Sunday, April 13, 2014

A New Start for Our Bereavement Group

The bereavement group for Now Childless Parents I started seven years ago is now disbanded. But we have started something in its place.

I have found over the years that most bereaved come for a while and then leave and continue on with their lives. Those like me who have been bereaved for a very long time stay in the group to help others and because we like the people involved.

Most of us have now found we don’t really need to come together once a month to discuss our situations and get advice after seven years. Instead, we have all chosen to make our group more of a social group, getting together 4-5 times a year socially and do fun activities.

As one member said, “I don’t want to lose you guys and have us all go our own way. I feel very close to all of you and want to keep that closeness. We are different and will always feel that way because we lost our only child. I feel we have a closeness that those who haven’t lost a child can identify with.”  Everyone agreed with her sentiments.

We want to have some fun. We don’t want to sit around anymore and talk about topics that may or may not depress us; we know all about our children, their birthdates and death dates, and can acknowledge those if we feel like it; we know our child’s likes/dislikes, what they were good at, and we certainly have talked our heads off and shared special moments. We acknowledge that we love our children and always will, but now it is our time to make the most of our lives.

We always know that if one of us has a serious problem, when we get together, we will all listen and try to help. But now, for our sakes and our children’s, we are trying to move forward as they would want us to and enjoy our lives as much as possible.

And so our first get-together was a Sunday picnic in a beautiful park in the city where we could do whatever we wanted:  play games, eat, ride the swings, walk, play volleyball, feed the ducks, or just sit quietly and talk. We all brought sandwiches and desserts, talked about what we’ve been doing lately and fed the ducks in the pond. We joked with one parent about putting on tattoos (that only last a few weeks) and many did just that for laughs. We reminisced about Darcie Sims life and death recently and how much she helped other bereaved parents.

Then it was time to go, but not before we made plans for a pot luck dinner at one of the lady’s homes a few months from now. We know there are many activities we can plan for the future and look forward to doing some fun, educational and entertaining events. 

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