October 2012 Becky Long, Editor
October Meeting: October 9, 2012 at 7 P.M.
The Hills Church of Christ, 6300 NE Loop 820, North Richland Hills
New Members When a child dies, at any age, Upcoming Meetings
the family suffers intense pain
We want to extend and may feel hopeless and isolated. Oct. 9th – Holiday panel discussion
a very warm, loving, The Compassionate Friends Nov. 13th – Annual Remembrance
and understanding “Welcome” provides highly personal comfort, Memorial, 7 P.M.
to our new friends who attended hope, and support to every family Dec. 11 th - Small group discussion
the September meeting: experiencing the death
2013 Meeting Dates
of a son or a daughter,
Jo Sellers a brother or a sister, or a grandchild, Jan. 15th, Feb. 12th, March 12th,
for the loss of her son and helps others better assist April 9th, May 14th, June 11th,
the grieving family. July 9th, Aug. 13th, Sep. 10th,
Oct. 8th, Nov. 12th, Dec. 10th
for the loss of her son
Loatta Jenkins A Love Gift is a donation made in
honor of a child who has died or as a If you would like to bring
for the loss of her nephew
memorial to a relative or friend. refreshments to an upcoming
Newsletter sponsorships are available meeting, please sign up at this
Jessica Irwin for $250, which is the current cost of month’s meeting or call one of
for the loss of her son printing and mailing over 250 our hospitality committee
newsletters each month. members. Many members bring
Tom & Ellen Harris Donations are tax deductible and are refreshments during their loved
for the loss of their daughter the only means that allow us to reach one’s birth month, to celebrate
out to other bereaved families their birthday with the group.
through books, programs and this Please note that drinks, cups,
newsletter. napkins, plates, and utensils are
Birthday Table If you would like, you can specify always provided by our chapter.
that your love gift be used for the
October birthdays newsletter, continuing education,
will be celebrated workshops, or books for our lending Chapter Library
at this month’s meeting. library.
If your child’s, grandchild’s, Several of our library books have
If you wish for your love gift or been out for a long time, so please
or sibling’s birthday sponsorship to be listed in a
is in October, take the time to look to see if you
particular month’s newsletter, it
please feel free to bring have any that need to be returned.
must be submitted by the 15th of the
a photo or memento of them We need them for new members
for the birthday table. who continue to come into the
Send donations to Steve Roberts chapter. If you are not attending
P.O. Box 202654, Arlington, 76006 a meeting soon, you can always
call our librarian to arrange to
mail them back.
TCF Fort Worth Chapter Need to Talk? Remembrance Program
Steering Committee Listed below are parents, Our annual remembrance
grandparents and siblings who memorial will be held on
have walked where you are today. November 13th, at 7 P.M.,
Jeff & Marty Martin
If you are having a difficult day downstairs in the chapel of The
and just want to talk, please call. Hills Church of Christ, with a
potluck in the atrium afterwards.
Treasurer Addiction Please feel free to bring children
Steve Roberts Helen and other family and friends to
817-914-8689 817-431-6964 this special event.
Auto During the ceremony, each child’s
Hospitality Jeff & Marty name is read, and their picture is
Marty Akeman 817-991-9121 displayed onscreen as a candle is
817-636-5645 lit in their honor. We ask that you
Christine Anderson Lydia bring a dish to share, and an 8x10
817-300-6196 817-829-3801 or smaller picture of your loved
one to place their candle in front
Lydia Moore Drowning of. Each family will receive a
817-829-3801 Debi copy of the program with each
Newsletter 817-523-5037 loved one’s picture, as well as a
Becky Long Drowning (young child) carnation and ornament.
Please notify Becky Long by
email@example.com 817-656-7540 October 15th if you want your
Librarian 817-845-3433 loved one’s picture to be
Patty Gallagher Long Term Illness included in the program, even if
817-861-1491 Marty you just want to use the same
817-636-5645 picture as last year.
Charles & Genie Dean Homicide/Only Child You may mail a picture (no larger
Steve than a 5x7) to Becky at 2501
817-914-8689 Millikin Dr., Arlington, TX 76012.
Liz Hutchison firstname.lastname@example.org Mailed pictures will be returned.
