The 22nd February 2023 was a significant day for Harley’s family as well as the charity. This day marked the tenth anniversary since Harley sadly lost his life.
As Harley’s father, anniversaries have always been a struggle for me. There is something about significant dates that stick with us and in my case, the 22nd February has been a very difficult and sad day to get through for the past ten years. With each year that passes, my grief changes and therefore every year this date brings a slightly different experience.
This year, seemed particularly hard for me which I believe is because I had to contemplate with the knowledge that I haven’t seen my son for a decade. This is something no parent should ever have to contend with but unfortunately there are many that do.
Over the past ten years, I’ve accessed different types of support to help me deal with loss and grief and support me to somehow carry on with my life. Some of that support has come from a fantastic Nottingham based charity called Zephyrs.
Zephyrs carry out incredible work supporting bereaved parents through support groups, counselling and social events. You can check out their work here – www.zephyrsnottingham.org.uk and contact for more information.
I personally understand how important it is to receive support through bereavement so that you are helped to come to terms with loss and work towards acceptance of what has happened to your child’s life as well as your own and those lives of the people around you.
This experience helps me to have an insight into the lives of other parents who have lost children and understand how important it is for them to have access to support where possible. Because of this we have decided to support Zephyrs in delivering more services to bereaved parents.
To mark the tenth anniversary of Harleys death, The Harley Jae Trust has decided to donate £1,600 to Zephyr’s which will fund a counselling room for six months where qualified counsellors will be able to provide support to bereaved parents at no cost to them.
Joseph Rafter, CEO