Birthday) son of Dianne Geros
Josh Sutton (1981, Birthday) brother of Jennifer Sutton
Nicole Novick (1972, Birthday) daughter of Carol & Gerry Acker
Benjamin Ziegelbaum (1988, Birthday) son of Amy Ziegelbaum
John Paul Pedagna (1965, Birthday) son of Frances Pedagna
Jarrad William Mancuso (1983, Birthday) son of Sheree & John Mancuso
Rachel Small (1984, Birthday) sister of Hannah Small
Kieran McCaffrey (1990, Birthday) son of John & Tara McCaffrey
Stephen Clark ( 1994, Birthday) son of Rosemary & Joe Clark
Christopher Conklin (1988, Birthday) son of Gordon Conklin
Rachel Lynch ( 1982, Birthday) daughter of Doreen & Chris Lynch
Rebecca Rosenblatt (1989, Birthday) daughter of Jonah Rosenblatt, daughter of Lisa Rosenblatt
Raizy Rosenblatt (1979, Birthday) sister of Navah Rosenblatt
Holli Haymes (1963, Birthday) sister of Ellen Heller
Ricahrd Carbone (1984, Birthday) son of Richard & Billie Carbone
Ronald Eisenburg (1943, Birthday) brother of Linda Biderman
Shane Verity (1985, Birthday) son of Pat Verity
Joseph Polchinski ( 1990, Birthday) son of Lena Polchinski
Tommy Calvano (1977, Birthday) brother of Jennifer Webb
Sanford (Sandy) Drexler (1961, Birthday) son of Shelly Drexler
Alana McClinton (1990, Birthday) daughter of Joyce Nolan
Michael John Pina Jr. (1991, Birthday) son of Alisha Pendleton
Howie Robinson (1970, Birthday) son of Jeff & Harriet Robinson
Karen Lynster (1959, Birthday) mother of Rhiannon Lynster
Kayla Schwartz (1989, Birthday) sister of Brooke Schwartz
Jeffrey Feldman (1976, Birthday) son of Michael and Harriet Feldman, ) brother of Jennifer Feldman
Todd Grayson (1970, Birthday) son of Florence & Jerry Grayson
Shannon McNamara (1981, Birthday) brother of Cynthia McNamara
Sean Alger (1986, Birthday) son of Frances Alger
We thank our generous supporters for making donations to COPE during the month of May: Please click here to view donations made in honor of loved ones (go to Donations May 2018.)

COPE and Camp Erin NYC would like to express our appreciation for all the generous support of our Golf Outing, which will be acknowledged individually. Thank You.
COPE Foundation
PO Box 1251
Melville, New York 11747