When they become angels much too soon

Christopher Gooding
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New group help mothers grieve and mend hearts

The pain of losing a child is so unimaginable it cannot be conveyed with words alone

SPRINGHILL: The pain of losing a child is so unimaginable it cannot be conveyed with words alone but a new resource in the county has opened its doors to grieving mothers so that they can meet and, if not anything, suffer together as they try to move on with life.
For one such mother here in Springhill, it was the network Marilyn Williams has been looking for these past eleven years since the loss of her 18 year-old son Adam to cystic fibrosis.
Mothers of Angels is more than a place to meet and share similar stories of loss, Williams says. It's a place to heal a wound that can never properly stitched.
"Loss is loss," Williams said. "But for a mother it's a different kind of grief. When a mom loses a child part of them becomes amputated. It's all your dreams; all of those dreams are gone and it's the fear your children are going to be forgotten."
The years following the loss of her son Adam, Williams looked for a place where she could go and be with people who share her loss. Within the community there are other mothers who have lost their child, she says, but bringing them together was a challenge she could not take on. Hearing of the Mothers of Angels program in Bridgewater she felt a sense of elation people where beginning to reach out to one another and then, just a few weeks ago, a poster hanging on the wall of the Amherst mall caught her attention. It was notice of an Amherst start up of the Mothers of Angels program.
"I got in right at the start up," Williams said.
The experience has been the equalizer to the pain and loss she has been looking for all these years, she says.
"In this group you're safe. Every little step forward makes way for new steps. You don't have to talk. You don't have to do anything."
In attending the Mothers of Angels program at the Baptist Church on Victoria St. in Amherst, Williams says she feels empowered and supported and is proud to be there for other mothers who know her pain. Attending the sessions has become a part of her life she looks forward to and wants to reach out to others and let them know that when they feel they are ready to visit Mothers of Angels she is there for them, even if its to provide a drive and say nothing at all.
"I really believe if a mother makes that first step they'll fell really good about being there and I'm here to go with them if they want."
Created in March of 2004, the Mothers of Angels Society began in Bridgewater and has grown to Fall River and Amherst using conversation, poetry and song as some the outlets mothers can use to memorialize their children. Online, www.mothersofangels.ca, mothers can provide memorials of their children, read testimonials and connect with others.
The Amherst network of Mothers of Angels' next meeting will take place at the Baptist Church in Amherst on Sun, Jan. 20, at 1:30 p.m. Those interested can contact Williams at 597-3053 or call coordinator Crystal Stiles at 667-7691.

Organizations: Baptist Church, Angels Society

Geographic location: Amherst, SPRINGHILL, Bridgewater Fall River

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