A woman who is known to the Alberton community for starting Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services, Tersia Burger, lost her only child, Vicky, at the age of 39 after a 10-year horrific battle with osteogenesis imperfecta.
There can be no grief greater than that of losing a child and if you haven’t lost a child, it can be extremely difficult to understand the grief a parent endures at the loss of a child. A woman who is known to the Alberton community for starting Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services, Tersia Burger, lost her only child, Vicky, at the age of 39 after a 10-year horrific battle with osteogenesis imperfecta.
“On January 1, 2013, I started Stepping Stone Hospice from my home. It was my dying daughter’s final wish that I should start a hospice in Alberton as she experienced the benefits of palliative care in her last days,” Tersia explained.
The need to reach out
“Eighteen days after Vicky was enrolled as our very first patient, my precious child died. Vic was Stepping Stone’s first death,” said Tersia.
Over the past six years, she has seen many mothers and fathers stand next to the death bed of a beloved child.
“I have held them close, feeling their pain. Remembering mine.”
Tersia watched many of them tether on the brink of madness, recognising the madness that stalked her too.
“I felt so incredibly alone after Vic’s death. Very few people understood my grief. I found friendship and support in cyberspace. Blogger friends offered friendship and understanding. Blogger friends, who had lost a child, reached out to me with love and understanding, offering hope. The rest of the world expected me to ‘get over it’,” she said.
“I realised that if no good came from Vic’s death her suffering had been futile. I know the pain and loss of a child never go away. Every day the grieving starts all over again.
“I see the pain of other parents and know we are bound together with this terrible longing. I know we help patients and families every day through Hospice Care. But the pain of a parent does not end with the memorial service. I realised 2 192 days after my child died that I need to reach out to other parents.”
A piece of you is lost
“Six years after the death of my dear child, I have made the decision to finally start a support group for parents who have lost a child. The loss of a child is the most devastating experience a parent can face, and missing the child never goes away. A piece of yourself is lost and your future is forever changed.
The original article can be found here.