Bereaved Parents Awareness Month – July 2022

Bereaved Parents Awareness Month is recognized every year in July. It is dedicated to raising awareness about the grief parents go through after the unfortunate loss of a child and the kind of support needed to overcome this unimaginable grief. It’s common knowledge that parents should not have to outlive their children.

The thought is so painful that many of us avoid the topic because even though most of us haven’t experienced it, we know it’s one of the worst things that can happen to a person. But it is during this difficult time that the people most affected by the tragedy — the parents — must know that they are loved and supported.

History of Bereaved Parents Awareness Month

Bereaved Parents Awareness Month is observed every year around the world in July. For a lot of people, it can be difficult to talk openly about their grief; many of them feel that it is too personal or too private. Even though talking about the events that caused their grief is crucial to recovery, people are hesitant in talking about it. It is a universally accepted fact that parents should not have to bury their children. The pain is immeasurable and parents carry this grief with them throughout their lives. But even in these darkest of times, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Whenever you look for help, you will always find communities of people, parents, and others who will be there for you and support you. It’s for this reason that we observe Bereaved Parents Awareness Month.

It exists to provide support to parents who have lost their children, but its other aim is to raise awareness about how many parents have suffered the loss of a child. Not only does it enable bereaved parents to find resources and support to overcome their grief, but it also seeks to provide information to others, including family, friends, and relatives, on how they can help parents overcome their loss. Social support becomes more important than ever during times of grief. Even if you feel uncomfortable at first or are unsure of how to console a bereaved parent, try to at least be there for them. Even something as simple as being a good listener can be extremely comforting.

Bereaved Parents Awareness Month timeline

1800s
Comfort in Religion

Christianity gives families a model for the acceptance of death and bereavement as the will of God and offers some hope of immortality and family reunions in heaven.

1914
World War I

The war, which killed over 700,000 people in Britain, changed attitudes and practices relating to death, bereavement, and mourning.

1918
Changing Times

At the end of the war, Victorian ways of mourning seemed inadequate and so new methods, including public rituals and memorials, came into existence.

1940s
World War II

According to research, about 3 million Britons from a population of less than 42 million lost a close relative, son, or brother during the war.

Bereaved Parents Awareness Month FAQs

What questions should you ask someone who is grieving?

Enquire about how things have been with their friends and family, how they are feeling about the loss, and how they are coping with it. You can also ask about the child, encourage them to share their feelings, and ask them what you can do to help.

What should you never say to a grieving parent?

Do not say things like “time heals all wounds,” to “let go and move on,” “everything happens for a reason” and “God works in mysterious ways.” Also, avoid sentences that start with “at least” and be thankful everything else/your other children are fine.

Is there a word for parents who have lost a child?

There is no such word in the English language. But there is a Sanskrit word ‘vilomah,’ which means against the natural order and is sometimes used to refer to a parent who has lost a child.

How to Observe Bereaved Parents Awareness Month

  1. Seek help

    Reach out to your family, friends, and communities built around this issue for support. Look for professional therapists and take care of your mental health. Seeking help, or even talking about the tragedy, can be hard at first but it’s an important step towards healing.

  2. Offer support

    Lend an ear to any parents you know who are going through this difficult time and provide support. Offer to do small chores for them if you feel they might be finding it hard to cope with other aspects of their lives.

  3. Stick together

    Lean on your family members for support as they are probably going through the same emotions that you are. Sticking together will remind you that you are not alone. This can be a turbulent time for families and knowing you have each other’s backs can go a long way on the road to recovery.

5 Unsettling Facts About Bereavement

  1. Those left behind

    Each death leaves behind an average of four to five mourners.

  2. Time heals grief

    For most people, extreme feelings of grief begin to go away after six months of the tragedy.

  3. Caregivers may process grief differently

    People caring for someone with a long-term illness might begin their grieving process while the loved one is still alive.

  4. Yearning takes over

    Studies have found that in the two years after a death, the most reported symptom is yearning for the person who is gone.

  5. Complicated grief

    Research has found that if symptoms of grief aren’t fading away by six months after the loss, it may be a sign of a more serious problem called “complicated grief.”

Why Bereaved Parents Awareness Month is Important

  1. It normalizes talking about tragedy

    Many people who have experienced the death of a child find it hard to talk about the child. People often avoid mentioning the person’s name or even talking about it as they think it can cause pain to the mourners. But sharing feelings always helps overcome grief.

  2. Many people go through it

    By the age of 70, 15% of American parents have lost a child, which is a greater number than many of us would have assumed. Bereavement affects a lot of parents around the world and although they might get better with time, they will always appreciate any support.

  3. It’s an extremely stressful event

    Losing a child is one of the worst things that can happen to a person. It’s safe to say that it’s every parent’s biggest nightmare. Such an event can have harmful effects on the parents, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, marital disruption, and even premature death.

Bereaved Parents Awareness Month dates

YearDateDay
2022July 1Friday
2023July 1Saturday
2024July 1Monday
2025July 1Tuesday
2026July 1Wednesday
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