Suicide/Only Child You may also e-mail a picture to
Steering Committee Meeting Please list the November
memorial in the subject line of
Our next Steering Committee Suicide your e-mail. Becky will reply to
meeting will be Saturday, Glinda all e-mails that she receives, so if
January 19th at 9:30 A.M. 817-485-3772 you do not receive a return e-mail
Siblings from her within 24 hours, please
Cheryl e-mail the picture again or call
Chapter Website 817-624-7043 Becky at 817-275-9297.
www.thecompassionatefriendsfw.com email@example.com Volunteers are also needed to
Middle of the night calls make this event a success. If you
Liz could help set up, clean up, check
Regional Coordinators 817-726-3999 in families at the door, pass out
flowers and ornaments to each
Joan and Bill Campbell Want to share? family, or place candles for absent
972-935-0673 families’ children, please call
firstname.lastname@example.org We encourage you to submit Marty Martin at 817-991-9121.
your own works of poetry or
prose for our newsletter.
TCF National Office Scheduled Webinars
The Compassionate Friends Oct. 23 - A Father's Grief: As
P. O. Box 3696 grieving fathers, we feel a strong
The Other One,
Oak Brook, IL 60522-3696 responsibility to protect and A Bereaved Sister’s Cry
Fax: 630-990-0246 provide for our families after the
I am not the one who died.
Toll-free: 877-969-0010 death of a child. This webinar
I am the other one.
9 A.M. - 5 P.M., CST, Mon.-Fri. will explore the mind and
The one who survives,
emotions of a grieving father and
Email: though sometimes it seems
the dynamics involved as he tries
email@example.com I have died too.
to comfort the mother and
siblings of the child who died.
www.compassionatefriends.org When my brother died
Presenter: Dennis Apples,
The website contains links to everything changed for him,
Author, Life After the Death of
TCF’s national and regional For all of us
My Son…What I’m Learning.
conferences, brochures, e- and especially for me.
newsletter, online support Space is limited. I became an only child
community, We Need Not Walk Reserve you seat now at: who mostly felt like
Alone magazine, “Healing the https://www2.gotomeeting.com No one’s child.
Grieving Heart” and “The Open /register/588044826
to Hope Show” radio program It seemed my parents
Nov. 7 – Handling the Holidays:
archives, webinars, chapter every thought belonged to him.
The holiday season is a difficult
websites, and other resources. They’d stare at his pictures
time of year for families grieving
for hours and then not notice
Facebook: the death of a child. In this
late at night when I came in.
The Compassionate Friends/USA webinar you’ll learn some tips on
how to get through the season.
In Spanish: No one seemed to remember
Presenter: Darcie Sims, author,
Los Amigos Compasivos/USA I was grieving too.
speaker and bereaved mom.
Twitter: The more they forgot about me,
Text follow TCFofUSA to 40404 the sadder and angrier I became.
It seemed I lost
Here are the easy steps to listen to
not just my brother,
a TCF Webinar:
Save the Date! but every thing I loved.
1. From the National website’s
Home Page choose News &
“Beacon of Love – Rays of Hope” Sometimes I wondered how
Events; under that is listed
will be the theme of the 36th TCF many ways I’d have to mess up
Webinars. Click on that.
National Conference, July 5-7, before anyone at all cared enough
2. You will be asked your name
2013 in Boston, Massachusetts! to ask why and who listened
& e-mail. You’ll get an immediate
to all the reasons I had for
e-mail response with instructions
that are easy to follow. Don't
delete this e-mail. About 5 By Deb Kosmer
TCF, Madison, WI
minutes before appointed time go In memory of her brother, Shawn
to saved e-mail and click on link
for seminar. Watch the time zone.
3. You’ll be asked to download a
site. It’s a safe one, so go ahead. Grief is not a disorder, a disease,
Just takes a second. or a sign of weakness. It is an
4. Ear phones are recommended emotional, physical and spiritual
by the Webinar but are absolutely necessity. It is the price you pay
unnecessary. The mikes in your for love. The only cure for grief is
laptop or computer are enough. to grieve.
Thanks to Chapter Member Liz Hutchison Earl Grollman
for putting these instructions together for us!
