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Death and paperwork: New service helps grieving families shoulder the load

Dragonfly Advisory Services provides link to community resources
Joy Wirta establish Dragonfly Advisory Services to assist those who are grieving the death of a love one to be able to do so with as little stress as possible. Photo by Arron Pickard.

Joy Wirta has experienced the grief of losing a loved one.

In fact, it was one of those losses that led her to establish Dragonfly Advisory Services, created to assist those who are grieving the death of a love one to be able to do so with as little stress as possible. Whether that's helping to fill out confusing paper work, or helping with electronic files, or even pointing people in the direction of the services they need, Dragonfly is there.

“I've seen the change in the process and documentation (dealing with the death of a person) over the years,” Wirta said.

Paper work after a death is something that is often overlooked, she said. And, with modern technology, it can create a challenge for the older population. For example, she knows full well why it's important for family members to cancel a Social Insurance Number or government-issued documents as soon as possible.

“Most people don't have anyone to help them take on this role,” she said. “Being able to navigate these documents really is a life skill. Unless you're a funeral director, this isn't really an education you get anywhere.”

It all came to light after a family member passed away. She helped her family complete the paperwork that went along with it. The death was sudden, and there were issues in changing a password to update the beneficiary.

“I thought, this isn't right. There has to be a simpler process for the average, everyday person. These people are trying to grieve.”

The seed was planted this past spring, and it started growing from there, she said.

Wirta said she acts as the “missing link” to the many services offered in Greater Sudbury.

“We have amazing services in our community, and there are a lot of knowledgeable and compassionate people there to help out, but there was no service to get grieving family members from one point to the next,” she said. “There was no one there to sit down with the family members and help them focus on what comes next, whether that's dealing with finances or cancelling Social Insurance Numbers and driver's licences.”

Dragonfly is a “support tool,” she said. Not everyone will need it, but there are others out there who don't know the service is available to them.

“I look at every client's service as if it was me going through the process,” she said. “It can be overwhelming. Each person we assist, as small as that help might be, is helping them deal with the stress and allowing them to grieve easier.”

Wirta will hold seminars and discussions about her services.

“I would love to see Dragonfly become something that brings together all the resources in our community,” she said. “It's new, it's innovative, and it's something that hasn't been touched anywhere I've looked.”

For more information on Dragonfly Advisory Services, visit


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Arron Pickard

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