Friends Of Aine Center In Manchester Helps Children And Families Grieve

Photo: Shari Small (WBZ)

Manchester, N.H. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Aug. 30 is National Grief Awareness Day, and one Manchester couple are using their grief to help children and families with theirs.

Christine and David Phillips founded the Friends of Aine Center for Grieving Children and Families in 2013 after the death of their 8-year-old daughter Aine in 2010.

"We started it in memory and honor of Aine, but also really to support her sister, Bella, my daughter, who was 5-and-a-half when her sister died," Christine told WBZ. "David and I were able to find support for ourselves as adults, but it was much harder to find support for the children."

Seeing Bella struggle with the death of her older sister spurned Christine and David to start Friends of Aine, whose mission statement is to "help children and families grieving a death navigate their path to a hopeful future."

"You’ll hear it said that children are the forgotten mourners," said Christine. "They tend to sit quietly and watch and observe everybody else grieving, but not knowing what to do with their own grief, and no outlet for that."

Friends of Aine run grief education training workshops for school staff and community workers, as well as Helping Understand Grief (HUG) workshops for kids in grades 1-12.

Christine is grateful for National Grief Awareness Day reminding people to support others who are grieving.

"It’s very important to have a day like this, I think really to recognize those who we’ve lost. As a grieving person, we need people to understand that this doesn’t go away. That there are lots of us out there who are grieving and sometimes we need just an extra little bit of support on any given day," Christine said.

WBZ's Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) reports.

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