FEBRUARY The Compassionate Friends by MikeJenny

VIEWS: 196 PAGES: 12

									                    THE COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS
                                   Offering friendship and understanding to bereaved parents

                                         NEWSLETTER – FEBRUARY 2011
                                TCF Centre Address: 122 Athol Street Highlands North Johannesburg 2192
                                   E-mail: tcfsa@mweb.co.za P O Box 323 Highlands North 2037
                                             Telephone (011) 440-6322 Fax (011) 887-9494

My dear Friends,

When I was approaching adolescence I’d occasionally feel twinges in my limbs, growing pains, my
mother called them. Now similar twinges are due to aging! In between, around the time my son died, I
experienced, as you have, pains of deeply unbearable intensity and seemingly, without relief let alone
cure. The cliché of a broken heart became a reality as the agony in my chest, my entire body, swelled
and throbbed without respite. Unremitting headaches, aching limbs, stomach cramps, waves of fear,
you recognize them all, the signs of acute stress, despair and helplessness. The first pains of growing
to acknowledge the death of your child.

That’s just the beginning. There are so many other unpleasant truths to absorb, like finding out there’s
no synchronicity in the ways you and others in the family mourn, that you’ve become a pariah in some
circles, a millstone in others. You are buffeted and bruised by your own fears and failings. The torment
of unanswered questions exacerbates your insomnia and your weight might swing as irrationally as
your moods, that terrifying roller-coaster. You try and try and, exhausted, try again but the yearned for
stability and serenity stay away. Then suddenly the day comes when it’s alright to get out of bed, fine
to smile, pleasant to bask in the warmth of friendship, energizing to care for others. There’s been
growth. Sadly, without the pain the growth might have been stunted. The experiences you’ve endured
have actually nurtured and strengthened you, have helped you to a new maturity.

We don’t want to be in this situation, would’ve given anything to avoid it but here we are and, believe it
or not, we are a little wiser, a little stronger. We tend to see the half empty glass of sorrow and wonder
when we’ll be “better”. Let’s contemplate the half full glass of achievement and glory in how much
we’ve attained. Through the pains we must grow and we do.

Much love,                                              Live so that you don’t look back and regret that
                                                                    you’ve wasted your life.
ROSEMARY DIRMEIK                                        Live so you don’t regret the things that you have
                                                          done or wish that you had acted differently.
                                                                   Live life honestly and fully.
                                                       [Elisabeth Kübler-Ross]

                                                                           The grand essentials of happiness are
                                                                           Something to do
                                                                           Something to love
                                                                           Something to hope for.
                                                                           [A K Chalmers]

          A non-denominational self-help organization * FOUNDERS: Reverend Simon Stephans (England)
      Linda Abelheim (SA) Reg. No. 001-308 NPO * PBO No. 930000335 * Fund Raising No. 011004490007

Remembering Our Loved Ones onValentine’s Day
We’ve barely made it through the holidays of December and January, and now the stores are filled with hearts
and flowers and candy, all of it in celebration of the gift of love. But February 14 can be a difficult day for those of
us who are grieving, and for some it will be the first Valentine’s Day since our precious child died.

For us there is no celebration; there is only grief. If we decide to do so, we can
choose to embrace Valentine’s Day as a special day on which to commemorate
our loved ones and to celebrate our love for them. Death ends a life, but it does
not end the relationship we have with our loved ones who have died. The bonds
of love are never severed by death, and the love we shared will never die either.

For Valentine’s Day this year, we can find a way to honour our loved ones, to remember them and to show them
that our love is eternal. We can build a piece of “memory time” into that particular day, or we can pack the entire
day with meaning. Think of it this way: It’s much easier to cope with memories we’ve chosen than to have them
taken by surprise.

