On Friday, 24th February, the Family Support Network will hold its Service of Commemoration and Hope, entitled ‘Honouring Live Lost to Addiction – Let their Light Shine on’, in remembrance of loved ones lost to alcohol & other drugs.
The Family Support Network (FASN) is an autonomous self-help organisation that provides support to families and respects the experiences of families affected by substance misuse in a welcoming non-judgemental atmosphere across Louth, Meath, Cavan & Monaghan.
The ceremony will take place in the Redemptorist Hall, St Joseph’s Monastery, St Alphonsus Road, Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland, A91 F3FC on the 24th of February 2023 at 7pm with guest speaker Frances Black, attending from the Rise Foundation.
Senator Frances Black is the founder and CEO of The RISE Foundation. The Rise Foundation also supports families impacted by a loved one’s addictive behavior through awareness, education, and therapy, and to combat the associated shame and stigma.
This spiritual, multi denominational service will be held in remembrance & to celebrate the lives of our lost loved ones and to remember that they were first and foremost a person, who was loved and who loved others. And to publicly support and offer hope to families living with the devastation that substance misuse causes.
The date also marks FASN’s ‘Stop the Stigma’ Campaign highlighting the negative consequences of the damage addiction stigma causes on the health and well-being of people with substance use disorder but also the effect stigma can have on the bereavement process of loved ones who loses someone to addiction.
FASN want to stress to all family members who have lost loved ones that they are not alone in their grief.
Gwen McKenna, FASN Family Support Specialist states “The loss of a loved one through addiction is a complicated bereavement. Every family’s loss is individual however their experiences can be so similar – the death though sometimes anticipated and feared – will often come as a huge shock. The death is often a traumatic one and the person is lost before their time which has a devastating effect on those left behind. Our service will provide families and loved ones a space to grieve for their loved ones in a spirit of dignity and hope, an opportunity commonly stolen from families affected by substance misuse as a result of stigma.”
The commemoration ceremony is also to offer hope to families of those still involved in addiction or recovery as Gwen stressed that the work of FASN will continue to advocate for better services for families and that their loved ones need person-centered, accessible, and early intervention. FASN will continue to fight for family support to be accessible for anyone who needs it across the North East.
Gwen went on to say that everyone is welcome to attend the ceremony In remembrance of our loved ones who left us too soon.
“We invite anyone who wants to remember their loved ones to come along to the ceremony. We will come together to mourn and remember, but we also celebrate their lives and we look ahead to the future,” she said. “It is so important for us to come together to remember those we’ve lost and remember that their lives mattered. This in turn will help us to further commit to working together as a community to help the next person in active addiction so we don’t lose them.”
“Grief is the last act of love that we can give to those that we loved. Where there is deep grief, there was great love. Our ceremony will give family members the opportunity to come together to acknowledge and support each other in our grief and acknowledge the love we have for those we have lost. ” Gwen added.
Where: Redemptorist Hall, St Joseph’s Monastery, St Alphonsus Road, Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland, A91 F3FC at 7 pm
When: 24th Feb, 2023 at 7 pm
Note: Free Parking is available. The event is followed by refreshments and a chance to chat.
The FASN Helpline Number is: 0879046405
Visit the fasn.ie website for more information