After spending more than a decade to improve the health and wellbeing of all Americans, Joyal encountered few support systems before, during and after the death of her daughter. Given the significant hardships families face, Joyal hopes to change the landscape for bereaved families because losing a child…changes everything.

THE Question

The Huffington Post (May 2016). Motherhood, unlike any other experience, is a testament to the strength and resolve of women. It is an instinctual force driving us to shelter, protect and invest everything in them from inception till our deaths—no matter the ramifications. It is our sense of purpose, our life’s mission and work, our oath: once a mother, always a mother.

There is a common question that many parents, especially mothers, encounter when meeting someone for the first time: how many children do you have? For those of you who have lost a child, you know the simple calculus that ensues: save our new acquaintance from social unease by subtracting the child(ren) who has died or charge forward with the uncomfortable silence that inevitably follows.

Read more in The Huffington Post on Mother’s Day in May 2016.


Yes! I want better bereavement care for all Americans.

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