There are short talks from the front, time for sharing in small groups and, at the weekend events, time to relax and have some leisure time. All those involved in talking from the front and facilitating groups have themselves lost a partner whilst still young. It’s a safe place amongst those who understand.
This varies for each individual. People have come along as soon as a couple of months after the death. Others come after a longer period. There is no right or wrong answer. It can be a helpful experience in those first few difficult months, but also after years have gone by, when there are still difficult hurdles to overcome.
Numbers can vary. However, in the past, on average there have been around 20 people, plus our team of volunteer befrienders (all of whom have lost their partner at a young age).
Again, we can never be sure. On average, most people are in their early 40s, although we do have people who are in their early 20s, right through to 50+ if they have dependent children at home.
There are usually tears – and that’s OK. We always have plenty of tissues. It’s a safe place to be yourself and express your grief amongst those who really understand. There are usually times of laughter too, as we get to know one another.
That’s fine. There is no ‘have to’ about the day at all. For the smaller group discussions, we try our best to put people together who have lost their partner in similar circumstances. You are free to say as much or as little about your story as you like. You can listen to others and contribute if you feel able. If you feel you need to go out, get some air, or have a walk – that’s no problem. You can take from the day what you feel is helpful to you.
We know that the circumstances surrounding certain bereavements can be particularly difficult to deal with, and even harder to talk about. However, there will be others there who have suffered traumatic bereavement, and most people find that sharing their stories, although painful, can help them cope with their loss.
There are usually many more women than men at our events. However, the men that come along find sharing with each other really valuable. At the weekend event, there are separate sessions ‘Especially for men’, and ‘Especially for women.’
Unfortunately we cannot cater for children. However, you will be able to help your children much more effectively if you are dealing with your own grief well yourself. During the event we will signpost you to where you can get support for your children.
Trying to find your way to somewhere new can be daunting. We will give you detailed, clear instructions and, if you want, we can help you make travel plans.
We always have someone from Care for the Family’s Careline team with us, who is available to talk to people in confidence, on a one-to-one basis.
We want to make you feel special, so there will be lots of chocolate, sweets and good food. We really want to help you feel as safe, comfortable and cared for as we are able.
Please pick up the phone if you are still wondering whether coming to an event is for you. Call Care for the Family on (029) 2081 0800 and ask to speak to us personally, or email firstname.lastname@example.org – we would be more than happy to answer any of your questions.