As a bereaved parent I have come to appreciate the importance of having people around you that really understand how you feel; the people that have gone though the process of burying a child. The depth of the pain that is felt when a holiday, birthday or special event goes by and your child isn’t here. Those who get that grief never ends and hold you up when it crashes into you like a wave. Some of these people reached out to us after Jack, but most of them we’ve met through some incredible support groups.
I remember for months after Jack’s passing the profound numbness I felt. It was during this time we also had to help our girls grieve. How do we do this on our own? Do we send them to a therapist? Thank goodness we had an amazing support system of teachers and counselors at their school that stepped up to the plate and helped us navigate this very difficult road.
Even with all of that, our children would tell us that they felt “weird” or out of place. They would often ask us if there was “anyone else like us,” other children that had lost a brother or sister. We would explain that there are many, but to a 3, 4 and 6-yr old they couldn’t process that unless it was someone they could see standing right in front of them. That’s when introducing them to children with the same experience became very important to us.
This is why we are excited to announce that Live Like Jack will be expanding our outreach even further into the community. Just as there is a need for adults to be supported by other adults, we believe there is a need for children to be supported by other children through their experiences. Not only through the loss of a sibling but any loved one. Coming this fall, Live Like Jack will be launching the Healing Hearts Children’s Support Group and Grief Library. We will have a space designed for children to share, create and remember their loved one, but most of all provide comfort and reassurance that they are not alone on this journey. Stay tuned as there will be more details revealed in the upcoming months!