Whether we are facing Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, an anniversary or birthday, or
any other special day of our own choosing, we can immerse ourselves in the healing power of remembrance. We
can go to a special place, read aloud, or listen to a favourite song. We can celebrate what once was and is no
more. [Marty Tousley, TCF, Sioux City]

                                         My Friends: I know how vain it is to gild a grief with words, and yet I wish to take
from every grave its fear. Here in this world, where life and death are equal kings, all should be brave enough to meet
what all the dead have met. The future has been filled with fear, stained and polluted by the heartless past. From the
wondrous tree of life the buds and blossoms fall with ripened fruit, and in the common bed of earth, patriarchs and
babes sleep side by side.
    Why should we fear that which will come to all that is? We cannot tell, we do not know, which is the greater blessing
– life or death. We cannot say that death is not a good. We do not know whether the grave is the end of this life, or the
door of another, or whether the night here is not somewhere else a dawn. …
    Every cradle asks us “Whence?” and every coffin “Whither?” The poor barbarian, weeping above his dead, can
answer these questions just as well as the robed priest of the most authentic creed. The tearful ignorance of the one is
as consoling as the learned and unmeaning words of the other. No man, standing where the horizon of a life has
touched a grave, has any right to prophesy a future filled with pain and tears.
    It may be that death gives all there is of worth to life. If those we press and strain within our arms could never die,
perhaps that love would wither from the earth. Maybe this common fate treads from out the paths between our hearts
the weeds of selfishness and hate. And I had rather live and love where death is king, than have eternal life where love
is not. Another life is nought, unless we know and love again the ones who love us here.
    They who stand with breaking hearts around this little grave need have no fear. The larger and the nobler faith in all
that is, and is to be, tells us that death, even at its worst, is only perfect rest. We know that through the common wants
of life – the needs and duties of each hour – their grief will lessen day by day, until at last this grave will be to them a
place of rest and peace – almost of joy. There is for them this consolation: The dead do not suffer. If they live again,
their lives will surely be as good as ours. We have no fear. We are all children of the same mother, and the same fate
awaits us all.
    We, too, have our religion, and it is this: Help for the living – Hope for the dead. [Robert Ingersoll]

It is very sad to lose your child just when he was beginning to bind himself to you, and I don’t know that it is much
consolation to reflect that the longer he had wound himself up in your heart-strings the worse the tear would have
been, which seems to have been inevitable sooner or later. One does not weigh and measure these things while
grief is fresh, and in my experience a deep plunge into the waters of sorrow is the hope fullest way of getting
through them on one’s daily road of life again. No one can help another very much in these crises of life, but love
and sympathy count for something. [Thomas H Huxley]

To receive a gift moulded from love and sacrifice, selected with care, and tied up with all the giver has to offer, is indeed rare.
They do not come along often, but when they do, cherish them. [Erma Bombeck]
              This full page was sponsored by David and Stephanie Jeans and his brother Dylan in loving memory of their
            beloved son, Ryan Jeans, who passed away from meningitis: 07.06.1994 – 23.08.1995 and beloved Julian Platts
                             (brother of Stephanie), who passed away from cancer: 21.02.1964 – 01.08-2008

