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Grieving grandparents turn to local program for help

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SAN ANTONIOAny Baby Can has been helping families of children with special medical needs, disabilities, or chronic illness since 1982, but the nonprofit also offers services that expand beyond that, including programs through their Center for Infant and Child Loss.

The center recently started a grandparent's support group, which offers grief counseling and funeral assistance to local grandparents suffering the loss of a grandchild.

"It's a daunting task to know that you're going to bury your grandchild," said Katherine Ratcliff, with Any Baby Can. "But now you've got to be strong enough to support your children through that process, while you have to set your grief aside."

Sandra Ibarra, who lost her grandson Kain on Christmas Day 2012, said the program has helped her tremendously as she mourns his loss.

"I did cry for my grandson, but I also cried for my daughter, and her husband, and so it was important that I had to just pick myself up," Ibarra said. "It was really important to have other grandparents that had gone through this, losing their grandchild, and then helping their own child through the grief journey."

Princess Miller, who lost her 2-year-old granddaughter in 2006, said she participates in the programs as a way of giving back, and helping others.

"Because I can relate about the things to say, things not to say, the days that come up, and what worked for me," Miller said.

The grandparent support services are offered free of charge to grandparents in Bexar County and the surrounding area.


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