Bereaved parents helping each other

When our child dies it is easy to feel that we are the only parents to experience such pain and anguish that results. It can take us a while to look beyond ourselves and to understand that others have indeed have had to endure life after losing their children.When we become aware of this fact we might want to seek out these parents and to ask them how they have been able to move forward in their grieving.
For me this took several months, for others weeks and yet for others years and still others who decide to go it alone. No way is wrong as we can only do what is right for each of us.
I was unaware of needing help until I reached out to help others, but in doing this, I found empathy which I didn’t know existed. From writing a letter to the then Scottish Co-ordinator I became the County Contact for The Compassionate Friends (TCF)in the North East of Scotland.Then with three other bereaved mothers formed a group that met once a month.
There are many of these groups throughout the UK. Some meet more frequently than others and include dads as well as mums, some also have siblings groups. Please click on the http://www.tcf.org.uk link on this page and find your nearest group, phone the meeting organizer to introduce yourself or just turn up on the evening.
You might want to come to one of the Gatherings planned like the Scottish Forum, the National, International or one of the smaller Regional ones.
However, if none of these appeal to you, click on the link anyway, as I am sure
The Compassionate Friends will be able to support you through this most difficult of tasks you may ever have to deal with.

Poetry helps bereaved parents

When my daughter passed away I was surprised by how much I needed to talk, repeating to each of the visitors who came to offer sympathy, the whole scenario of the last day of her life. I don’t understand why I had to do this, but, of course everyone wanted to know what happened. I did welcome these questions and when people were in the apartment it meant I was distracted – that is, I didn’t need to think too deeply – so perhaps I was using conversation as a delaying tactic. Although, at the time I wasn’t aware of doing so.

After some weeks, when people came to visit I stopped talking about the accident, I didn’t want to put people off calling in, but I did really need their company. However, I still needed to realise the emotions building up inside and this was when I was inspired to write down everything. I have been writing ever since. Today I want to share with you the first and best poem I have written pertaining to my grief, I hope you are helped by the words. I know not all bereaved parents have a faith, but please respect my right to mine, thank you.

The Garden

Many miles away from here
In a land of sun and sea
There is a beautiful garden
Where God came to call on me

He said he needed Lisa
I said, ‘but, I need her, too.
But if your need is greater
Take her to be with you

You want to take my daughter
Then, please send me your Son
To help me through the hurt
Then let Thy will be done

You sent to me your Spirit
To walk along this road
To support me if I ever
Could not bear the load

Thank you, Lord, for loving me
And giving me new hope
For answering all my prayers
And teaching me to cope.

Bereaved parents and special occasions

It doesn’t matter what time of year we loss our child sooner or later we have to deal with family events, our daughter or son’s birthday and the totally unavoidable heartache of Christmas without them. So, how do we do this?
I’m not going to say that it will be easy or just grit your teeth and get on with it. What I would say is don’t make it harder for yourself than it will be. By this I mean don’t plan to have a big celebration, even if you have always been the organiser, hand over the reins to someone else and if on the day you don’t want to go then you can choose not to. Yes, people might not understand why you don’t wish to be all happy and jolly – it’s amazing how soon even our closest friends and family forget the aching void in our hearts – however, they will have to be grown up about your decision and respect it.
Over time we will learn how we wish to confront these times you would rather not. What I might suggest could help you but each of us needs to go at our own pace and what helped me could be completely wrong for you.
During that first excruciating year many of us have little recall of what we did or understand how we managed to survive it. Yet we come to realise, ‘yes, I did manage so perhaps I can find a way to help myself’.
In her book, ‘One Step at a Time / Mourning a Child’ author and bereaved parent, Betty Madill writes about how she was able to deal with the loss of her daughter. Her sources were her Christian faith, The Compassionate Friends, meeting ot8her bereaved parents and writing.