With Loving Arms

Support Group for Families  Who Have Lost a Child


Melissa Owens

The Ashland Beacon


   On Nov. 16, 2015, Brenda Roberts received a call from the coroner’s office in Dayton, Ohio. Her son, Philip had been found in his house by his best friend, and paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive him. They were able to contact Roberts after finding her number in Philip’s phone when they called her to verify his name and address.

   “I was in shock and disbelief. I had talked to him only an hour before,” Roberts said.

   Roberts adds, “You could never describe the sadness of the loss of a child. And all the time, people say that they can only imagine what it would be like to lose their child, but they really can’t.”

   Actions can be more comforting than words, and from time to time God would put people in Roberts’ path that would hold her, listen to her, or just be there for her.

   According to Roberts, the loss of a child is a “open wound that would never heal.”

   During the initial grieving period, Roberts’ pastor and friends came to see her. However, when words were spoken, she had no memory of them.

   As time progressed, Roberts would have accidental meetings in which she would listen and share with people who were also grieving the loss of a child.

   “In the Fall of 2018, God laid it on my heart to start grief support,” Roberts said.

   At times, she was hesitant. But it took the loss of a friend’s son that helped Roberts realize the importance of starting the group.

   Designed to convey comfort and peace, Roberts decided to name the group Loving Arms. Its mission is to offer encouragement and support to each other by listening and sharing each other's experiences with grief from the death of a child.  And it is open to people of all faiths and beliefs, both men and women.

   Roberts said, “I want this to be an accepting, non-judgmental group. I am not a counselor, but I do consider myself a servant of God.”

   Loving Arms’ first meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 6 p.m. at The Lighthouse, 2153 29th Street, Ashland. It is located to the right of South Ashland United Methodist Church. All following meetings will take place the fourth Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. Contact Roberts at 606.571.1975 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.