Bereaved Parents Meeting
1st Thursday of Every Month
The Children's Home
10 Children's Way
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Call 845-426-2825 to register
for the Sibling Meeting
Dinner Get Together
Bi-Monthly the 3rd Thursday
at 5:30 pm
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR FIRST MEETING
If you are considering attending your first meeting, we extend our hearts and loving thoughts to you. You may be thinking: "What will it be like? Who will be there? What do they do? Will it make it worse? Will it make me cry? What will people think of me? As the day approaches you may even look for reasons why you’re not able to make it to your first meeting. Please know that all of this is normal.
We are all bereaved parents and, like you, we found it difficult to attend our first meeting too. We invite first time attendees to arrive 30 minutes early so that you can enter the room and find a place to sit before it is filled with people. One of our members will be there to welcome you and put you at ease. She will hand you a welcome packet and answer any questions you may have.
As other members arrive, you may have all kinds of reactions; you may think "These people can’t possibly have lost a child! They’re smiling and talking about trivial things; the women are wearing makeup and there are men here – my husband doesn’t want to talk about it." You may worry that you will be unable to say a word without crying and embarrassing yourself. You may think, "I hate this! I don’t belong here! It’s too hard! I’m definitely not coming back!" All are thoughts that each of us had when we attended our first meeting.
Once the meeting begins, we typically present a topic and then invite others to share their thoughts and experiences relevant to the topic. You do not have to speak; we encourage you to reach out in your own time and in your own way. It may not be easy, as feelings may be overwhelming but we’ve all been there and we understand. It can be a great comfort to be in the company of other parents who have been through a similar experience; parents who understand and can offer support to help you find your way through this very difficult time. You will feel a great relief as you talk about your child – the way he or she died, his or her place in the life of the family, feelings you may find difficult to express elsewhere. Furthermore, you will hear about how others are learning to cope and survive after the death of their child. And remember all that is said in our meetings is totally confidential – you are free to share your true feelings.
Even though it may take several regular meetings before you find something of value for you, we know you will eventually reach a comfort level within the group and come to treasure the strong bonds you will form with your fellow grievers as together we remember… together we heal.