                                                                                  Under the wide and starry sky,
Surprised by joy – impatient as the Wind                                          Dig the grave and let me lie.
I turned to share the transport – Oh! With whom                                   Glad did I live and gladly die,
But thee, deep buried in the silent tomb,                                           And I laid me down with a will.
That spot which no vicissitude can find?                                          This be the verse you grave for me;
Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind –                                   Here he lies where he longed to be:
But how could I forget thee? Through what power,                                  Home is the sailor, home from sea,
Even for the least division of an hour,                                            And the hunter home from the hill.
                                                                                  [Robert Louis Stevenson]
Have I been so beguilded as to be blind
To my most grievous loss! – That thought’s return                                 Life! I know not what thou art
Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,                                         Life! I know not what thou art.
Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,                                         But know that thou and I must part;
                                                                                  And when, or how, or where we met
Knowing my heart’s best treasure was no more;
                                                                                  I own to me’s a secret yet.
That neither present time, not years unborn
Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.                                        Life! We’ve been long together,
[William Wordsworth]                                                              Through pleasant and through cloudy
                                                                                  ’Tis hard to part when friends are dear –
                                                                                  Perhaps ’twill cost a sigh, a tear;
                                                                                  – Then steal away, give little warning,
                                                                                  Choose thine own time;
         It is impossible that anything so natural, so                            Say not Good-night – but in some brighter
necessary, and so universal as death should ever have been                        clime
designed as an evil to mankind. [Jonathan Swift]                                     Bid me Good-morning. [A L Barbauld]
Photo of You Disappearing
Seven years ago, you stood at the top of a mountain, solitary in the snow. In faded jeans and windbreaker, you
smiled, or tried to smile, as a friend snapped a photo. You had gotten the news a month before, a clouded X-ray,
then a scan, and now behind you (or ahead?) a range of snow-covered mountains, pine trees pointing up toward
frail wisps of cloud, the sky blue cobalt bleeding into black.

Are ends like beginnings? At your service, the minister said, She fixed her eyes upon the shining shore.
If I climbed the mountain, would I find the trail you took? Would your footsteps lead me to the pass that opens
west, always west, where you went on alone, no turning back? I stare at the picture that tells me everything and
nothing. You are smiling. The air is perfectly clear. [Elizabeth Spires]

How dare you! I’m angry! You call yourself a friend!                                      “Never forget that life
You tell me to get on with my life; my grief should be at an end.                        can only be nobly inspired
You say it’s been over three years now – I should put it all behind me,                       and rightly lived
That you have never lost a child, is very clear to see.
I miss his voice, his laughing eyes, his mouth, shaped so sweet,
                                                                                         if you take it bravely and
You could not begin to understand – I no longer feel complete.                            gallantly, as a splendid
                                                                                        adventure in which you are
Really, I do try to cope – but some days can be so black.                              setting out into an unknown
Just be there for me, in the yearning for the son who’ll never come back.
Is my pain too much for you? Am I uncomfortable to be near?                                   country, to meet
Can’t you give me much needed support – the words I long to hear?                      many a joy, to find many a
Speak his name just now and then – don’t deny he was part of me ...                       comrade, to win and
After so many years of friendship – be the friend you ought to be.
[Margaret Benney]
                                                                                           lose many a battle.”

                       –   LIVING IN A FANTASY
I took my granddaughter shopping today. It was a special outing for just the two of us. We went to the toy department
of a large department store. We were in luck, for once there was no one there! No other shoppers and the sales lady had
stepped out.
                 This full page was sponsored by Sarah Mahoko in loving memory of her beloved son, Daniel Matolo:
                                                      23.01.1982 – 13.10.2009

[Grandparents - continued]
I lifted my fifteen month old darling out of her stroller and set it aside. Then I began to slowly walk her through the
aisles and show her the toys. After a while I let go of her hand and said, “You may look, my Sweet, go find a special toy
for Grandma to buy for you”.

She stood for a minute and then began to pick up the toys that attracted her. I just followed her around and watched.
She picked up things here and there, a doll was hugged, a toy truck was pushed across the floor. Around the displays
she went in silent wonder, lifting and looking and dropping – mainly on the floor. She shook a box, blowing on a whistle
made her laugh, and she tried to work a top until a colourful pull-toy was noticed, she dashed over to it and gave it a few
turns around the store then spied the shelves above.

She stood and thought a few seconds and then shoved some things over and climbed up on the lower shelf. I watched
with pride at her ingenuity and daring as she snared the treasures
from the higher shelf and tried them out. A tall wire basket of brightly coloured balls caught her eye and she went over,
stood on tiptoe but could not reach the balls inside. Without a backward look to me for help she simply caught hold of
the top and turned the basket over, spilling its rainbow of colours across the floor. She picked up a red one and tossed it.
What fun we were having, both in wonderlands of our own. As the nice lady and I picked up and sorted out the mess,
Grandma’s little angel dragged a teddy bear around by one ear.

