We are a 501c3 non-profit organization to help support grieving children and establish a center of support, safety and compassion for these children, like our surviving daughter Bella, who feel alone because their brother or sister or mother or father died too soon.
Our vision is to create an enduring legacy of our daughter Aine that embodies her spirit and character by helping grieving children, their families and our surrounding communities.
Sadly, there is a tremendous need. As someone once said to us, “there’s plenty of grief to go around”. While there are programs and support groups available to adults, there is not enough available to the surviving children. These kids need a place to be with others like them; a place where they can express their feelings, help one another to grieve and develop lasting relationships with others who understand. Otherwise, they will never feel safe, they will never fit in and they will always feel alone.
Unfortunately, loss of a loved one during childhood or adolescence is not unique. In fact, 7 in 10 teachers currently have at least one student in their class(es) who has lost a parent, guardian, sibling, or close friend in the past year. However, what is unique is how each child grieves when losing a loved one, and the type of support they need for healing.
Studies have shown that children who are not supported in the early phases of grieving often develop serious emotional and behavioral problems. And research also shows that participation by children, aged 7–11, in early prevention support programs for bereaved children experienced a significant decrease in symptoms.
Yet bereavement programs for children are few and far between and consequently are difficult to find, especially by parents who are also grieving a loss. Children who have lost a parent or a sibling are in real need of support and care from trained professionals who understand the trauma and immense suffering they are going through.
Aine is our beautiful daughter who brought so much light and love to our lives. Her simple, unassuming presence would warm the coldest room and when she laughed, she would laugh so honestly, it was palpable. She has a spirit of pure, selfless kindness toward others, particularly her little sister whom she looked after with such genuineness and pride; they were bonded as sisters but also as friends. Aine died on August 10, 2010, suddenly and unexpectedly. She was 8 years old. Always looking out for her sister and making sure all was ok, with her hands on her hips, she once told me “Mommy, we have to help her.” And so we will, and other grieving children, as Aine would want us to do.