Bereaved Parents Awareness Month - Tending A Grieving Heart, Together

By Larry Dawalt, M. Div., BCC, Senior Director of Spiritual & Grief Care Services


Regardless of whether the child was young or if they had lived many years, bereaved parents suffer significantly. They need our sympathy, our compassion, our support and the kindness of our remembering what they are going through.

It was a hot June afternoon when my last chaplain visit of the day took me to Vale, NC and the living room of a patient who had just enough energy to sit on his couch, with his wife and a young granddaughter across from him. We talked about his illness, his work history, his church affiliation and other things. His wife chimed in every now and then to help him remember details and they shared some friendly banter about who was right and who was wrong - as those in their late 70’s are sometimes prone to do.


The mood was cordial, yet realistic and I did my best to help them both express what they were going through. When the wife started talking more about her life history, she mentioned her children, lastly stating that she had lost a son to cancer in the past couple of years. Her heart became heavy and her speech slowed as she said the words thousands of parents can also say - “there’s nothing worse than losing a child.” She talked about his life and what he meant to her, then seemed to stare blankly as I expressed my sympathy in the deepest terms. Her sorrow was irremovable.


Bereaved Parents Awareness Month exists to provide support to parents like her, but its other purpose is to raise awareness of how many parents have suffered the loss of a child. For the past 20 years, I have had the privilege of representing Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region on the board of Our Children’s Memorial Walkway, a garden at Frazier Park in Charlotte where parents can place a brick in memory of children who died too soon. Many of these parents gather formally once a year to remember their loss and comfort each other, but many also come alone at other times to sit with their grief.


Regardless of whether the child was young or if they had lived many years, bereaved parents suffer significantly. They need our sympathy, our compassion, our support and the kindness of our remembering what they are going through.


HPCCR supports Bereaved Parents Awareness Month and we offer care to these parents through the services of our grief care department. Whether the loss was weeks, months or even years ago, our counselors will give you a listening ear and the guidance and support of their many years of experience.


For more information, call us anytime at 704.375.0100 or send us a message at www.hpccr.org/contact-form. You are not alone. We listen. We support. We care.


Recent Posts

See All