A CHARITY based in Stafford is aiming to bring an end to the feelings of social isolation bereaved parents often feel, by asking everyone to display messages of support across social media and to light a candle for the children lost.
When a parent loses a child, being able to talk about them and recall special memories can help parents find comfort.
Yet often this opportunity never comes because people are afraid they will upset grieving loved ones, or not know how to react to a parent showing such strong emotions.
National Bereaved Parents Day is being launched by bereaved parent charity A Child of Mine and will take place on July 3.
A Child of Mine founder, Gayle Routledge, lost her son Lewis to cancer on July 3, 10 years ago, before he was able to celebrate his third birthday. She hopes this dedicated national day will help people understand that often just acknowledging their child can help bereaved parents feel less alone in their grief.
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She said: “When Lewis was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma in June 2008 we felt as though the world had fallen around our feet and we were numb.
“After months of intensive treatment his little body could not fight anymore and on July 3, 2010, he gained his angel wings.
“It felt like we were at the top of a waterfall and were about to be swept away.
“For us however, we felt lucky because we have wonderful support from other families we met through the hospital where Lewis was treated. This stopped us from feeling terribly alone.
“It’s why we began A Child of Mine – to be there to help and support families who have lost a child at any age under any circumstance.
“By creating a dedicated national day for bereaved parents we’re now asking everyone to show these families they are not alone.
“Thankfully not everyone will lose a child, but sadly we all know what it’s like to experience loss. I hope this day will raise awareness of child loss and start the conversation, so it no longer remains ‘the elephant in the room’.”
Meanwhile, from June 17, A Child of Mine will feature case studies of bereaved parents, messages of hope and support across all of its social media channels, together with a downloadable poster so anyone can create their own messages of hope and support.
And to anyone who knows someone who has lost a child, A Child of Mine has created a ‘thinking of you’ e-card via www.dontsendmeacard.com/ecard/kL5p which also makes a donation to A Child of Mine to help support other parents in need.
For more information about National Bereaved Parents Day on July 3 and how to take part go to achildofmine.org.uk and www.facebook.com/achildofmine.