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National Bereaved Parents Day 2023

The Compassionate Friends are supporting National Bereaved Parents Day on Monday 3 July 2023.

National Bereaved Parents Day will take place on Monday 3 July during Bereaved Parents Awareness Month in July to raise awareness of all parents who have lost a child of any age, and from any cause. The aims of the day are to raise awareness that sadly children do die and how, as grieving parents, we can find support, understanding and hope. The day was initiated by the charity, A Child of Mine, and we are pleased to offer our support.

The theme of this year's day is You Are Not Alone.

In the lead up to the day we asked you to share what helps you feel less alone. Perhaps there were/are aspects of TCF that have particularly offered you support - the Helpline, support groups, a walk, a retreat weekend, online support, our library, the support of a Grief Companion? Perhaps it is continuing the bond with your child through remembrance activities, or painting, writing, singing, walking, travelling, exercise, gardening helps? Please do share in the comments what has helped you feel less alone as this can be a great help to others.

Please join us to help spread the message, keep that conversation going, raise awareness and show the bereaved parent community that they are not alone.

Please follow our Facebook page to see how you can show your support and share our posts.

Alistair and Sarina

"We tell our sad story of personal loss because it’s a therapeutic process in itself, whether telling it to a professional therapist, to our TCF grief companion (who we had between year one and two), to other bereaved parents in support groups facilitated by child loss organisations including TCF, or just to the trees and birds.

We share our story of Sarina's very short life because if somebody else is also experiencing something similar then they might take a tiny bit of comfort from knowing they're not alone. We also want to share it with a wider audience - to appeal to people who fortunately for them won't ever have to experience something similar.

Because it can be a very lonely existence as bereaved parents, when on top of everything else people can often be unwilling to validate the way we choose to move forwards with our lives". - Alistair

Catherine and Rory


" The TCF library has been a great resource I discovered in the early days after losing our little boy Rory. Mary selected some books she felt were a good starting point for early grief including Upright with Knickers On. A brilliant and comforting book to help navigate losing a child. Being able to read about other parents who have lost a child and how they navigate the days, months and years has been a lifeline. Seeing others being able to survive after the worst has happened has been a comfort when the grief feels all encompassing."

You can request your own personalised selection by emailing library@tcf.org.uk or go to the Library page here

Linda and James

I lost my beautiful son James 24th September 2021, every day is the same, James never leaves me, but I have found peace in my allotment, it is one place I can shut off from the pain, I listen to the birds and sit for a while, my cat Ziggy joins me while I am weeding, she loves to roll on the plants which doesn't help.

Picture credit - Lisa Summer

Rosalind and Alistair

"I would like to share a few things which have helped me since losing our son Alistair to a rare cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma in 2013. This year, on 22nd November, it will be ten years and not a day passes when I don’t think of him and, like all parents who have lost a child, I have a continuous ache in my heart. He was 24 when he died and still had so much more to give". - Rosalind

I like the funeral poem by David Harkins, “He is gone”, where it says “we should love smile & carry on”. I have used this as my mantra alongside a lesson I learnt from an inspirational young man, Henry Fraser, who after a freak swimming accident at just 17, suffers from complete paralysis from the shoulders down. Henry grew up in the same village as Alistair and his book “Little Big Things” encouraged me to believe that all times that just however bad things may seem “every day can be a good day”.

Carmel and Darragh

I lost my beautiful, bright , popular , loved son Darragh in August 2022. My beautiful boy took his own life . Our world as we knew it ended.

I reached out to TCF and can truly say I have witnessed so much compassion.

I was in my darkest hour when a wonderful lady called Sue called me and offered me a hand of friendship . I have attended TCF support groups that Sue facilitates.

I’m still in profound utter shock and devastation but TCF has helped me to understand there are others like me going through this dreadful pain . But we can with compassion help each other a little through friendship and kindness I miss my beloved son Darragh with every fibre of my being. Being able to express my grief with others is deeply moving.

- Carmel



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Each year thousands of parents suffer the loss of a son or a daughter. Please help us to support families in their time of greatest need.

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