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July is Bereaved Parents Awareness Month

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In July around the world, communities observe Bereaved Parents Awareness Month. This observance arose from a need to support parents suffering the death of a child while also raising awareness about how many parents have experienced the loss of a child. The month of observance is a means to provide information and support to parents and offer resources for those who are uncertain about how to help someone who is grieving.

Many grieving parents and grandparents find that the loss of a child disrupts what is believed to be a natural pattern of succession and the idea that a parent should necessarily die before the child. When this order is disrupted, the grief is further complicated. Feelings of guilt, questions about the death itself, and other thoughts that reinforce the feeling that it is unnatural to outlive a child emerge and complicate the grieving process. Grief is a difficult life experience, and particularly so when a child dies. It’s important to remember that there are no timetables for grief nor does a person process their grief in orderly stages. Each person processes grief differently, and it becomes more manageable over time. It’s also important to know that grief doesn’t just go away and needs to be addressed. Individual and group support with a trained counselor or bereaved parents’ group can make the grieving process a little easier.

If you or someone you know needs grief care, there are a number of excellent resources available. Bereaved Parents USA and Compassionate Friends provide a host of resources including online communities connecting bereaved parents with one another. Locally, Dusk to Dawn Bereavement Services provides individual and group counseling at no cost to those in need. Our Bereaved Parents Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at Christ Lutheran Church in Crawfordsville. This month’s group will be July 14. Learn more about this group and our other resources at dusk-to-dawn.org.

 

j Miranda is a Grief Coach and Dusk-to-Dawn staff counselor serving both Montgomery and Putnam counties.

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