“I’m not sure how I would have got through those months and years without HOPE.”
“It was a necessity for me to cope with what had happened and what was ahead.”
“I was so grateful that HOPE was available to attend.”
Hope Bereavement Care (HOPE) is a Geelong based not for profit offering free information, support and counselling when grieving the death of a baby or child, the sudden and unexpected death of an adult and those experiencing the loss after suicide.
I met Salli Hickford, Executive Officer at the HOPE office in Kitchener House. She tells me “I’ve been in my role for 5 months and I’m still finding out about all the wonderful things HOPE provide. We have a partnership with St Luke’s Men’s Shed who build Angel Boxes, tiny little burial and memory boxes for babies. Barb Kosic who organises the SPAN – Suicide Prevention and Awareness Network and walks paints these boxes and they go to funeral homes with outfits and love.
“2-300 people attended our ‘Walk of Hope’ on Oct 13th. Tracey Paech is pictured here at the walk. She has been walking with Hope for 10 years, after she lost her daughter Ariel 13 years ago. She’s explained to me its grief that’s forward not back. Tracey has been working with us in partnership with Red Nose.”
A sudden and unexpected death is devastating – lives are changed forever. Grief can lead to feelings of disbelief, guilt, loneliness, fear, anxiety and helplessness and physical symptoms like sleeplessness. Over time, and with Hope’s support people can slowly begin to live their lives again. Please help us to provide more HOPE. Visit www.givenow.com.au/hope to make a once-off or regular donation. Or get in touch with Hope via their website.
There is no Government funding for this much needed service and due to increased awareness, the need has risen from 60 to 250 in five years (90 of which are suicide related). HOPE is calling on the Geelong community to help, their aim is to raise $150,000 of much needed funds before the end of the year.
Story: Jacqui Bennett. Photo: supplied