Guest post by Janelle Tsockallos, Parent Supporter with Sands Queensland
My name is Janelle. My husband and I have been Sands members since early 2005 when we experienced the loss or our twins. We were so grateful to Sands for the support and friendship we received in the following years.
In 2008, the state co-ordinator asked if I would attend the Listener’s Training Workshop. I was honoured she felt that I could be helpful to other bereaved parents and the Sands organisation. I have been on the telephone listener’s roster for five years now and I find it to be a very rewarding role. To be able to offer support to bereaved parents is a way of honouring our own babies.
Whilst we are not professional counsellors, volunteer listeners are all bereaved parents who have completed a training workshop. Many people can offer you sympathy after the loss of your baby, but a Sands listener can offer you empathy. Whilst the circumstances of our baby’s loss may be different to yours, there are many common aspects of the grief journey we all travel.
Telephone support is available through the 1300 0 sands (1300 072 637) support line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you feel the need to talk to someone or need support, do not hesitate to call. You are never wasting our time. Every call is important. If a listener is not available when you phone, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Listeners are not judgemental, we are here to listen and support.
It is a big step for some people to reach out for help and pick up the phone to make that initial call to 1300 0 Sands support line. Many bereaved parents and family members find it such a relief that they can talk to and open up to someone who understands what they are thinking and feeling during one of the most shattering experiences of their lives.
Remember you are not alone. Sands is only a phone call away.