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Online Support Group for Parents Bereaved by Long-Term Illness or Cancer

A one-off virtual support group for parents who have lost a child to long-term illness or to cancer

23 July 2020, 19.00 – 20.30

LOSING A CHILD TO LONG-TERM ILLNESS OR TO CANCER

As parents we want the best for our children and hope that they will live long, healthy and happy lives. Some of us knew from the birth, or soon after, that our child was suffering from a terminal illness, and that our time together as a family was likely to be limited. Others of us enjoyed carefree years of good health for our child, with the illness and eventual diagnosis - whether cancer or another terminal illness - coming as a dreadful shock.

We may have found ourselves thrust into a new and frightening world, where we are not in control and, ultimately, we are powerless in our struggle to keep them alive. We may have lived for years in an emotional turmoil of hope and fear and have been worn down by the battle with their illness and have few resources left to sustain us in our journey through grief and loss.

Death is always a shock, even when expected -- a time when all hope has finally been snatched away and we must begin to face a future without our child.

We are inevitably different people after the death of our child, but the need to remember our child and to share memories will always be there. This is an opportunity to share with others who have similar experiences and find hope for the future.

At this time we are running this event as a facilitated online group using Zoom.

Unfortunately due to the nature of online groups we will be limiting the number of attendees and booking is via our website only.

We will confirm your attendance by email.

If this event is fully booked we are hoping to run further groups at a later date to give more parents the opportunity to attend.

Once you book you will receive more details closer to the meeting date. Just a reminder to check your spam or junk email folders if you haven’t received the link for the online meeting by the day of the meeting. Please contact info@tcf.org.uk if you have any questions or queries.

Please note that these online events are run by bereaved parent volunteers. Our volunteers are not professionals and so what we offer is a uniquely warm, comforting and supportive online group organised and facilitated by parents who have also experienced the loss of a child and have found understanding and hope themselves through The Compassionate Friends.

If you are newly bereaved:
Please note, our online support group meetings may not be the most appropriate form of support for very newly bereaved parents. We know how vulnerable we can be in the early weeks and months of our grief and how raw the pain and heartache can feel.

In an online support environment, we will of course do all we can to express our empathy to newly bereaved parents verbally but we won’t be able to offer the very important physical presence and contact that physical groups can offer especially when parents become very upset. Our online meetings tend to be shorter than physical meetings which also means that we won’t have as much time to hear from all group members in the ways in which we would do if we were meeting face to face.

We know that in the early days of our grief, there is a strong need to tell our ‘story’ about the loss of our precious child. We know that this is a very important part of grieving – however, our support groups, whether online or face to face can only offer the opportunity to say a little about your loss and in not too much detail so as to enable everyone to have a chance to speak and also to minimise the risk of anyone attending being re-traumatised around their own loss by hearing graphic details of someone else’s loss. It would help to know how early you are in your loss and whether you are already receiving TCF support – what we don’t wish to do is increase the vulnerability of any bereaved parent by not managing your expectations about what our support group offers and is unable to offer. We may make contact if we need to explore with you whether our online group support is the most appropriate way to support you at this stage in your loss.

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