Back in person - bereavement support days
We have been delighted to be able to welcome bereaved parents back to our in-person mini retreat days offering support, understanding and friendship. So far we have run these supportive days in Glasgow (September) and Romsey in Hampshire (October). Find out about the next days here and we hope to run more in 2022.
Bereaved parent Vera, writes about her experience of the Glasgow support day:
On Saturday 25th September I attended the Compassionate Friends gathering in Glasgow. I was awake early in anticipation, feeling a little nervous about the day ahead. The following day my son, Peter, would have been gone 3 years, just didn’t seem at all possible, those 3 years have been a rollercoaster of emotions, deep heartache and sadness, misunderstandings and no guarantee that things would improve any time soon. So how would this day go? Who would I meet? How would I feel at the end of the day? I arrived all jittery and nervous, spilling my welcome cuppa and I went into the room, took a seat and all nerves were left behind at the door.
I sat and chatted and talked about Peter to a bunch of strangers, but not really, I felt more comfortable than I had felt in a long time, they weren’t strangers for long. We were put into small groups, my little group was talkative and friendly and I felt we listened to each other. We heard each other’s stories, as sad and upsetting as they were, it felt good to talk. I realised how much I’d been holding in and wearing the ‘mask’, it felt good to let go and speak Peter’s name and tell people what a wonderful son he was and how lovely to talk about their children to.
I later took part in the writing group and we all said we couldn’t write, how wrong we were, once started it was difficult to stop, our feelings and thoughts coming through with pen and paper once again being able to talk and tell of our experiences.
A different group in the afternoon, about the future and ways of coping, I thought maybe I’d said one or two silly things, whilst at one time I would have worried about that, I didn’t, I knew people would understand. I think that’s what it’s all about, getting together, say how we feel and what’s happened to us since the death of our child, without feeling wrong for doing so. Such a worthwhile thing to do, it’s the best way of getting rid of the feeling that somehow we should be ‘getting better’, ‘moving on’ ‘no longer grieving’ as I think people expect us to do. There is no wrong way to grieve, we grieve our own way, but it’s oh so good to get together and talk.
I would recommend giving a day away with TCF a try, it’s last place you want to be, right? Yes and no, it’s the best place to be if you’re a bereaved parent.
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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.