Today, Friday November 2, in the Hodson Bay Hotel, Anam Cara will launch its national awareness campaign with its annual Balloon to Remember release. Each balloon is dedicated to the memory of a son or daughter who has died.
Starting at 11.30am, President Michael D Higgins, the charity’s ambassador, will accompany families from across Ireland in releasing thousands of balloons throughout the country.
The event also launches Anam Cara’s Month to Remember, which continues until the end of November, and includes awareness building and fundraising.
Since 2008 Anam Cara has helped more than 1,000 families cope with the devastating death of more than 1,020 children. Every day, week, and month we hear of another tragedy - a car accident, a fatal illness, a suicide. The impact of the death of a child, of any age, brings with it an intense grief that lasts far longer than society recognises.
For many families if the death of their child was unexpected they can fall outside the realms of bereavement support. Anam Cara is there to offer that 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. Each year in Ireland almost 2,000 families face into the devastation the death of a child brings to them and their communities and this month is about giving bereaved families a chance to remember in a special way together at a difficult time of the year with Christmas approaching.Throughout the month of November, Anam Cara encourages extended family and friends to remember the families they know who have experienced the death of their child.
Anam Cara is a national voluntary support organisation set up by four bereaved parents, just four years ago, to support newly bereaved parents throughout Ireland after their loss - but they have already achieved so much and plan to do a lot more.