The loss of our friend, Greg Proulx

It is with heavy hearts that we announce that our friend and colleague, Greg Proulx, passed away on Friday November 21, 2014 due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident.  An obituary can be found at http://demo.piadvance.com/2014/11/dr-gregory-proulx/ 
 
Notes of condolence can be sent on the Bannan Funeral Home website. If you would like to send a note directly to his family, please contact Avery Eenigenburg (aeenigenburg@mi-aimh.org) for the address.
 
Greg Proulx was a long-time MI-AIMH Board member and the supervisor of an infant mental health program in Alpena for many years.  In fact, Greg was employed at Community Mental Health for the past 20 years.
 
Over the last several days, members of MI-AIMH have been sharing stories and recollections of Greg.  We thought other members would appreciate knowing some of the many ways that Greg’s kindness, humor and wisdom have benefitted babies, families, and all of us.
 
“We have all lost so much with the passing of Greg. He was a one of a kind! Greg was just a good guy in every way, a very descent and caring person. I loved to sit next to him at Board meetings because he was so funny. We shared many a belly laugh together. I adored him. It was my pleasure to work with him on the Baby Bench Card, and we had many delightful phone calls and emails back and forth about this tool. It was his brainchild, and he never lost the dream of creating it. I would lose my energy for it at times but Greg never did. A tribute to Greg around this wonderful tool would be so fitting. Of course in the end, Greg only wanted what was best for infants and toddlers. This Bench Card was just another mechanism to make things better for the babies. He really heard the babies loud and clear. It was my honor and privilege to know him. He will be missed beyond words.” 
 
“We have all seen results for this organization based on [Greg Proulx’s] passion and practice, and the field of infant mental health is better because of his contributions over the years.  He will be sorely missed.”
 
“There are no words to express the sorrow we feel. I always look forward to seeing Greg at board meetings. What a beautiful soul he is. I admired him very much. I am so very sorry.”
 
“I feel the sadness others are expressing. I loved Greg’s kind, funny, and sweet spirit, and appreciated how much he cared about the work, and about his colleagues.”
 
“I am so very sad too. Greg has been a funny, vocal and kind voice for babies and their families. I still smile when I recall his tale of his mother bringing cake to his dissertation defense. What a loss for his family, friend, the families in his community and colleagues.”
 
“My heart is so heavy for his family, friends, staff, the Alpena community, close colleagues from both recently developed  connections and those with a richly shared past of discovering, learning and growing together in this world of infant mental health.  Thanks for being you, Greg.”
 
“Greg’s joyful and compassionate presence has always been a wonderful part of my experience of MI-AIMH– and is impossible to imagine us without.  May we find a way to keep that within and among us always, honoring his gift to us, to his family, to babies and parents everywhere.  But the ache of our loss is deep and wide.
Bless his soul.  Peace to his family.”  
 
“My prayers go out to his family. I truly believe that such a beautiful and gentle soul as Greg will transcend into a world of light, beauty, and love, which he sent forth with his kind and sweet spirit. I thank the Lord for the blessing of his exemplary being and that he was a part of my professional life for many years.”
 
“Greg Proulx’s death is such a loss for the MI-AIMH community. Although I did not know him well and only had opportunity to speak with him on a few occasions, I felt him to be a kind and gentle man.  His contributions are permanently etched into IMH.  I pray much for his family in this most difficult time.”
 
“I will remember Greg as the quintessential good guy everyone wants for a friend.  I started to say he went out of his way to be kind to me, but then being kind and thoughtful was his way.  I am so very sorry.”
 
“Greg’s death is such a loss.  To me, he has always been the quintessential representative of MI-AIMH.  His kindness, dedication, humor, and compassion will not be forgotten.  When I was new to the organization, he always welcomed me with a smile and a kind word.  I looked forward to seeing him even though our interactions were brief.  My thoughts are with his family and close friends.”
 
“I had a great deal of time to think about Greg this past five days as I travelled alone over 800 miles through Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  The first part of the trip I was praying that all was not as bad as it seemed for Greg and his family, and then when the news confirmed that it really was that bad, I felt a sudden, deep sadness for all of them, and then all of us.
 
I am not sure if I actually met Greg, or if I just talked with him for the first time at a board meeting.  I told him I had really enjoyed reading his submission to the Crier, “Fear of Love – A story.” (April-June, 2007)  Greg seemed touched that I had enjoyed the story and we talked a bit about it.  It was story about a badger “adopted” by wolverines.  Greg wrote it after working with a family that had adopted a five-year-old.  I often thought that story could be made into a book for adoptive parents in order to help explain some of the joys, and yet also challenges, of adoption of an older child.   I know Greg wrote at least one other story because we had talked about it.   When I think of Greg, I remember him as a warm and incredibly genuine person who had a very approachable way of being.  He often seemed to be smiling, just finished smiling, or just about to smile.  I remember making a comment to a story last year at a meeting that made him laugh, really hard, and that moment, and that laugh, is even more memorable to me now.
 
Having lost my own father at the same young age (60), during a holiday week, and in a traumatic, sudden accident also, I can vividly recall the overwhelming sense of shock.  “He was just here.”  The very fact that so many have shared such beautiful thoughts, feelings and memories of Greg is a true testament to his meaningful presence in our lives. The hole in our hearts and minds is only there because we will miss Greg’s kindness, generosity of spirit and compassion. 
 
I hope to fill that hole with a renewed sense of joy, love, connection and gratitude for the people in my life, and in the world around me.  And during this week of Thanksgiving, I will give thanks that so many lives, including mine, were touched by this deeply warm, generous man.  I will miss you, Greg.  May joy, love and laughter travel with you.”