by Sandy Fox

I would encourage anyone, who needs the help of a support group to deal with the death of a child, to start their own if there is none in the area in which you live. The group does not need to be part of a national group of bereaved parents. It can serve any purpose you need in your own area of the country.

In order to get started, the local newspaper should be contacted to see if they will do a story in the paper about your first and subsequent meetings. Flyers can be placed in hospitals, funeral homes and religious institutions. Local hospice groups in each state can help. Contact one of the national bereavement organziations for any information or encouragement to get started. See what happens and who you meet. It can be the beginning of a new life that has new goals and new priorities in it.

Through the encouragement of another bereaved parent, I brought 10 bereaved parents together in my community, both mothers and fathers, who have specifically lost their only child or all their children. Hopefully, through these parents we will get others. We now have a place to talk about our children and share fond memories, laugh, enjoy a cup of coffee and discuss coping techniques. We are all in different stages of the grief journey, from a few months to over 15 years. Our children were all different ages when they died. Causes of deaths range from car accidents and illnesses to drug overdoses and suicides among others. We feel comfortable sharing and enjoy each other’s company.

The group you start doesn’t have to be for only childless parents. You can combine forces for a meeting and then break up into smaller groups within the meeting, such as: childless and those with surviving children. Or you can have groups by the number of years the child is gone: 1-5 years, 6-10 years, and over 10 years. There are many ways of running these groups, and I encourage you to try to put one together.

Everyone going through the grief process should know that it eventually becomes bearable. You don’t heal from grief. It is with you your entire life. But you can live with it; it becomes a softer grief. You will eventually find something useful and suitable to do with your life and in doing so will honor your children’s life. Many people in my book “I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye” talk about what they have done to remember their child or children. It is comforting for them to tell their story; it is heartwarming for me to write about them. They are brave parents. They have accomplished a lot since their child died and they have made a difference. I hope that everyone going through this unbearable loss will one day make a difference. That is when you will know you are on the other side of grief. And these support groups can start you in that direction.

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Sandy Fox

Sandy Fox has won four finalist awards for her recent book "Creating a New Normal...After the Death of a Child" with over 80 coping articles and a huge resource section. One award is from USA Book News in the Health/Death and Dying Category for 2010. The second award is from ForeWord Reviews in the Health Category for 2010. The third is from Royal Dragonfly Book Awards. The most recent finalist award is for the self-help category of the 2011 Indie Book Awards. She is also the author of another grief book, "I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye." “I Have No Intention of Saying Good-bye” tells the stories of 25 sets of parents and how they moved on with their lives after the death of their child, offering hope and survival techniques. Sandy has headed two national bereavement conferences for childless parents and spoken for many years at Compassionate Friends National conferences, POMC and across the U.S. to a variety of bereavement groups. She also writes articles for the Open to Hope site, EZ articles, and Journey through grief newsletter in addition to her own weekly blog: Sandy can be contacted at to set up any speaking engagements or to ask any questions related to surviving the death of a child. Sandy was a guest on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart“ discussing: “I have no intention of Saying Good-Bye: Coping Techniques for the Now Childless.” To hear Sandy being interviewed on this show by Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley, click on the following link:

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