Evermore organization will tackle why and how
More. Bereaved. Families.
Every day, news coverage reports the death of sons and daughters of all ages dying from an array of causes. And the coverage continues. Last week I, like many others, was thunderstruck by the news that Jeremy Richman, Sydney Aiello and Calvin Desir had died.
More. Bereaved. Families.
I know these families’ lives, like my own and many others, are forever divided into two categories:
Life Before and Life After.
But most of all, I have come to know unambiguously, that more could — and should — be done to help bereaved families in the United States.
Observing from the sidelines is no longer an option.
My own Life After started in 2010 after the death of my daughter. And, over time, as I watched the news that detailed the death of yet another child — from the Sandy Hook massacre and Aurora Theater shooting to the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Hadiya Pendleton — I had a very real sense of the heartache, injustices, and lifelong challenges these families would face. I was hit with the conviction that I must do something — even if I did not yet know what that might be.
I decided to leave the only career I had ever known and began to immerse myself in the science surrounding the implications of losing a child and the stories of those left behind.
Americans from all walks of life graciously and patiently shared with me how their lives were changed by one of life’s most tragic experiences. I have had the honor of learning from families, medical providers, members of law enforcement, therapists, researchers, employers, and many more.
And now’s the time to get off the bench to share what I’ve learned and launch a national conversation about child death, its implications, so we can address it for what it is:
a public health crisis.
To raise awareness, encourage funding and push for change, I founded Evermore — a nonprofit that recognizes that when a child dies, what happens next can make all the difference.
Personal Stories, Factual Analysis
We will use this platform as part of our campaign to de-stigmatize the issues bereaved parents face and advise practitioners, employers and others on what bereaved families need (and don’t need).
Evermore has a unique perspective to offer our nation, our communities and our families. We are able to not only share individual anecdotes, but also provide factual analysis informed by research and partnerships with leading scientists and policy experts.
You will see what we see, including how we, as Americans, can and do stand by our families, neighbors, and communities during tragedy.
In a time when our nation seems to be marked by division and dissent, this will be a place where families — and those who support them — can see hope, help and love. You will be able to learn from one another and find solace in sharing stories of slog and promise. This blog will also be a forum to highlight providers who work with families: those who bear the burden of telling parents and those who absorb our traumas. This blog will be authentic and genuine.
Evermore’s Ground Rules
There are a few key rules, however…
Every child counts. Whether young or old, before independent life has begun or as an octogenarian, every grieving parent and family deserves to be acknowledged, supported and offered the opportunity to cope with “us.” Whether felon or Park Avenue, we share a common humanity based upon the invisibility of our love, the uniqueness of our children, and how we brave the world without them.
Siblings count too. Siblings, young and old, are often forgotten. They, too, deserve to be acknowledged and supported for their loss.
Everyone has a role to play. Every community organization — public or private — has a role to play. From emergency responders to medical examiners, funeral homes to hospitals to employers. From grocers to recreational centers to caregivers and everyone in between, each institution can support families in their own ways. We hope all will join us in making this change.
We hope you will tune in regularly and give us feedback on the issues addressed and the personal stories covered. Too many people look away. Thank you for reading. We promise to do all we can to make it worth your time.