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December, 2011

The Compassionate Friends

by Larry

A number of years ago, one of my brothers and his wife lost a baby. I am sorry to say that I was so overwhelmed with the enormity of their pain that I did not know how to respond in a supportive way. I am sure the tear in their lives which that tragedy caused will never be completely made whole and that nothing I could have said or done then would have lessened their anguish. Yet they deserved better than for others to act around them as if this had not even happened. I am appreciative that they could find relief from their faith and church fellowship.

Canterbury Cathedral - Funeral Procession, from Healing Window (Wikipedia)

A friend of mine this year lost one of her children. By now I am a little better at showing genuine caring and concern. Yet still I am largely in unknown waters when witnessing another's intense grief.

She told me about an organization, The Compassionate Friends, which has a wealth of experience in such circumstances and has provided her with a lot of help in the past few months. This is a nationwide and even international connection of and for supportive parents who have lost children themselves, siblings of the lost kids, and grandparents of children who have died.

Its services are there for folks who have lost offspring of any age.

In a holiday period when we naturally are thinking about charitable giving, this appears also to be a worthy cause for generous gifts of either time or financial assistance.

The Compassionate Friends has chapters in many cities. In TX alone, for instance, besides their online support network, they are represented in at least 33 locations around the state.

No single individual or group can make things right after the loss of a child, but a resource of people who have gone through or are going through much the same thing can be one more tool to aid in the healing that needs to take place.

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