When A Child Dies . . .
The death of a child is every parentís worst fear and has been rendered to be “A catastrophic stressor unlike any other” by the Psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. That is where we come in. The Erika Whitmore Godwin Foundation and griefHaven are dedicated to providing hope, love and support to parents whose children die, siblings who lose a brother or sister, grandparents, and all others impacted by the death of a child. When a child dies, parents are forever changed. The key to surviving such a loss is HOPE and knowing they are never alone, for if those who are suffering the relentless pain of losing a child see that others before them have gone on to rebuild their lives with new meaning, purpose, joy and happiness, they will then know that they, too, are capable of doing the same.
A Variety of Support. How We Are Different Than Other Organizations.
Most organizations concentrate on one major type of support, such as support groups or resources that include books. The Erika Whitmore Godwin Foundation and griefHaven provide a huge variety of support all in one location.
Because everyone grieves differently, and what works for one may not work for another, we provide a huge variety of different types of support from which each person may choose, and there is something for everyone that anyone, anywhere in the world may access in the comfort and privacy of their own home. Almost everything we provide is free of charge. As a few examples of support available, we provide a free newsletter that is mailed twice a year, a free online newsletter called E-Haven that is emailed every other month, our amazing and professional video entitled “Portraits of Hope,” a chat room where anyone, anywhere in the world may meet and share with others, our beautiful Grief Pin designed by Susan Elizabeth Designs, memory gifts, support groups, private grief counseling, support for professionals who want to know how to support those impacted by the death of a child, diverse ideas for parents and those around parents who want to know how to help them, workshops, a memory page, an honor page, a free Packet of Hope, and much, much more.
Who We Are.
The Erika Whitmore Godwin Foundation and griefHaven were started by a mother, Susan Whitmore, who lost her only child to a rare sinus cancer. As she began the process of rebuilding her life without her daughter, Erika Whitmore Godwin, and felt the pain of that loss, she began looking for the types of support and hope that were “out there.” She found that there were wonderful organizations offering one or two types of support, such as private counseling or support groups, yet she realized she needed much more than that to be able to go on and that what she needed would last a lifetime. That is when she decided she would start a foundation that would do just that: provide every conceivable support tool she could possible create and have it all available in one location. Today, The Erika Whitmore Godwin Foundation and griefHaven receive over 50,000 visits a month on their website and support parents in 12 countries. Clearly, a global need is being met.
We are parents who are traveling this unwanted path of grieving the loss of our children. None of us want to be here, yet the reality is that we are here and we need to find a way to live and reinvest in life again. That takes commitment, hard work, the support of others who “get” what we are going through, and all the various types of support from which we may pick and choose throughout the years. Whether your child was with you for fifteen minutes or 50 years, the end result is the same--your beloved child is gone, and now you are left to pick up the pieces and go on. We make sure you have what you need throughout a lifetime.
The Erika Whitmore Godwin Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, has five primary goals: (1) to provide hope and support to any parent who loses a child; (2) to support siblings, family members, and friends impacted by the death of a child; (3) to educate the public about the loss of a child, letting them know how they can support parents in rebuilding their lives; (4) to educate and collaborate with professionals who deal with the death of a child; and, (5) to provide ways for parents to honor their child.
The Erika Whitmore Godwin Foundation is dedicated to maintaining a positive and nurturing work environment. In this way, our process aligns with what we deliver ó hope, compassion, and love.