Photo attached feature four friends, friends since they were four years of age, swimming together in Bray, Co Wicklow: CEO Anam Cara, Sharon Vard, Careena Galligan, Andrea Fitzgerald and Mary Mc Cabe.
At Christmas time, there is lights, laughter and a lot of love in the air, which makes a welcomed change from the past 9 months.
2020 has been the toughest for everyone on the island of Ireland and for most, life will resume to “normal” once the break through vaccine is rolled out in 2021. But amongst the festive cheer, take a moment for those whose’ lives will never become normal again.
Once you bury a child, your life changes forever. There is no vaccine to cure the pain, the sleepless nights, the isolation, the raw grief. You must learn to live alongside it.
Anam Cara was set up in 2008 by bereaved parents, for bereaved parents. At the time, those that founded the organisation, could not find a peer support service where they could bring their feelings and discuss the heartache. Anam Cara was born through love and friendship. Through a common goal.
The mission of the organisation is to make a difference and reduce isolation for bereaved families affected by the death of a child or children, regardless of the age of the child or circumstances of death. Anam Cara does this by providing easily accessible, quality support services, signposting and information through safe and secure online and face-to-face environments. All of Anam Cara support services are free of charge but rely heavily on public support.
As a bereaved parent once said “Nothing is normal after the death of a child and it never will be again. Anam Cara helps”.
Spare a thought for those that are bereaved this festive season. One in four of us know a friend who is a bereaved parent. Let’s help Anam Cara continue to support bereaved parents across the country and raise the funds needed to deliver this vital service.
You can help Anam Cara by texting FRIEND to 50300 to donate €4.