Itís was last April, three months before the third anniversary of Aineís death. David and I were struggling to figure out a way to somehow come out of yet another fog we were in after Aine died. Fog is a place where we live most often, still not quite sure that what the hell happened to us is real. How could she not be here with us? It must be a nightmare and we will wake up. Three years is a long nightmare and we are not waking up. It is real. But fog descends on us all the time and sits there like a weight pressing down on our shoulders. Sometimes it is a welcoming blanket and sometimes it is suffocating.
We were in a suffocating mode and knew we had to turn things around for our surviving daughterís sake. Itís a strange feeling, that of knowing you must physically do something so that you wonít perish in your sadness and yet so emotionally unmotivated you could just sit and do nothing forever. But the latter is not an option so we pick ourselves up again and get going.
Having had a few discussions with a local hospice house regarding bereavement support for children a few months prior, we decided we should do something to raise money to support this endeavor. So, as David stood on the stairs and I in the hall way, we listed the things that Aine liked, things that could be done outside, that other children would enjoy. Swimming. She loved the water. Really, really loved it. Jump roping. Just did it whenever she could. Biking. Around and around the house, in the driveway, every day. These where all things we watched her excel at and then later, as her illness took over, we watched her labor to conquer.
It was literally just that few minutes talking on the stairs that the idea of a triathlon for kids was formulated. So we needed to host this event and raise money. We needed to figure out how to start a foundation, become a 501c3 organization and set up and execute a kidsí triathlon, all in time for Aineís anniversary in August. We had about 4 months to pull it off.
In May 2013, The Friends of Aine Foundation was officially formed Ė in honor of Aine to help grieving children. We are raising funds to build centers of support, safety and compassion for the children who feel alone because their brother or sister or mother or father died too soon. These kids need a place to be with others like them that they can relate with and build long lasting relationships. Otherwise, they will never feel safe, they will never fit in and they will always feel alone. David and I canít let that happen to our daughter or the other children. Our first task: to raise money to help Home Health & Hospice Care in Merrimack, NH expand its bereavement support services for children in southern NH. Our goal is to help establish a Center for Grieving Children in Aineís name.
We need to help. Aine would want us to help. Now you can help, too. To learn more please visit our website at www.friendsofaine.com.