A Journey with Grief
On November 19, 2015, Pete and Beth Mannino planned on Christmas shopping the next day for their two children, 24-year-old Brandi and 20-year-old Joey. Little did they know that the next morning, they would wake up to one of their worst fears...the loss of their only daughter.
That morning Pete didn’t think anything of it when he did not see his daughter’s car as he pulled out of the driveway on the way to the gym. Brandi had an active schedule and was always on the go. She worked several different jobs and often stayed with her cousin at the last minute.
During his workout, Pete’s mom called with startling news that no one had heard from Brandi or her very good friend, Eike Krebs, since their departure from an event the previous night. Eike’s mom said the last time they talked he had mentioned taking Brandi out to the pier at Tiscornia Beach.
After arriving at Tiscornia Beach they encountered Brandi’s car, caution tape, reporters, fire fighters, and police. “The police officers came up to us and I’ll never forget hearing the words, ‘Your daughter is deceased.’ They said it as gently as they could, but hearing those words was just devastating,” said Pete.
Within a few weeks of Brandi’s death, Pete’s sister recommended Lory’s Place to the grieving parents. “Right away we knew that this was right for us. The staff was amazing and we bonded with people suffering the same way that we are,” Pete shared.
The Manninos are stepping through their grief journey one day at a time, last year attending the inaugural adult grief retreat held by Lory’s Place and continuing to go to twice a month support groups. It is still very difficult for Pete to look at photos of Brandi or to drive by the cemetery. He has learned that he can take each day and grieve at his own pace.
“We make the best out of our time at Lory’s Place. We have made some great friends and met wonderful people. Sometimes we laugh, other times we cry, but we will continue to go,” said Pete.
Lory’s Place, a Caring Circle service, is respected as the regional leader in grief support services, and in the past year with the help of charitable donations has:
- Supported more than 3,026 grieving children, teens, and adults in southwest Michigan and northern Indiana
- Provided innovative, life-affirming programs in the community at business centers, and at 45 schools in three counties, including Camp Lifetimes for children and an adult grief retreat
- Presented grief and loss educational sessions in local venues,and continued to mentor other grief support providers