Hear from some of the families who have come to the National Centre of Childhood Grief for support.
When my wife died at the age of 38, leaving me with a 3 year old little girl, struggling to understand what had happened to her mother and why, I faced new challenges that I was ill equipped to handle.
The National Centre for Childhood Grief ‘A Friend’s Place’ was a godsend and the dedicated team of volunteer counsellors enabled me to help my daughter make some sense of her new life. There she found a place that was caring and accepting without question. A place where she could meet other children who had suffered a similar fate, and a place where she could be herself and express her feelings without judgement by others who did not understand what she was going through.
The staff were especially skilled at reassuring me of what to expect in my daughter’s behaviour, what was normal and what required attention. My daughter spent several years in one-to-one counselling before moving into the ‘Group’ setting and then graduated in 2011 after almost 10 years involvement with the Centre.
Although nobody can replace the loss of her mother, my daughter’s time at A Friend’s Place helped her to build the resilience she needed to move into her teenage years. I also benefited greatly from the Parents’ discussion group that ran in parallel with the children’s Group, as this gave me the opportunity to share experiences and compare notes with other adults battling to cope with becoming a single parent through bereavement.
The Centre’s staff encourage ongoing involvement after graduation and so we still see past children and parents at Centre events from time to time.
After a sudden loss of a loving wife and mother for 2 young children, A Friends Place became a safe and reassuring sanctuary for our grieving family. More so the NCCG team effectively became our extended family by nature of their supportive, caring and professional understanding of the grieving process. In a non judgmental, highly experienced and practiced manner they ‘just get it’. Thank you, we will be eternally grateful for the part you have played in enabling us all to get back on our feet and know how to live with our grief on an on-going basis.”
A Friends Place was there to support me after my dad’s unexpected death, their kindness and understanding were invaluable in helping me deal with my grief.
A Friend’s Place has allowed me to overcome the obstacles that arose with the unexpected death of my father. They have helped me grow and become confident in myself by emphasising that the memories of our loved ones are sacred and are meant to be spoken rather than suppressed. I will forever be thankful to the team at A Friend’s Place for all they have done for me.
“Five years ago grief stricken and left a widow of four boys, I felt devastated, lost and alone. I had no where to go where I felt understood. Then another widow, I didn’t know at the time, reached out to us and recommended ‘A Friend’s Place’.
We haven’t looked back since. I could never thank the wonderful staff enough for the love and support they have given my boys and me. Always, selflessly with no judgement. You learn early on in the grief process, no one can tell you how to approach your ‘new life’, or take you along your own personal journey of grief.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve. There is no guide or manual to help you cope with the grief you see in your children’s eyes and the despair you feel when you can’t take that pain away. But A Friend’s Place offers you the much needed support, strength and advice to help you along your journey. They nurture and love your children and give them tools needed to help them with their own grief. They put you and your children in touch with some wonderful people , who quickly become treasured friends, who are traveling their own grief journey. But most importantly they teach you the role that very precious memories play in keeping your deceased loved one always by your side, in your hearts and a part of your lives. Thank you.