Tips on Preparing for Your Annual Holiday Heartbreak The Mask of Grief
The Christmas season is still far especially good about the whole As the beautiful colors of Fall
off, and to those of us who are thing, but at least I could remind surround us and the air is sweetened
bereaved, it may be one of the least of myself that I did it. Me. Just me. and chilled, we, the broken hearted
our concerns, not to mention the fact Many places will gift wrap for you; parents and families of those children
that thinking that far ahead is beyond some mail order companies offer the who left us too soon begin to find the
our imagination. same service, for a small fee. If you strength and perseverance to face
This will be my third Christmas feel like it, take them up on it. another season, another anniversary,
without my Lindsay, and I still feel In a world where it seems as if all another rush of memories. Perhaps
the sharp knifing pain when I am control has fled from our lives, we Halloween brings with it visions of
faced with the reality that I no longer can make our own control. We can little candy grabbing goblins and
get to include her on the gift list. But decide what, where, when, why and gossamer clad fairy children.
still, other gifts have to be bought. how….It gives me some sense of Perhaps those memories aren’t
There are still others left in our lives. accomplishment. Me, who after the available to us. All of us pick our
How do you begin to tackle such a death of my only child, never masks right around this time of year
task? believed I would be able to and we put them on. Our masks are
These are some ways to lighten the accomplish another thing, much less different, though. When our children
burden. These are just a few of mine: want to. died, we discovered that the raw and
1. Ask for help. Give your list Lastly, I do something for myself. horrible pain we were in probably
to another family member friend, and Early on Christmas Day, I leave three showed up on our faces, in the way
have them do the shopping for you. silk roses, representing Lindsay, her we stood, in the way we walked and
Or, if you still prefer to do it yourself, daddy, and myself, at her grave, talked. We soon discovered that,
have someone go with you. along with some small gift – perhaps even though we had many close and
2. Shop early. And I do mean a tiny silk arrangement or a small loving friends and family, they were
early! If possible, shop when there stuffed animal. Something. I still not very comfortable with watching
are no decorations, no festive music have this great need to give to her on us bleed to death from the inside
in the air, no happy crowds. Shop that day. And I do it because it helps out…So we constructed a mask.
when it is hot outside; don’t think me. And that is really the bottom Masquerade Balls and Pagan
about Christmas. I get further when I line…DO WHAT HELPS YOU. ceremonies are ancient rituals. The
go with the feeling I am ready to buy By Michele Johnson idea of “masking” one’s identity for a
a gift, and not because I feel TCF, Indianapolis, IN short time and celebrating with
pressured. abandon is as appealing in our
3. Mail order can be a god- society as it was in those ancient
send. You can look at what you times. Unfortunately, the bereaved
want. (I have even gone so far, since have a different reason for donning
Lindsay is my only child, as to tear
Now Autumn the mask. We force our mask to
out pages of children’s toys and What a strange time is autumn. smile when the lump in our throat
clothes just so I don’t have to come More than a season, and the heaviness in our chest
across them again.) You can work at autumn can be like a mood. threaten to choke us. Our eyes leak
your own pace, stay at home when Softness and warmth and abundance profusely, despite the waterproof
going out is the last thing you want drift from the sky like a smile. mascara and pancake makeup we
to do, and have it all delivered to women keep applying…Men put on
your home. You don’t have to see And you remember the seasons a stoic and strong façade, sometimes
anything you don’t want to see, hear before the children died. failing miserably and breaking down
anything you don’t want to hear, or with terrible beauty.
do anything you don’t want to do. They do seem far away sometimes, I urge you to be gentle with your
4. Gift wrapping can be horrid, those seasons, now. mask. Put it on thoughtfully and
but it doesn’t have to be. The first But not the children – take it off with great care. There are
year, I refused to do it, relying on a they are always here safe places to leave it and one of
family member for help. Last year, I in this strange time, this autumn, those places is with those of us who
was determined to give it a try, so I when the softness travel this path with you.
bought what I call generic paper – and the warmth By Karen Marston
solid colors and stripes, with nothing and the abundance Mother of Michael
that pointed to the holiday season. I of unseen children Reprinted from TCF, Portland, OR, newsletter
kept plugging away, right through drift from the sky like a smile.
all the anger that was mounting
inside of me. Once done, I didn’t feel By Sascha
Reprinted from For You From Sascha
Halloween Where Did You Go? Masques
For me Halloween marks the Oh, Baby, my laughing treasure, In idle conversation,
beginning of the holiday season. where did you go? You ask me about my children.
This used to mark the start of an Are you hiding around some corner? You are an acquaintance.
emotional decline that ran straight Are you playing peek-a-boo I do not know you well,
through Valentine’s Day. with the sky? And so I speak happily of joys,
October has Halloween, November Light heartedly of mischief,
has Thanksgiving Day, December has Oh, Baby, my loving joy, But I do not speak of death.
my birthday, my Cathie’s birthday, where are you now?
