Please join us tonight at 7pm by lighting a candle in memory of all the babies and children who were lost too soon and, as baby loss awareness week culminates today, we wanted to share a beautifully written article by our patron and group facilitator, Clara Francis.
Clara describes her daughter’s tragic story, the deep sadness she felt in the aftermath of Maude’s death and how she was helped by SLOW.
I felt a deep compulsion to speak to other bereaved parents – but I didn’t know any. The logic behind this impulse was probably that I needed to speak to people who were further down the line, to prove it was possible to live a life afterwards. I found a local parent bereavement group called SLOW which was set up and run by two bereaved parents. They meet once a week sitting together, eating cake, drinking tea and sharing stories. Knowing there was one place I could go every share my darkest thoughts was integral to my healing.
Clara explains how working for SLOW has kept her both connected with Maude and has allowed her to give back to the charity and community that helped her navigate the pain of losing a child:
A couple of years ago, I trained as a group facilitator for SLOW. I now work for them part-time running my own group for bereaved parents. I also volunteer for the Child Death Helpline at Great Ormond Street Hospital, offering hope to other bereaved parents who may be in the same turmoil I was. I do all of it for Maudie and find it a very powerful way of staying connected to her. It’s turned her death into something positive.
If you are a bereaved parent, please do get in contact if you need support. We offer both face to face support groups in London and virtual meetings for UK bereaved parents. All our groups are facilitated by trained, expert bereaved parents like Clara. Click here for dates of all our forthcoming groups.
After being postponed twice due to COVID, the Royal Parks Half Marathon is finally going ahead this weekend and we have an amazing team of 12, running and fundraising for SLOW.
Many are running in memory of beautiful children all lost far too soon.
There’s Julia running for Nola,
Adrian running and remembering Henry,
Felicity running in memory of Maude,
James running in memory of his niece Nina,
and Mark running in memory of his son Ed.
The parents of these children have found support at SLOW, keeping their child’s memory alive and sharing their grief with others who understand the devastating pain of losing a child. With this fundraising we hope to support even more bereaved parents and siblings in the UK over the coming year.
It’s been a difficult time for fundraising with the pandemic so we are overjoyed with what this amazing team have raised so far but there’s still time to donate if you can spare a few pennies – we’d be truly grateful!
Due to popular demand our bereaved adult sibling support groups are now running monthly.
The next group is taking place in the evening of Thursday 7th October via Zoom. For forthcoming dates of all our groups up until Christmas please see our calendar.
We warmly welcome all bereaved siblings over the age of 18. These meetings are a safe space to take strength from the support of other siblings, before returning to daily life and its challenges. It doesn’t matter how long ago or how recent your loss or the varying circumstances in which your brother or sister died – we can still provide you with support. The groups are facilitated by two trained bereaved siblings, Shushma Jain and Michael Ward.
Here’s what our members are saying about the groups:
I find the meetings so supportive and helpful. I feel so less lonely and feel amongst people where grief is understood and accepted. Thank you for setting up the group and all your hard work that goes into it
Thank you for such a supportive meeting. It’s terrible that we all find ourselves in this group but I found great comfort of being with others who I can relate to and who I can relate to and who understand the pain and devastation. I felt a real connection to everyone tonight. Thank you for giving us a safe and free space to share.
For further information about the groups click here and to join a group please contact Shushma on 07506 272 309 or at email@example.com.
Need a fitness challenge? We’d love you to run and fundraise for SLOW.
We have a number of places for the Royal Park’s Half Marathon in London on 10th October 2021. The stunning 13.1 mile route takes in the capital’s world-famous landmarks on closed roads, and four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens. Registration is free for each place with a minimum fundraising target or £450 per runner.
For more information about the Royal Parks Half click here.
Father’s Day is one of the many days that the loss of a child feels even more profound. Although as bereaved parents are keenly aware, a child’s absence is felt every day.
There isn’t a day that goes by that we do not think about our absent child. Regardless of the circumstance of their deaths, we miss them deeply.
In this podcastfather, Rob Delaney, talks about losing his son Henry and his ensuing grief. Like so many other bereaved parents he knows that there’s no getting over the loss of a child, it’s just a case of feeling the full force of the pain and getting through it:
“I think it’s really important to acknowledge it’s going to be a real nightmare for a good long while, and you’re going to cry, and you’ll probably puke sometimes. And I know that’s not the sun will come out and everything’s going to be fine.”
And what has worked for Rob has been speaking to other bereaved parents:
“The most helpful thing for me has been other bereaved parents. Because when you come together, more useful than any of the words that anyone said to me would be if I saw a parent whose child had been dead longer than mine had, and I saw that they were able to tie their shoes. Was their shirt tucked in? Basic functions– just watching them pick grapes off of a stem and eat them. And I thought if they can do that, then I’ll be able to do that one day, hopefully.”
Be kind to yourself on Father’s Day and if you need support the SLOW support groups are open to all that have lost a child and parents can come at any time after the death of their child. For times and dates of forthcoming SLOW support groups link here.