The following is a letter written to a local school council by two parents who recently lost their son. We have been given permission for the letter to be published. All personal details have been omitted/changed (marked with *) to respect their privacy.
We are writing to you in reference to the support provided to us by Jane*, following the sudden & tragic passing of our son Alex* in a car accident [one month ago].
We had met Jane through our close friends John* & Sarah*, whereby Jane had been assisting them to deal with John's ongoing battle with cancer. John & Sarah's son Ryan* was Alex's best friend, hence our close relationship with the family, and we had no hesitation in asking Jane if she would assist us.
From the very moment that Jane walked through our front door the day after Alex died, we were in good hands. Jane assisted us in so many ways from that point forward, and is still in regular contact with us today, some 7 weeks after the accident.
Our daughter Julie* who attends the school as Alex did, is currently doing Year 12. Jane assisted us by being our liaison person at the school, which meant we did not have to endure the difficult process of repeating our story to someone who we didn't know, on the other end of the phone. Jane helped Julie by setting up special study sessions for when she was ready to return to school to start preparing for exams, along with helping to set up a meeting with the career's coordinator. As we prepare for Julie to commence exams next week, we are certain the work that Jane has done enables her to perform to the best of her ability under the circumstances that we have found ourselves in. Without Jane helping us out with Julie, it's hard to say what shape mentally she might be in right now.
In terms of providing support to the three of us, Jane was simply amazing. She helped us through what was and is the most difficult & traumatic time in our lives, and we can never thank Jane enough for that. We asked Jane if she would assist us as the funeral celebrant and she was only too happy to do so. Jane liaised with the funeral director in the leadup to Alex's funeral, whilst continuing to provide regular updates and advice to us along the way. Jane's efforts assisted greatly in enabling us to prepare the best possible farewell to our son, where again her advice and experience was invaluable.
When Jane asked if we would mind writing a short note in relation to our experience, we were only too keen to jump at the chance. It's a small way of saying thank you to Jane, for the extraordinary support that she has shown to our family. Through tragic & unfortunate circumstances, we have gained someone who will be a life-long friend without doubt. Jane helped make the most difficult time in our life somewhat manageable and we would strongly recommend her to anyone else who has the misfortune to experience similar pain and suffering. The school is blessed to have Jane supporting it and hopefully she remains there for many years to follow.