‘Remarkable Woman’ finalist Therese Schoeneck, creator of Hope for Bereaved

Local News

(WSYR-TV) — Few things in life are as devastating as the sudden loss of a loved one and it’s a pain so many have learned all too well over the past year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The unwanted solitude and truncated farewells leave families stunned and traumatized. Grief can also be laced with anger.

But one remarkable woman has been helping people deal with loss and grief for more than 40 years.

No one knows the heartbreak better than Therese Schoeneck. Her daughter, Mary, died in a car accident in 1977 at the age of 21. “You’re just not prepared for the pain. It just slams into you and it really overtakes you for a while.”

There were a lot of what-ifs and pain. Therese didn’t think she could survive or ever be happy again after her daughter’s tragic death.

“I knew I had to go on, for my family, but no, I did not know how to do it. And I am kind of a stuffer, and I wanted to stuff that grief, and that’s not a good thing to do,” explains Therese.

At that time, Central New York didn’t have a support group available for parents dealing with the death of a child. But Therese discovered she wasn’t alone and as a response she wanted to fill that need.

“I just – myself and my family – didn’t want her to just die. We wanted something positive to come,” said Therese. “We had a [tough time] coping with the holidays in December in 1978, and those parents said can we meet this month.”

And so Hope for Bereaved was born.

You can hear more of Therese’s story and stories from other amazing Central New York women in NewsChannel 9’s Remarkable Women program airing Thursday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m.

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