Losing a child transcends language, race and culture. It is an all too common human experience of enormous significance – often beginning a cascade of changes that fundamentally shift the way parents and families live their lives.

No two experiences are the same. No two losses are the same. There is no uniform road to hope and resilience.  What may work for you is different than what works for another. What works for you on Monday may not work on Tuesday. The path is yours alone to construct.

EVERMORE is working to knit together both a philosophy for our society and a promise to our parents and families that our work will create a safety net of local support and national action through the contributions of communities and individuals. 

We honor your individual timeline and grieving process by providing access to quality resources and networks that are there for you when you want them, at any time, on any day.  Take what works for you and leave the rest. The choice is yours. 

Preservation. Take care of yourself. Caring for yourself in a way that is nourishing, gentle and kind is critically important. There is no right way to cope, no ideal time frame, no best method to follow.  Finding ways of practicing gratitude, recognizing healthy relationships, and creating boundaries when they do not work for you, seeking wholeness, and practicing self-love and compassion can help prevent the onset of deep grief. Many parents look to nature for signs of remembrance as they continue their exploration or commitment to spirituality. Preservation of self will continue to evolve as time goes by. At first, it may be remembering to eat or shower, while over time it may become a conscious decision to not participate in a birthday party, baby shower, or relationship.

Solidarity. Know you are not alone. While you may feel profoundly isolated, millions of us surround you. There is a common language among bereaved parents, regardless of your culture or community; we share a common experience that requires no words. Many of us suffer in silence as society does not yet know how to manage our pain.  Discovering or creating safe places to feel the depth of loss can help.

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Remembrance.  Find ways to remember your child. Remember and honor your child in ways that embody their spirit, culture, life, and passion so you can create a legacy in whatever form feels most authentic. It may be going to see their favorite rock band, inviting their friends over for dinner, or visiting a part of the world they always dreamed of seeing. Finding ways to incorporate their hopes and dreams into your own life can be helpful. Many parents may also look to nature for signs of remembrance as they continue their exploration of or commitment to spirituality. Whether it is through sunrises, rainbows or rainfalls, looking to nature can offer solace, remembrance and hope.

Emergence. Reemerge into the world. The world continues to move forward often in a callous, unrelenting way that can be devastating to parents and families. Reemerging into social media communities, going back to work, helping others understand how best to support you, and more – all pose challenges.  Over time, the challenges change and become less debilitating as we learn to cope in different ways. Taking the dog for a walk, going to a local yoga class, or planting a garden may help you reemerge slowly.

Navigation.  Navigate society and find support. At your pace, with the resources that can support the unpredictable nature of your journey, you will develop a greater understanding of what you need, and how your needs may change from day to day. In the beginning many may say, "let me know what you need" or ask, "how can I help?" Yet, you yourself may have no idea how to answer those question. Slowly, you will begin to find ways to restore your spirit and safeguard your pain.

Engagement. Connect with others, if and when you wish.  Engagement and connection with others can help you cope. Whether through an old friend or new, a pet or volunteer engagement, or another avenue altogether, finding ways to let yourself feel renewed and refreshed can help diminish the toll grief can place on you.

Memoir. Share your story. At the time, pace, and in a manner you are comfortable with, share your story and perspectives with those who love you and want to hear more. You do not need to share the whole story, nor do you need to enter situations that can lead to further trauma. You might start a blog, talk to close friends and family, or choose an open mic event. Bringing light to your child's story can help as you cope and support your quest for meaning.

Fortitude. Cope each day. After experiencing such a horrific human tragedy, it will be hard to see life in the same way again. Maybe you no longer cry every day, maybe you can manage to sit in your child's room or on their bed, or buy their favorite cereal once again. Fortitude is a lifelong process that will be full of surprises and disappointments. Being patient with yourself while finding ways to include both the absence and presence of your child in your daily routine may help you find purpose again. 

Our promise becomes our practice by continuing to strive for better resources in order to expand and improve the network of support for you, your family, your community, and our nation.