I had an older brother. I never met him. I never knew him, I never saw a photo of him. All I know is that he was premature, born with spina bifida, and only lived for a few days. My parents only gave me the facts, they never told me how his death affected them or how they dealt with it. And now they are gone too and I will never know.
Unlike them I have not lost a child, though it has nearly happened more than once, and the most terrifying hour of my life was after Smiley turned blue in my arms. But I know that was only a small taste of the devastating and overwhelming emotions that must have affected my parents at the loss of their first born child. Too many friends have suffered this loss also, this pain that never really goes away.
But if the unthinkable does happen, the focus is often mostly on the child's mother, with fathers sometimes being an afterthought. So in memory of all bereaved dads, including my own, I'm supporting a campaign by Irish charity Anam Cara, which helps families who have experienced the death of a child.
It's Father's Day this weekend, always a difficult time if you have lost a child, and Anam Cara will be there, providing support and comfort as always. But they need to raise funds to continue their work, and you can help by getting involved in their #Daddyandme campaign.
To take part:
1. Share a picture of you and your Dad on social media with the hashtag #Daddyandme.
2. Ideally tag and nominate some friends or companies to do the same.
3. Donate and include the following text information in your post or tweet – Text 'SUPPORT' to 50300 to donate €4 to Anam Cara*
Here's my picture, from a very long time ago...
*100% of your donation goes to Anam Cara across most networks operators. Some operators apply VAT which means that a minimum of €3.25 will go to Anam Cara. Service Provider LIKECHARITY. Helpline 0766805278
I was asked to support this campaign, but given no incentive to do so. My words and opinions are my own.
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