Lori Morison never knew pain until her son died.
"When I heard, a piece of me died," the 43-year-old Langley mother said. "My heart literally hurt so bad, I felt I was having a heart attack. I was lost in my grief. I did not want to get out of bed and face another day."
Then a pair of pyjamas arrived in the mail.
"Exactly one month to the day of my son's passing, I received a package in the mail. I thought, 'Oh, another card or something.'"
The pyjamas came along with a book on grief and a heartfelt letter from another mother whose child had died. It was from the Pyjama Project.
"Those pyjamas brought me so much comfort. It made me realize I am not alone on this journey and there are other mothers who took the time to show me love," she said. "Some days are still unbearable, and on those days, I slip into my pyjamas and I feel some peace come over me."
Something as simple as a cozy pair of pyjamas allowed the Willoughby woman to feel cared for while she worked through the grief of her son's death.
Garrett Morison was 20 when went out with friends June 2012 and accidentally overdosed.
"At times when I am out, I want to scream to the world to stop," she said. "Can they not see my pain? But life goes on for us mothers. We have jobs, other children, family members. Unfortunately, in today's society people feel that, after the celebration of life, we should be over it. The loss of a child [is something] you will never get over. My heart has a hole that will never be replaced. I am forever a different person, so to connect with mothers who will listen, hug, cry, and occasionally will have a laugh with you, I will be forever grateful for this."
She's been so impressed by the power of these symbols of comfort that she's using her grief to reach out to others through the Pyjama Project, which supports B.C. mothers.
Through the Pyjama Project, Morison has connected with other mothers whose children have died and found a vital support network.
Laurie Mossey is the founder of this project. She lost her son Tyler Miller a year ago at the age of 20 and connected with the Abbotsford Hospice Society. This first Pyjama Day, held in 2012, was mostly in Abbotsford, with Morison bringing the idea to Langley. The hope is that this spreads.
"Pyjama Day will be held every Dec. 21 and on that day it is wear your pyjamas to work or school. For a minimum $2 donation, participants can register with their school or employers to wear their best pyjamas that day."
Morison wants Pyjama Day to become an annual event in Langley, to be held Dec. 21. She started with her workplace, Child's Play dental, and found co-workers only too willing to help the cause by sporting their PJs.
"I was amazed and comforted," she said of her reaction when her co-workers jumped on board.
Langley's first Pyjama Day was low key, with information spread by word of mouth. But it is planned as an annual event, with proceeds supporting the Pyjama Project. Anyone who wants to support the project or find out more, contact Kelly or Karley at 604-852-2456.
For more information or to make a direct donation, contact abbotsfordhospice.org.