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'How are you, my child' - Parents grieving loss of only child

People's Daily Online)  14:42, April 03, 2013  

More than 160 parents who lost their only child gathered to fly green balloons, write cards and pray for their children on March 24th, 2013.Parents burst into tears as the balloons rose in the sky.(Photo/ PD Online)

"We hope these parents could turn sorrow into hope through prayer," said Tang Chenjia, a social worker with Shanghai Star Harbor Center, an organization that helps parents whose children died. Tang said the parents usually turn pessimistic. Some became shut-ins or lose their health while others become neighborhood troublemakers.

In Shanghai, there are more than 7,000 families whose only child died, officials said. The actual number might be higher for a number of reasons, such as some parents declining to receive government subsidies or having had their only child die after age 16, which would exclude them from subsidies and the statistics. People who adopt a child after theirs dies also are excluded from subsidies.

"These parents need more heart-to-heart care. It might be hard for other people to understand them, so we encourage them to help each other," said Tang. Some became shut-ins or lose their health while others become neighborhood troublemakersThe center was set up by 10 local families whose children died. In 10 years, the center has grown to serve 400 families. More than 80 percent lost their only child in an accident or due to illness. Most of the parents are in their 50s and 60s, and had only one child due to China's one-child policy, Tang said.[Full Story]

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(Editor:GaoYinan、Wang Jinxue)


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