Harlem teen starts website to help others cope with loss

Raenuka Reneau at the Flutter launch. (Courtesy of Raenuka Reneau)
Raenuka Reneau, center, at the Flutter launch. (Courtesy of Raenuka Reneau)

When Raenuka Reneau’s mother passed away, her grief was amplified by feeling like the only one who had ever lost someone.

“I felt alone,” Reneau, 17, told Metro.

The Democracy Prep High School senior said she struggled after her mother died in 2011 following a battle with lupus.

“I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about it,” Reneau said. “I felt like no one felt the same way I did.”

Feeling lonely in her grief, she began to think about what she could do instead.

This week she launched the Flutter Foundation to help other young people share their stories of loss. Through the website, people can share a story of losing someone through things like death, a breakup or loss of friendship.

She helped start the site with The Future Project, a group that helps high school students.

So far, she has received 10 stories, and she hopes to get 1,000 before she graduates in June.

Now, she said, she finds comfort through sharing her story with others.

“That’s when I was able to really cope with it, when I found out that people were going through the same thing as me,” she said.


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