Anam Cara – providing support for bereaved parents

Anam Cara is acutely aware that throughout the island of Ireland every day there are bereaved mothers and fathers left bereft and devastated by the death of their child in circumstances that include accidents in the home or workplace, road traffic collisions, life threatening illnesses, or by suicide. The death of a child, of any age, is devastating and isolating experience for every family member

Sharon Vard, CEO of Anam Cara describes the death of your child is an “unimaginable nightmare” but said that, with support, parents can “learn to cope with the overwhelming sense of loss”.

Sadly, the much needed comfort and support of extended family, friends, neighbors and colleagues is constrained due to the current Covid 19 Virus outbreak.  The restrictions in place around funerals and social distancing is impacting bereaved parents, causing them to feel further isolated with their grief and loss, not knowing where to turn. How do you start to choose the 10 people to attend your child’s funeral?

Paula Townley (P. Townley Funeral directors, Drogheda) commented.”In our 30+ years’ experience, the death of every child or young person is uniquely devastating and impacts their family, friends and community. We want families to know that their funeral director understands and will support them through these difficult times”

 Anam Cara has swiftly responded to these new restrictions by developing and producing 8 online Bereavement Support video vignettes to help bereaved mother and fathers at this very difficult time.  These clips will complement the Anam Cara videos and information Pack already available on  which were compiled by bereaved parents for bereaved parents.

Vard continues with “Anam Cara trust these online short videos will offer a little ray of hope and be a powerful resource in these challenging times along with our other online resources. We want parents to know that Anam Cara is here now, today and into the future supporting families after the devastating loss of a child

Available Anam Cara Resources include:

Anam Cara support services continue to be delivered. For parents who do not have access to the internet, the Anam Cara central office will be manned, as usual, from Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and offer telephone support on 085 2888 888 or 01 4045378.  On request Anam Cara will post the Anam Cara Information Packs and other information leaflets.

By clicking on the links below will bring parents to other online resources Anam Cara provides. They are:

The Anam Cara website contains relevant information for bereaved parents including links to Anam Cara’s information pack.  This pack contains the leaflets; A Fathers grief, A Mothers Grief, Coping with the Sudden death of my Child, Milestones and Challenges, Self-Care, Supporting my Family, Living with no Surviving Children.

Bereaved parents can also access the Anam Cara Support Videos . These, we hope, will help parents feel less isolated in these challenging times

Anam Cara’s Facebook Page will be updated regularly and it is a good place for bereaved parents to keep in touch.

About Anam Cara –  Anam Cara was founded in 2008, by bereaved parents to address the lack of bereavement support services available for families in Ireland, who have experienced the death of a child.  In particular, the families whose son or daughter died suddenly outside a hospital or hospice system who often find themselves beyond the realms of any bereavement services, struggling to cope with the intense grief and huge loss in their lives. In 2019 Anam Cara supported 2219 parents across 137 events, including events for parents who had experienced the death of their only child or children. All Anam Cara services are provided free of charge.

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