Too soon the sales lady returned only to stop just inside the door and laugh at the shambles we’d made of her formerly
neat displays. What a sight we must have been trundling around knee deep in toys.

We purchased Ted the Bear and the toys whose boxes were too badly mangled, for toddlers sometimes sit down quickly,
and with our bags secured to the back of M’Lady’s carriage, filled with satisfactions, we strolled away from my fantasy.
A fantasy much like those of other people like me.

People whose children die too soon. People whose grandchildren won’t be born. People who know what they are missing.
People who are lonely.

My granddaughter is only a fantasy. She is the dark-haired, button-eyed daughter my son won’t have. She’s one of the
memories I’ll have to miss. And if this makes you cry, it does me too. [Fay Harden]

                                                There are two days in every week about which we should not worry
Two days which can be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is Yesterday with its mistakes and cares, its ashes and pains, its faults and blunders. Yesterday has passed forever beyond
our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single
word we said. Yesterday is gone.

The other day we would do well not to worry about is Tomorrow – with its adversities, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance.
Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow’s sun will rise either in splendour or behind a mask of clouds – but it will rise.
Until it does, we have no stake in Tomorrow, for it is as yet unborn.

That leaves only one day – Today. Any person can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two
awful eternities – Yesterday and Tomorrow – that we break down.

It is not the experience of Today that drives people mad – it is remorse or bitterness for something that happened Yesterday and the dread of
what Tomorrow may bring.

Let us, therefore, journey but one day at a time.

We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting
others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient
proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: The last of his freedoms – to choose one’s
attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. [Viktor E Frankl]

               This full page was sponsored by Mike and Felicity Kriel in loving memory of their beloved son, Mark Daniel Kriel:
                                                          20.02.1983 – 21.10.2008

