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by Abigail Van Buren

Compassionate Friends Help Parents Cope With Their Loss

DEAR ABBY: My little girl was born with a heart defect. She made it through the first heart surgery, but passed away a week later right in front of me while the doctors and nurses tried to save her.

As the date of her death gets closer, I am becoming more and more depressed. How can I remember her and share my memories in a good way when all I want to do is stay in bed and cry? -- HEARTBROKEN MOMMY IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR MOMMY: I am so sorry for your loss. A way to remember your little girl and share those memories would be to contact a group called The Compassionate Friends. It's a national self-help support organization for families grieving the death of a child and was started to help families cope with the loss of children of any age and from any cause.

It sponsors a worldwide candle lighting on the second Sunday of December each year. The event is held at 7 p.m. local time and lasts for one hour. Services are also held throughout the day in hundreds of locations in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., as well as in other countries around the world. You can post a memorial message for your daughter in the online memorial book.

To locate a service near you and learn more about the work this organization does and what it offers, visit www.compassionatefriends.org, or call toll-free 877-969-0010. This is a valuable resource for anyone who has lost a child.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Death | Mental Health