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" Forever Parents" a self help group for bereaved parents

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TC

My name is Brendan and I am married to Christine we have three wonderful children Gary, Stephen and Lisa. Sadly for us Gary passed away on 22nd May 1999 aged fourteen. It was the day our lives changed so much only parents faced with this awful tragedy can know what that truly means. After a period of time learning to cope with our new "identities" we were faced with a choice so many in our situation are faced with and that choice was " do we let the grief and devastation destroy the life which made us so happy for so long and with it the memory of Gary or do we strive to do something to help ourselves cope with our great loss and learn to love life again".

Because of the lack of support we received and the need we felt to meet other bereaved parents we set up the group "Forever Parents" (support group for all bereaved parents). It is for all bereaved parents regardless of how old your child was when he or she died. Their death brings a world so unknown and unnatural and at times frightening we don't know where to turn. We often asked ourselves the question "are we going mad". For some the community rallies round and stays until "we find our feet." Others have close friends who they can talk to but even they may tire of listening. Family members may not be able to help, they don't always have the understanding to deal with us. Our own experience tells us you unintentionally hurt the people who can help, the anger present after the death of a child drives them away and they may never return .The people who gave us that help was other Moms and Dads they had started this journey of "learning to live ".They provided a listening ear and did not judge or pity us. They could identify with us and made us see we were sane, we were as normal as could be after Gary's death.