                                                  It has been 5 years since I lost my brother, and with him, myself. In additions to the
devastating grief and loss and pain I felt, and continue to feel in losing my brother, there was something else that happened at
the same time, that I didn’t expect, and no one told me about. It was just as confusing, scary and life changing as losing my
brother. I lost ... me.
    As my younger brother he was a major keystone in my life. I referenced most of my life and who I was in it, in relation to my
family. Then suddenly, none of it made sense anymore. My family didn’t make sense with one fourth of it missing. Who I was in
my family didn’t make any sense. In my head, and heart, I was still half of a sibling partnership, where we each played a role and
played off of each other, balancing each other out. Then suddenly I was being treated as an only child from people in and out of
the family. Who I was used to being didn’t seem to fit anymore, even in my own head.
     Without my family and myself, my world didn’t make sense. I questioned what I knew about life, the foundations of how I
perceived the world, how I made decisions, what I valued and didn’t.
    It’s incredibly terrifying to feel lost in your own life, with everything you thought you knew about the world and yourself
suddenly suspect. Everything about my life and me felt wrong. Every decision, even if it was in the grocery store, seemed life a
gigantic, insurmountable choice I was unequipped to make.
    The thing about losing myself, it wasn’t as though I decided that what I was or thought previously was wrong ... that would
have been easy, just do the opposite and I’d have fixed the problem. The issue was that I didn’t know what was right or wrong
anymore, and I didn’t know how to find the answers. I truly had no internal gauge for whether something I was thinking or
planning was right, wrong or somewhere in the middle. I no longer had a sense of self – what I believed in, who I was at my core,
what I was capable of.
    At some point I recognized that I’m not the same person I was before. I can’t be, don’t even want to be. But I didn’t want to
throw away everything I had been before. Even amongst all the confusion, I still think that the heart of the person I was, was
decent, had some good in it. I just didn’t know what to keep because it was still valid and what to get rid of because it no longer
fit. I still don’t. I still don’t know the answer to the question of who the new me is supposed to be. I’m still not sure what I’m
supposed to think, feel, do, say or be.
    But I’m working on it. Every day is a puzzle. Each decision I make, every action I take are pieces I try to fit together to form
the picture of the new me. I know that life is too short to not be everything you can, so I
stretch myself. I try combinations of characteristics I would never have considered before. I do things I’m not sure I even want
to try, but I just remind myself that I don’t really know me, so I shouldn’t jump to conclusions.
    Sometimes those pieces don’t fit, no way, no how; sometimes I force them in, thinking that they must be right, only to pull
them out later on; and other times they fall right into place, with that perfect feel like they were meant to be there all along.
Often, it’s not the pieces you’d expect that fit or fold, but every piece I try is one
more answer to my question, one piece of information closer to finding myself again. Frequently I wish someone would just show
me the top of the box already, so I knew what I was supposed to turn out like in the end, but it’s not that easy.
    It’s a scary process, even after five years, but I’ve made it safer with two rules. One – don’t do anything that can’t be undone.
There are already too many regrets in my life, too many losses, I don’t need to add to that in any capacity. Two – there are no
other rules. No assumptions, misconceptions or preconceived notions to get in the way of finding the right pieces in the melee
that is existence.
    Since the accident, I’ve been trying to live a life without my brother, which feels like an impossible task, and certainly one I
don’t want. Since the accident, I’ve been trying to be a member of a family that didn’t exist until 5 years ago. That’s the reality.
This family we are now ... it will never be what it was – it can’t. We’re missing something vital, and no matter how we try to fill
that hole, with different or more expressions of love and distraction, the hole will always be there. But our family is like a river
that encountered a solid bed of rock. It slows us down for awhile, and divides us as we work around the obstacle, but we find
our way past it, like those little streams that weave and trickle around and across hard stone with ceaseless determination,
finding our way back together again on the other side, creating a new force, beautiful in its own right, that could not be what it
is without the losses endured.
    Since the accident, while missing my brother, I’ve been trying to figure out who I am now, without him. So, who am I without
my brother? I am a stranger. I am incomplete. I am lost. I am aching. I am a sister. I am a daughter. I am a granddaughter,
niece, cousin, friend. I am courageous, and I am terrified. I am a thinker and I am confused. I am compassionate. I am
strength. I am smiles and I am tears. I am more open. I am more adventurous. I am enjoying the little things. I am determined.
I am a teacher. I am more spontaneous. I am more selfish. I am more, and less judgmental. I am a work in progress. I am
hopeful. I am trying ... .
    I am ... me ... whoever that is. [Amber Yaskiw, TCF, Regina]
How Losing A Sibling Really Affects You
Support:          Most friends are supportive right after a sibling’s death. For the lucky siblings who were left behind, their friends
stayed that way. Many were not so lucky. No one knows what to say after a death, but for a sibling who was left here to deal with
life without their other half, childhood playmate, and best friend, this is even worse. People just don’t understand that losing a
              This full page was sponsored by Jack and Patti Bennie in loving memory of their beloved son, Brendon Bennie:
                                                        23.02.1975 – 22.01.2006

sibling is a lifetime journey, something that will never stop. They expect you to just be suddenly over it and fine within a few months
or even weeks. At this time, the surviving sibling truly finds out what kind of friends they have. Most people just cannot
comprehend that by listening to your feelings, letting you cry, and allowing you to reminisce and talk about the wonderful memories
and times of the past without being ignored or having the subject changed is what we need. So many people back away and can’t
handle the emotion or just don’t know how to act or what to say, they’re so scared of bringing on tears or making things worse.
They don’t understand the depression, loneliness, and guilt that has some of us backing away from friends and having fun. These
people and many others are just the “fair weather” friends, there when it’s sunny and bright, out of sight when the storm clouds roll
in, and it becomes gloomy. Most of the time the ones who are very supportive stay that way, some who aren’t realize what they
need to do and become better or they’re lost forever. Friends become strangers and strangers become friends. It’s a difficult time,
not only is your sibling now gone but many of your closest friends are too. Losing a sibling while you’re young and still in school is
especially trying. Teenagers aren’t the most understanding anyway ... . And most young people definitely can’t cope with our loss.
So many who lose siblings during high school end up feeling totally alone, emotionally older than everyone else, completely different
and just can’t seem to fit in no matter what. This makes the depression and loneliness become even worse.

