A Befriending Service is offered by the Charity on a one to one basis to family members where a child/teenager has cancer. It is confidential and offers a 'safe' place where they can feel free to voice their feelings and worries.
One Dad was very nervous when he first approached us as he didn’t really know why he had come. It was explained that he could use the time as he wished and didn’t have to talk if he didn’t want to. As these sessions progressed he felt able to share his feelings and sorrow. His little girl was ill and he was frightened. He felt unable to cope, but unable to share his feelings as he thought it would be wrong as he was the man of the family and felt he was expected to be the strong one and just get on and take care of everyone else. He wanted to be there to support his wife, his daughter and his son but he found it hard not being able to take care of them all as he felt he should and not being able to make them all better again, especially his little girl.
There is no magic wand but over time, he grew to accept that it was O.K. To cry and be sad and that he was human as well, with feelings that affected him, and that he was doing the best he could in such very difficult circumstances. Nothing had really changed except that now, after talking to someone in confidence, he felt more able to cope and not to expect too much of himself, and was able to give his love, caring and support more easily to his family, that he loved so much.