The pain of losing a child

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

Disclosure
I was asked to support this campaign, but given no incentive to do so. My words and opinions are my own.


14 comments:

  1. Losing a child is my worst nightmare...I'm sorry for your loss of your brother, even though you may not have known him, I think our siblings resonate within us still. Lovely photo and great charity xxx

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    1. I think of him more now that my parents have passed on xxx

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  2. So very sad about your brother. And how frightening to see your little one turn blue, that must have been terrifying. Lovely post, I've donated eventhough I may not post a photo - not for any strange reason! I just love your photo, ye look very close. X

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    1. Thanks so much for donating :) And yes we were close, even though we fought too x

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  3. Such a tragic time for your parents (and a very scary time for you). My parents went through the same. Fabulous photo and a worthy cause..... xx

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  4. It's true how somehow dads get a bit forgotten when a loss has taken place. So sad but what a worth cause. Well done. x

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  5. Sorrt to hear about your brother. How sad for you parents. Anam Cara are an amazing organisation and have made a real difference to my friend on the loss of her son. I wrote a post about them after attending a fundraising lunch. To look around that lunch and know so many had shared such tragedy was humbling.
    Love the photo of you and your dad.

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    1. I'm very glad that Anam Cara was able to help your friend, and now hopefully I've managed to help the organisation that helped them, even if just in a small way x

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  6. Thank goodness there are charities like Anam Cara to help the bereaved. A very worthy cause to support. Love the photo of you and your dad.

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  7. It's true how it's always about the mother as if the father's have less emotionl capacity. I'm going to be more aware of that in future. So sad about your older brother.

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    1. Or less emotional investment in their lost baby. I hope this cause gets lots of coverage.

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