The members of our extended family are grieving too. Not all of them know how to show it or talk about it and many of them don’t
want to feel the pain that comes with remembering that person who used to join in at holiday get-togethers. They also don’t want to
see the surviving family members hurting or in pain so they take the wrong route many times and just try to pretend that it didn’t
happen, that everything is fine. They talk among themselves but don’t share their feelings with the immediate family in fear that
they’ll bring up bad memories. What they don’t usually realize is that we are hurting anyway. We lost our buddy, our pal, that person
that kept us sane during the long conversations with Grandma and our cousins running wild all over. Our parents are grieving even
more than us ... and when our aunts and uncles and cousins try not to mention our loved ones name, that only hurts us even more.
We need our sibling to be included in the festivities, to know that someone else remembers them and still feels their loss. We need
to know they care and understand and that they miss them too, we need someone who also loved our sibling to talk to. We may cry,
but that’s ok, it happens anyway. It’s better to do it with someone else who cares also than all alone. Too many family members
wait for someone else to bring it up so that they don’t cause any pain or turmoil What grieving parents and siblings need is that
extra touch, the reassurance that they’re not alone, that they really are there for us without having to ask for help. [Sarah Davis]
                                                                                         Friendship is a precious gift that
I have found a new place where I can be free,
                                                                         cannot be bought or sold,
A whole new beginning just made for me.
I know only peace, and I never feel pain,                                Its value is far greater than a mountain made of gold,
Days full of sunshine and not too much rain.                             For gold is cold and lifeless, it can neither see nor
I’m no longer old, I’ve recovered my youth,                              hear,
And all my dreams are now my truth.                                      And at a time of trouble it is powerless to cheer.
I can smile, I can laugh, I can walk, I can run,
                                                                         It has no ear to listen, no heart to understand,
I can hear every whisper; I can see past the sun.
My body is whole, my mind is so clear,                                   No tender word to give you, can’t lend a helping hand,
I know all the answers, and I’m quite free of fear.                      So when you ask God for a gift, be thankful if he
I know why you mourn me, I see why you weep;                             No diamonds, pearls or riches,
Yours hearts full of aching from a love that was deep.
I am grateful for loved ones that hold me so dear,                       But the love of true real friends.
                                                                         Decide the path you want to travel; allow yourself to
But remember that I’ve found a better place here.
                                                                         make mistakes; change your mind sometimes; but
I will be there beside you, always nearby.                               never forget those along the way.
Don’t mourn me too long, and try not to cry.                             The only ones among you who will be really happy,
Whenever your sorrow bears down on your heart,                           are those who have sought and found how to serve.
Think not of my ending,                                                  [Albert Schweitzer on Happiness ...]
But of my new start ...

