Online Support Group for Parents Bereaved of a School Age Child (4-16 years)
21 September 2021, 19.00 – 20.30
Online Via Zoom
PLEASE NOTE WE WILL BE GIVING PRIORITY TO THOSE WHO HAVE NOT ATTENDED ONE OF OUR ONLINE SUPPORT GROUPS BEFORE
LOSING A CHILD OF SCHOOL AGE (4-16 years)
When we first lose our child, we count the time in hours and days. Then there are weeks, months and years. As time passes, we observe their friends moving on. The children who were at school with our child grow up and are busy.
It is hard not to feel resentful, to imagine “what might have been”, to compare our child’s shortened life with the lives of their peers. He or she is frozen in time; there are no new photographs, no new stories to tell.
We need our child to have a place in our family, and for any brothers and sisters to know about their sibling, if we are fortunate enough to have other children.
This group is primarily for anyone who has lost a child from the age of 4 - 16 years.
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. 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. Please note we will be giving priority to parents who have not attended an online group before.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
What a parent has said in a previous group:
"... we all had a chance to talk about how we felt, in a supported environment It was so good to hear that others feel the same things I do about a child who has died. The same questions about how to manage milestones and family and friends and comments. It is so helpful to know I am not alone, even though we are all physically isolated behind our screens."
"I have previously attended my local group and was a bit apprehensive about attending an online group however I was pleasantly surprised and found it really helpful.... To know you are in an environment of others who just “get it” is really comforting."
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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.