KUSA - For parents who have lost a child, the grieving process is never over. Sometimes it's hard to find the right words of comfort.
"Grieving in our society - everybody just wants you to get done," said Barbara Yurich, who lost her 11-year-old son. "They want you to be the same. 'I just want you to be happy again. Come back to work.' This doesn't work like that."
Yurich and her husband Stefan say after Zachary succumbed to a more than four-year battle with cancer. They felt alone. Eventually they say they found comfort in a group no one ever wants to join. It's a support group for parents who've lost a child called Compassionate Friends.
"The hardest thing probably is to walk in that room," Barbara said. "Because who wants to join this club?"
Now the couple leads meetings, somehow finding the words to console those in their shoes.
"I think it's our mission as a couple to help others," Stefan said.
They say they're praying for Claire Davis' family, especially as they've been forced into the spotlight as they grieve.
"Obviously, we didn't have that with Zachary," Barbara said.
As for those looking for the right words for parents dealing with the loss of a child, she says sometimes actions speak much louder.
"There's nothing worse than having somebody tell you, 'If you need something, just call me,'" she said. "That's kind of an empty statement. Sometimes it's better just to go do it. Go mow their lawn [or] see if they need gas in their car."
And, she says, don't be afraid to speak about the life lost.
"I think for a lot of people, one of our worst fears is that our children are going to be forgotten," Barbara said. "Saying the child's name and saying, 'I remember when' and whatever stories you have.'"
There are more than 650 chapters of Compassionate Friends, including 6 in the Denver metro area.
In Aurora, contact Elaine Moore at (303) 883-0294. In Boulder contact Debra Hansen at (720) 588-0651. In Denver contact the Yurichs at (303) 340-8125. In Fort Morgan contact Michelle Covelli at (970) 867-8316. In Jefferson County contact Jim Juhl at (720) 226-4523. In Longmost contact Susan and Doug Gibbs at (720) 295-1823.
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