                                                         A thoughtful way to remember our precious children

Onwaba Mdlankomo                    12.04.1997 – 17.01.2010
Nolubabalo Mhambi in loving memory of her precious son and
brother of Nolubabalo and Sakmumzi                                     THE EXISTENCE OF LOVE
                                                                       I had thought that your death
Anton Van Tonder                     19.06.1987 – 11.07.2009           Was a waste and a destruction,
Annettee Van Tonder in loving memory of her precious son and           A pain of grief hardly to be endured.
brother of Chantelle                                                   I am only beginning to learn
Brendon Bennie                        23.02.1975 – 22.01.2006
                                                                       That your life was a gift and a growing
Jack and Patti Bennie in loving memory of their precious son           And a loving left with me.
and brother of Leigh and Jonty                                         The desperation of death
Our dearest Brendon                                                    Destroyed the existence of love,
You are but a heartbeat away                                           But the fact of death
Always loved, sadly missed.
                                                                       Cannot destroy what has been given.
Mncedisi Luyolo                           11.01.1980 – 23.02.2009      I am learning to look at your life again
                                                                       Instead of your death and your departing. [Marjorie Pizer]
Zanele Mdumelo in loving memory of her precious son and                       Wayne Greeff               12.01.1980 – 09.12.2007
cousin Ayanda                                                                 Brandon Greeff             06.11.2000 – 09.12.2007
                                                                              Danny and Anton Greeff in loving memory of their precious
Kamogelo Sizwe Kekane                  29.04.1990 – 28.08.2010                son and grandson. Brother of Chere, Terence and Kaylie
Alice Kekane in loving memory of her precious son and brother                 and wife Nadia and daughter, Joeleze. We will always love
of Sandile                                                                    you and miss you so much.
You will always be remembered. Lots of love my angel.
                                                                              Mikhail Nicolas Herman           16.07.1992 – 16.04.2009
Retabile Makgopa                   23.05.1997 – 21.12.2008                    Mike and Delyth Herman in loving memory of their precious
Emma Makgopa in loving memory of her precious son                             son and brother of Nicole

Tsepo Phalafala                       14.06.1978 – 14.06.2006
Jane and Michael Phalafala in loving memory of their precious
son and brother of Albert

Blyde Van Den Bergh 12.05.1981 – 03.02.2007
Wessel and Jeanne Van Den Bergh in loving memory of their
precious daughter and sister of Wessel, Corni and Laetitia

To our daughter Blyde
3 February – the date is engraved in our minds forever. Never will we see the date without the memory of that dreadful telephone call in the
early morning hours. At that moment our lives changed forever. The before 3 February 2007 and the after 3 February 2007.
How our outlook changed. How our core and family life changed. How our world was shattered to pieces.
Our dearest daughter Blyde left this earth without saying goodbye. Without a warning. Her life was snatched away by a reckless driver. Just
like that. In a moment. But that moment will be with us forever and ever till we die.
Blyde – it is 4 years. It feels like yesterday. We have your memories cherished in our hearts. We see your smiley face on hundreds of photos.
But it is you we miss. It is your presence we want to feel. It is your laughter, your joy, your bubbly
personality that we long for. We miss it all Blyde – all of you. Your paintings and art is all through our house. Your love is visible through
many cards and special drawings that are cherished by each one of our family. But it is you we miss.
We have learned to live again. Each one of us has moved on. But we all agree - it is you we miss. Dad is always sad. He is lighting candles
every evening. He has become silent – so very silent. Mom is coping by giving much of her spare time to TCF – she wants to cherish your
memory through giving to others.
Tug (Wessel, Jnr) is travelling – and sometimes he lets the word through – it is you he misses.
Corni is studying and has grown into a beautiful young woman – but she often refers to you – it is you she misses.
Laetitia is at the beginning of a new life as a student – she often talks about the fact that you are not there to guide her – it is you she misses.
              “When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are
               weeping for that which has been your delight.” [Kahlil Gibran]
Blyde is part of a very special family. And Blyde is missed by a very special family.
The memory of Blyde will live forever! The anniversary date will always be a difficult time. Till we meet again Blyde!
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”
[Henry Ford]
Christmas Thoughts Remind Me Brother Bear      Mikhail Nicolas Herman
It’s only been a little over a year and a half since you left, yet I find myself failing to recall all the memories at times.
Remind me.

