October Newsletter Compassionate Friends Home

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					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
        Angela Planche
     for the loss of her son
                                              Love Gifts
         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
                                   previous month.
      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
Chapter Leaders
                                    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
                                    Grandchild/Multiple Loss
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.
817-275-9297                        Stacy
                                                                           Please notify Becky Long by        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.
Committee Members
Charles & Genie Dean                Homicide/Only Child                    You may mail a picture (no larger
                                    Steve                                  than a 5x7) to Becky at 2501
Janet DuPertuis
                                    817-914-8689                           Millikin Dr., Arlington, TX 76012.
Liz Hutchison                           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.                     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                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                                                              I have died too.
                                          to comfort the mother and
                                          siblings of the child who died.                                                                    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                                    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
                                                                                                        “Why Not?”
                                          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
                                                                              Non-Profit Organization
                                                                              U.S. Postage Paid
                                                                              Permit #2321
                                                                              Fort Worth, Texas
                 2501 Millikin Drive
                 Arlington, TX 76012
                                                                                    Dated Material

                  October 2012

       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

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