Easton woman works to support others coping with loss

This heartfelt story is credited to 5 for Good  WCVB 5 abc, by Erika Tarantal

We Do Care offers group sessions and outings to connect grieving widows, widowers, and children

Easton, MASS —Heather Bartlett of Brockton recalls her happiest days, spending time with her partner Larry Craffey and playing with their three children on the beach. She said they are her most cherished memories.

"We talk about him and we laugh, and we just try to be happy," Bartlett said.

She said finding joy can be hard. Just over a year ago, Craffey died suddenly of a heart attack. "Somebody that we loved so much just was gone," Bartlett said.

The couple’s daughter Quinn was 4 years old, their twins Hunter and Aurora were 2 years old, and two months after Craffey’s death, Heather found out she was pregnant with their fourth child, Gabriel.

Bartlett said she had trouble finding comfort until she found a friend with a shared experience. Julie Brennan lost her partner in a car accident in 2010. They had a young child and Brennan was pregnant with their second.

"I looked around for young widows groups and they didn't exist," Brennan said. Gradually, Brennan said she was able to connect with women who understood her loss and struggles.

"There were four of us that started, and we would laugh, we would cry, we would talk about raising grieving children," Brennan said.

She decided to start We Do Care just over two years ago. The nonprofit is devoted to bringing widows and widowers together with the mission of fostering empowerment and hope through friendships.

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