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Windber Woman Starts Parents Of Angels Support Group

A local Windber woman is starting a support group for parents who lost their children.

The group officially had their first meeting on Wednesday with aims to provide community and support for those grieving the loss of their children.

Heather Smith lost her son, 22-year-old Zachary Smith to a drug overdose in 2016. Now, 6 years later she wants to create a space where parents can freely share their experiences and find support and community in one another.

“I just want to help people and let them know that they’re not alone, Sometimes in this kind of situation, you feel alone.”

According to research published in the National Library of Medicine, grief is stressful whenever it occurs, but studies continue to provide evidence that the greatest stress, and often the most enduring one, occurs for parents who experience the death of a child. With stigma surrounding the discussions of death and grief, many parents find it hard to cope with the loss.

“Sometimes I feel like people don’t want to ask you how you are, People don’t want to mention names or mention your child or whatever because they don’t want to bring up any bad juju or any kind of bad feelings. I’m hoping that this just helps everybody heal, feel better and just come together.”

The group is called Parents of Angels and is open to everyone.

The group is called Parents of Angels and is open to everyone.

“As parents we need to be proud of the people that we raised, Maybe not proud of their decisions but let people know that they were loved and that we still continue to love them after they’re gone I just want people to know that there’s somebody out there that understands, cares, and wants to help them through one of the toughest, hardest, most unfair things that happen in your life.”

The group meets every Wednesday at the Rummel Church of the Brethren in Windber from 6-7pm.

You can reach Heather by emailing

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