(Father of Reed- forever 13)
I'm grateful for all the friends I've met through CORe. Grief can be such a painful and lonely experience for those of us who have lost children. I think that having friends to talk to about my son has been a blessing to me.
When my 13 year old son passed away in a water accident I was devastated! Those first few days were filled with friends and family who seemed to rally around me with love and support. But after the funeral was over and the last card and casserole dish was delivered, it seemed as if the world just continued on without us. To everyone else, it was as if nothing happened. But of course for me, the agony and heartache had just begun!
That's why having the support of other bereaved parents has been so important to me. Having people in my life who understand this arduous journey does not "fix" my grief or magically heal my brokenness. However, CORe does give me a safe place to mourn my son as well as a safe place to share all the love and happy memories I have of him.
My son's name was Reed. He lived and laughed and played. In his short life he made a big impact on so many people. He mattered! He still matters! And he always will. CORe is a place where I can speak his name and feel the love and support of friends who truly understand.
A year ago when I chatted with Sangeeta about the possibility of forming a grief group, Circle of Remembrance (CORe), I never thought we would have 30+ participants. Sangeeta is an example that there is “post traumatic growth” after losing her son, Sagaar, to suicide. She turns her cauldron of pain and grief into purpose by helping other grieving parents. Through CORe, I connect with some amazing compassionate, empathetic, and kindhearted grieving parents from three different continents. CORe provides the opportunity to share/talk about my love for my son and that his life matters. That’s is healing and poignant. I am blessed to have met Sangeeta and the authentic grief format she uses for CORe. It is powerful, therapeutic, and nurturing. The focus is on embracing the love that exists for my son, the universe, and myself. After all, love never dies and grief is love.
(Shuggie’s Mum forever 19yr)
"I have been part of CoRE since its very first meeting in Jan 2021. Sangeeta had been recommended to me by another bereaved mother after my only child 19yr old Shuggie passed away on July 1st 2020. After our very first zoom I was immediately touched by the empathy and compassion that Sangeeta radiated so proficiently. Her gentle voice was full of wisdom and transparency, sharing coping skills and acknowledging how painful child loss is. As a bereaved parent herself she is truly inspirational in coaching how to revert the pain and anguish into healing and growing around the loss.
The biweekly 90min Saturday morning Zoom meetings have quickly becoming an integral part of my grief journey. Each meeting is allocated a point of discussion there is no mandatory participation, just being present is encouraged. I immediately feel the trust and sacredness that the group holds almost like I am being cradled. I am comforted knowing that whatever I share is being held in a safe space of nonjudgement and confidence. I enjoy the flexibility of the group and find that sometimes when other parents speak it triggers an automatic reflex to interact and contribute myself.
The golden nuggets of wisdom are shared in the form of poems, mindfulness quotes or strategic coping mechanisms all prepared in a beautiful easily digestible PowerPoint presentation by Sangeeta. The literature provided is secular and varied in its scope of being relatable, informative, and applicable. The option of break out rooms are a gift as are the guided mediations at the end.
There are very few resources out there for bereaved parents and sometimes with such loss it’s difficult to navigate and have the bandwidth to seek out what can help move you through the pain it can feel like walking through treacle. Suddenly what made sense no longer does, the loss is debilitating, and you can be left feeling so empty. All the days roll into one and it can be hard to see light through the darkness.
CoRE has been my gentle reminder that I still exist, and that time has not stopped. It has made me smile and find pockets of joy when I imagined never seeing my smile again. It has opened a window to newfound friends with whom you feel open enough to share any deep-rooted thought, cry or pain. It has given me a glimmer of hope and optimism that it is possible to exist in this world after such a personal earth-shattering experience and help find some peace and solace with the practical tools shared. I get to network with a tribe of “like losses” and there is something so endearing about all the people we meet in the group.
CoRE empowers me to see a spectrum of color at a time when everything seems so grey in the world without my sweet Shuggie.
I am so grateful to be part of such a tribe that helps keep me upright on my hardest days."