Learning to navigate life following the loss of a child | #parenting


Ryan and Angelica Williams said Denihm was their ray of sunshine.

In the five years he was here on this earth he touched more lives than they ever imagined.

“He was a really, really awesome kid,” Ryan, Denihm’s dad, said. “He was full of life and a typical five-year-old. He was our everything.”

Katie: “He definitely made a big impact?”

“Bigger than we thought,” Angelica, Denihm’s mom, said.

Katie: “And he will continue?”

“Yep,” Ryan said.

Ryan and Angelica Williams

Denihm was killed in an ATV accident just after Thanksgiving.

The last month and a half undoubtedly hard on the couple.

Despite that, the couple said they have been able to find hope when it felt like all was lost.

“Mrs. Reecie and my wife, they speak a lot, and she gives us a lot of hope and things the look forward to,” Ryan said.

Reecie Gilmore is all too familiar with the Williams struggle. Fourteen years ago, she lost her son, Clint, to accidental drowning.

The RescYou Group officially opens doors

Reecie Gilmore

“You’re so isolated,” Gilmore started. “Nobody understands how you feel, you’re completely abnormal, living in completely abnormal conditions.”

In those fourteen years, Gilmore has worked to get a non-profit group off the ground; one that would help parents who have lost children navigate this new life.

“In the moment of tragedy, I did not know what to do next,” Gilmore said. “I had buried a grandmother; I had buried a grandfather but that was it. I never planned funeral, so the idea of having to plan my son’s funeral was mind-numbing. That was the idea, create something that would guide families on what to do next. That’s the process nobody prepares for.”

That dream became a reality on January 11th, the RescYou group officially opened its doors, servicing a ten-parish area.

“There is no rule book that tells you how to handle the loss of a child,” Gilmore said. “That’s what I wanted to create, in a sense, a process and program that could guide families on what to do next, with specific steps.”

The RescYou Group helping families navigate new life

Reecie Gilmore

Those steps include:

– 24-hour navigators, someone to meet families at the hospital and guide them through the next hours and days after the loss of a child.

– A child life specialist on staff to help siblings cope with the loss of a brother or sister.

– Assisting families, financially, with funeral expenses.

– Free counseling for one year

“We have partnered with the Lost in Transition Center, and they offer free counseling for up to a year for families,” Gilmore said. “It doesn’t matter when the loss was, when they first start is when their 12 month starts. It could be two years down the road when they decide they need help, and they can start that grief counseling.”

Ryan and Angelica Williams remember their son DE

Ryan and Angelica Williams

As for Ryan and Angelica, while they still have a long road ahead of them, they have something to look forward to–the birth of their second son in a couple of months.

“His name will be Denver,” Ryan said. “We’re hoping to welcome him in with open arms. Not fill the void but mend it a little bit.”

Katie: Denver will know a lot about Denim, right?

“He would talk to Denver and say don’t hurt my mama and stuff like that,” Ryan said.

Katie: He was protective of his mama.

“Yep, and he was so ready to be a big brother,” Ryan said.

You can find The RescYou Group on Facebook or go to www.therescyougroup.org

You can also call or text Reecie Gilmore at: (361) 944-4226



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