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Blog / / I Found Comfort in Helping Others
BLOG
I Found Comfort in Helping Others
After I lost my child, moving on with life seemed impossible. Unfair even. How to go on without her? Is there anything left without her? Overwhelming emotions, from pain, anger, to sadness and helplessness, which alternated as time passed, made me a different person. Nothing will ever be the same without her.

Coming to terms with this fact often felt like betrayal. Have I accepted that we will never see each other again? Does that make me a bad person? Someone finds peace after a loss in grieving, someone takes up a new hobby in order to occupy their mind and get away from the questions that keep coming, and they don't give you peace day or night, and I chose to find peace through helping others.

The last thing that comes to your mind when you lose a child is: ‘How am I doing?’ You know it hurts and you know that it will never go away. Support, especially professional one, plays very important role in channelling and understanding such pain.

I have met a lot of experts since Tijana went missing to this day. I had a lot of time to think about how I wanted help to be provided to me, but it wasn't, but also about those situations when it was provided to me, what it looked like and why it helped me. All those experiences taught me how important it is to be there for each other, to be a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen to, without offering unnecessary advice and solutions.

Talking to parents who experienced the same, through empathy, I felt that my pain was getting a new shape. It was not a shift of focus from me to others, but a realization that in a world full of pain, each of us can be someone else's source of light, or a glimmer gently shining in the darkness. So I discovered that helping others brings me much needed comfort.

I found a way how to pay my respect to Tijana. I established the Foundation that would help children and parents. Over the years, I have gathered around me a team that feels the same way about providing help and support as I do, and I was lucky to find people for whom it is not just a job. I can proudly say that it is a mission for all of us.

I learned through my experience that our decision to help, to take care of each other, and about each other, without turning our heads, is the foundation of a better society. Support, empathy, and solidarity are not just words; they are actions that can transform lives. I understood this best by watching people and children who experienced trauma, loss or tragedy, and who found peace by volunteering with us at the Centre for Missing and Abused Children, sharing their journey with others, offering what they got, when they needed it the most.

I have dedicated my life to the fight for a society in which the search for a missing child will be started immediately, in which everyone will have access to the necessary psychological and legal support regardless of their financial situation, in which those who choose to hurt the most gentle will be adequately punished and in where every child will have the opportunity to have a real, carefree childhood.

Loss of a child thought me difficult, but valuable lessons. I learned that although I cannot control what will happen, I can control how I will react to those events. It resulted in establishment of the Foundation, and then also of the Centre for Missing and Abused Children.

Going back to the beginning when I mentioned that I couldn't move on with my life... One of the lessons I learned is that even when faced with the greatest losses we can still find a way forward that is unique to us. It's a bonus if along this way we make the world a little better place for all of us. And finally, I realized that I must not be selfish. It may sound strange to mention selfishness, but losing a child takes you to the darkest corners of your mind. Just then, when I chose not to be selfish, I found a way to create a new, indescribable, superhuman strength to charge ahead, not only for Tiana, but for Saška, who is my shining star and whose smile motivates me to live.
AUTHOR
Igor Jurić
an activist