Christmas and New Year’s Eve, Are you at last free I do not want to see
January has New Year’s Day (the day of our meddling fingers, The shadow of uncertainty
the accident happened) and January free of our toil and trials? Pass your face
13 (the day she died). Are you riding the rainbow’s curve, And feel the awkward silence that
So when Halloween came, I would dancing on star-dusted paths? Falls like a curtain between us.
just as soon have gone to sleep and I do not want to say,
awake some time in February! Oh, Baby, are you sleeping now, “It’s okay, that was
As the children came to the door or has your life only just begun? A long time ago.”
and called out, “Trick or Treat!” I Is that your smile I see It will never be quite “okay”
would cringe because I could never sparkling in the sun? And sometimes it seems
hear Cathie say those words again. Is that your sigh I hear Like yesterday.
That was “then.” 15 years later, I am whispering in the leaves?
able to hear those words and as I Are those your tears I feel And so, I take my masque
hand out the “goodies,” I inwardly raining on my cheek? Along with me through life
thank them for letting me remember Like a perpetual Halloween night,
when Cathie did go Trick or Treating Oh, Baby, where did you go? To hide just a bit from people
and had so much fun…and for Why are my arms so empty? And to preserve my strength.
having those oh-so-very-good- Why is my heart so full? For mourning is tiring,
memories. Because they are good And each time I recount
memories now. And it’s all those Oh, Baby, so tiny, yet so strong, That day of death,
good memories that keep me where are you now? I am a little wearied.
going…even after all these years. Here, here in my heart; I would rather speak
By Cheri Gordon
in my very being. Of the joys of his life
TCF, N. Dade/S. Broward, FL Here in my life… Than the sorrows of his death,
never to be cast away, To strangers who absently ask
never to be forgotten. Of children.
Oh, Baby…I love you.
By Darcie D. Sims
Yet, tragedy is more universal
Reprinted from TCF, Portland, OR, newsletter Than ever I had known
Life is easier than you think. Before it touched my life.
All you have to do is And so at times, I wonder
accept the impossible, Who else looks out from behind
do without the indispensable, A masque.
and bear the intolerable. By Karen Nelson
Robert Frost TCF, Box Elder County Chapter
Brigham City, UT
Where Do I Go?
Now that you’re gone, where do I go Where do I go I shall go
to see your fair smile to share all my years of wisdom to the pictures that hold you forever
to hear your tingling giggle to find someone who’ll tell me truth to the books we shared
to smell your dank hair after a swim to answer the phone that won’t ring to the music you taught me to love
to listen to your questions to tell you I’m sorry to the woods we explored as one
to touch your gentle cheek to know that I am loved and to the memories that never fail
to feel your bear hug? to pour out my love and my tears? to the innermost reaches of my heart
to where we are always together.
By Marcia Alig
TCF, Mercer Area Chapter, NJ
U.S. Postage Paid
Fort Worth, Texas
2501 Millikin Drive
Arlington, TX 76012
ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
Fort Worth Chapter October Meeting
Date: October 9, 2012 To those of you who are newly bereaved
Check In: 7:00 P.M. and receiving our newsletter for the first time,
we warmly welcome you to The Compassionate Friends.
Program Time: 7:30 P.M. We are a self-help organization
of parents, grandparents and adult siblings
Program: Holiday Panel Discussion: who have experienced the death of a loved one.
“Handling the Holidays” We offer understanding and support
Room 217, The Hills Church of Christ through our monthly meetings, a lending library,
6300 NE Loop 820, North Richland Hills support materials and loving telephone listeners.
Please do not be afraid to come to a gathering.
Temporary Driving Directions Every other person in the room
while the Meadow Lakes/Iron Horse exit and bridge has lost a child, grandchild or sibling.
are under construction through May 2013 They come because they feel the need
From Eastbound NE Loop 820: exit Rufe Snow Dr. and to be with someone else who understands.
turn right (south) at the signal. We know it takes courage to attend that first gathering,
but those who do come find an atmosphere
From Westbound NE Loop 820: exit Rufe Snow Dr. and
of understanding from others who have experienced
turn left (south) at the signal, crossing IH-820.
the grief that you have now.
Go to Meadow Lakes Dr. (first signal light on Rufe Snow Nothing is asked of you.
Dr.), turn right and go ½ mile, the parking lot and There are no dues or fees and you do not have to speak.
building will be on your right. Use the northeast There is a special feeling at meetings
entrance of the church with the covered circular drive. of The Compassionate Friends.
There is a security guard on duty.
We meet the second Tuesday of every month.
Church phone: 817-281-0773