Lucie Brunet

Sadly, Lucie has passed away, but she continues to inspire us.  The manner in which she lived her life to the hilt, including her career, and even the manner of her passing, was exemplary.  
Lucie was always a creative person, a self-starter who was a business woman for more than 25 years. Prior to being a consultant, her first career was with the Federal Government as a program officer at both Labour Canada and Treasury Board in the areas of employee participation and management of change.

Throughout her consulting career, Lucie worked with non-profit organizations, professional associations and government agencies. She truly enjoyed working with the non-profit and community sector. Her ability to grasp complex issues quickly and work with a broad range of stakeholders was an asset when facilitating meetings and strategic planning sessions.

In addition to doing program evaluation, she delivered various training programs and qualified as an accredited trainer for the Ontario Agricultural Training Institute. Clients, colleagues and students benefitted from her informal coaching and mentoring skills.  She was called upon to assist with conflict resolution in community and workplace settings, and to carry out organizational reviews.  As a former CBC Radio-Canada journalist, Lucie brought communication strength to the Brunet Sherwood team.

Lucie was well known and respected in the Franco-Ontarian milieu. As a community researcher, she did pioneering research and her studies are quoted by academics. Over her last dozen years, she developed an expertise in two areas. The first area was literacy (including family literacy) in French language minority settings, where she coordinated a four-year research team on the impact of family literacy programs and developed materials targeted at the participation of fathers.

Her second area of expertise was the development of services for Francophone women who are victims of violence. She did several needs analysis studies and community interview processes that led to the creation of new services.  She used the same methodology for a number of French language services, most notably community health centres.

A long-time volunteer and leader in several organizations at the international, provincial and local levels, Lucie played an instrumental role in the creation of Centre Novas, a sexual assault centre in her home county of Prescott-Russell and was its founding president. She was also involved in women’s professional and business networks and received a number of awards from her peers.

As she moved through life, spiritual development gradually assumed a greater importance, for example yoga, church, pilgrimages to sacred sites, and home grown ceremonies seeking connections to the great mystery.  In one of her last creative bursts, as "Lucie Lumière" she designed and offered a series of five workshops on women’s inner wisdom. 

When she began to have significant symptoms of dis-ease, she took an attitude of "spiritual warrior" who refused to be labelled by her malady, which she treated as a "visitor" from whom she could learn.  She took no conventional medications and was up and active until her last day.  We are indebted to her sharing during that period.  Those who were fortunate enough to be in contact with her came away stronger.  After a touchingly peaceful passing, she has gone on to her ultimate assignment.  Donations in her memory may be sent to Child Haven International (Maxville, Ontario).  Founded by our friends Bonnie and Fred Cappucino, it has provided orphanages in many countries. 
Lucie's Approach to Living with an Affliction
Lucie decided to create a positive environment, which she called her "healing bubble", inside of which she could be fairly happy on a day-to-day basis, "living with" her situation, rather than "dying from it".  She believed that maybe she could get better, yet she was a realist who did not deny what was happening to her body.  Most of the time, she succeeded in her chosen program.
Lucie's Natural Home Made Diet via PEG Tube
At one point, Lucie had to go on a liquid diet.  Here again, she was an innovator.  She "stretched the envelope" by going beyond what the dieticians thought was feasible, to show there are other choices. 
Palliative phase - preparing for the end
At some point, Lucie accepted that -- like all of us -- this existence comes to an end.  So she switched from reading about "cures" to reading about "healing" in the sense of: trying to accept what is coming, making reasonable preparations for the end, and putting all remaining energies toward giving and receiving love energy.   ... Because the love we exchange while we are here, survives us when we are gone ...
"It's not over, even when it's over."  Lucie is one of those persons whose legacy lives on.  Firstly, from all those she influenced.  And then her books, including a biography of the first French-Canadian feminist, Almanda Walker-Marchand; co-author of a book about the church in her home village of Sainte-Anne-de-Prescott; and author of guides for women in business and for literacy centres.  Posthumously, the United Way in her home county of Prescott-Russell created a prize in her honour, the "Lumière" award for persons who, like her, donate their time and skills to the community.  Her home village holds a seed and plant exchange in the spring, in her honour, because she organized the first one. What better way to witness how life springs eternal and how our legacy carries on in those we have influenced.