Seventy five families gathered in Athlone to launch Anam Cara’s ‘Month to Remember’ campaign with the release of thousands of balloons, each one dedicated to the memory of a son or daughter who has died.
Taking part on the day was Aimee McMahon from Killenaule whose older brother Jaedon died aged five of a brain tumour just 4½ years ago.
Aimee released a balloon especially for Jaedon.
Taking place on the eve of All Soul’s Day, the day when we traditionally remember loved ones who have passed away, this very special event was for all families who have experienced the death of a precious son or daughter.
Now in its 7th year, the event has seen approximately a 15% increase each year since the first balloon release in 2008.
The event gives families an opportunity to remember their loved one in a special way with other families who understand the unique grief that follows the death of a child. This year saw a special performance by The Vard Sisters to accompany the release of the pink and blue balloons.
With so many deaths occurring of Irish sons and daughters from fatal illnesses, road traffic accidents, farm accidents, increase in suicide and many other causes, there is more and more demand on the unique services of Anam Cara which was created by a group of bereaved parents helping other bereaved parents.
Since it launched in February 2008, Anam Cara has seen a 60% increase in the demand for its services. The impact of the death of a child, of any age, brings with it an intense grief that lasts far longer than society recognises. Anam Cara is there to offer appropriate support through the dark days because Anam Cara understands this unique grief and those parents who are a little further on their bereavement journey can reach a hand back to help newly bereaved parents.
Any family who has been affected by the death of child can contact Anam Cara on 01 4045378/085 2888 888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anam Cara is the only support group in Ireland established and run by bereaved parents for bereaved parents.