KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
July 21, 2019
By Anne Bowman Lee
July is recognized as Bereaved Parents Awareness Month. Parents who have lost a child should know they are not alone, and they can get help. Grief support groups in the Katy area provide a forum for parents to share their difficult journey, in a safe environment.
Bereaved Parents Awareness Month was initiated by Peter and Deb Kulkkula to honor families trying to cope after the death of a child. If you are a grieving parent, find a support group that provides a place of understanding, hope, and reassurance. If you know someone who has lost a child, your support and patience can help them manage the grief.
Support Groups in Katy
20555 Kingsland Blvd
7:00 pm - Second Tuesday of each month
At the beginning of the meeting the group has a short discussion or a special speaker. Next they break out into small groups. Only those that wish to share or talk need do so.
10050 Buffalo Speedway
Houston, TX 77054
Grief support groups at Bo’s Place are designed to give bereaved adults, children and families a safe place to express their thoughts and feelings with others on a similar journey. All grief support groups are offered free of charge through the generosity of Bo’s Place contributors.
GriefShare consists of a caring group of people who walk alongside parents through one of life's most difficult experiences. The program is led by people who understand and want to help.
Parents who attend GriefShare, a 13-week video series, will have access to valuable resources to help parents recover from their loss and look forward to rebuilding.
Current...A Christian Church
26600 Westheimer Parkway
Mondays at 6:30 pm
Holy Covenant United Methodist Church
22111 Morton Ranch Road
Thursdays at 6:30 pm
Kingsland Baptist Church
20555 Kingsland Blvd
Wednesdays from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Supporting Bereaved Parents
Focus on being a friend on their journey.
Listen to, and honor, the stories these parents share about their relationships with their children. Storytelling is actually very therapeutic because it helps parents eventually make sense out of their new worlds. When friends focus on being a companion to bereaved parents it creates a safe environment for them to do their grief work.
Accept the bereaved parent’s way of grieving.
Each parent’s pain is unique and determined in part by the relationships they had with their children when they were alive. Friends can help identify the activities that these parents shared with their children. They can also help the parents find meaningful ways to mourn their child’s death and celebrate their memories.
Emphasize the importance of ongoing support.
One of the major concerns for individuals mourning the loss of their loved ones is having access to adequate support. Typically, support groups composed of individuals who have experienced a similar type of loss (child, spouse) are the most effective. Help your friend find support groups or therapists to make the healing process easier.
Avoid using solution-focused approaches.
When a parent experiences the death of a child, their world is forever changed because of their child’s physical absence. Avoid saying things like, “Things will get better,” or “You will be OK,” because that undermines the pain that the parent is experiencing and implies that there is a solution to that pain. There is no quick fix to the pain of losing a child.
Grief journey for bereaved parents is circular and not linear.
The raw pain of grief can surface at any time during the lifelong grief journey of a bereaved parent. Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays will be tough for bereaved parents. Be a support system for them during these difficult times.
Bereavement is not the same as depression.
Remind your bereaved friend that the sadness of their loss is not the same as clinical depression. When we experience death of any kind, sadness is an expected response. With grief work and ongoing support, sadness will lessen and become more manageable over time.
Remind the bereaved you won't let them forget their child.
Forgetting their child is not a requirement of the bereaved parent’s journey, but remembering their child and staying connected is. Finding meaning in the grief process is key to ongoing healing. This process allows bereaved parents to stay connected to their children while developing a spiritual relationship.