Remind me of the times you’d laugh at the way I laugh and call me silly, how we’d watch movies and replay all the funny parts
until we couldn’t giggle anymore. Remind me how we ragged Mum for always stating the obvious and how you’d impersonate Dad
watching Saturday horse racing on TV. Remind me about the times I’d fetch you from school a few minutes late and you’d
pretend not to be mad at me or how you’d insist on sleeping in my bed when I slept out, you thought I never knew.
I remember now.
I remember skinned knees fixed by Mum, Playstation games and swimming. I remember McDonalds, chocolate fingers, pizza with
nothing but cheese on it. I remember hugs when I least expected and sms’ just to say “I love you”. I remember “borrowing” all
your secret socks and hunting for Christmas presents for the folks. I remember your loud music and you sitting on the roof, me
worrying you’d fall and break something and how you’d steal the car, I’d always shout and think the worst. I remember clean
jeans, crisp white t-shirts, cologne, far too much hair gel and you reluctantly allowing me to fix the back of your hair.
I remember you thinking you were all grown up and I thinking you’d be my baby brother forever.
I visited your room today, but you don’t live there any longer.
I had forgotten. Your loving big sister – Nicole.
In memory of Nicholas Gordon Bartram 19.03.1982 – 19.2.2010
It’s a year since you took your life, and our world as we knew it then, has never been the same since. Not a day has
gone by that our hearts have not ceased to long for you, we miss you so much. We know that you are at peace now
and free from this world’s pain and torment, safe in God’s care.
               This full page was sponsored by Cathy and Allan Bartram in loving memory of their beloved son, Nicholas
                                             Gordon Bartram: 19.03.1982 – 19.02.2010

Yet God blessed us with such a precious gift, a son and a brother. We were so lucky to have you for 27 years and 11
months. We will always cherish our time together with you Nick’s and rejoice that God chose us to be your family.
Your passing has left a heartache no one can ever heal, but our love for you is so strong no one can ever steal. You
touched each one of our lives in such a special way, Nick’s.
What wonderful memories we have of you stored safely in our hearts to be taken out whenever we need to, and
looked at over and over again like a precious book.
I imagine one day finding myself in a field filled with glorious flowers in the most incredible colours, the grass
gently swaying in the breeze. In the distance I see you running towards me, with a happy smile on your face, we
will embrace each other, knowing that we will not have to fear letting go, that this time we will be joyously reunited
forever. This is what keeps us alive, the hope in our hearts as we take each day, each moment, each breath,
knowing with certainty that we will all meet again to be together forever.
Forever in our hearts
Love and hugs from your ever loving Pops and Mom and sister , Monie and brother-in-law, Gerrit
                                                              Family means sharing inadequacies,
                                                              imperfections and feelings with each other.
                                                              But even when you set out to love, you may
                                                                not always be a likable person. And when
                                                               you’re not perfect, forgiveness for yourself
                                                                      and others become important.
                                                              Then you get up the next day and start again.
                                                                 It is a process, like the opening of a bud.
                                                                                 It is a flowering,
                                                                         a blooming and blossoming. [Bernie Siegel]

Driving in the rain
Rivers rush beneath the wheels
I am deep beneath the Sea
Imprisoned in this waterfall

I stop my car
Alone in my capsule
The music plays
It drenches me
I connect with the storms violent energy And wait patiently To resume my journey

I dream of creatures of the sea
They swim they float                                            Your children are not your children.
They smile                                                      They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
                                                                They come through you but not from you,
But all the while                                               And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
Unnoticed                                                       You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
A skeletal bird                                                 For they have their own thoughts.
Is perching on my steering wheel                                You may house their bodies but not their souls,
Those gaping sockets hypnotize                                  For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
The message bores beneath my skin                                  which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
                                                                You may strive to be like them, but seek not to
                                                                    make them like you.
"Cold claws of death                                            For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
Will stop his breath"                                           You are the bows from which your children
An echo from his cavernous skull                                   as living arrows are sent forth
                                                                The archer sees the mark upon the path of the
Wet days go crawling by                                            infinite, and he bends you with his might that
Each day the bird accompanies me                                   His arrows might go swift and far.
He has neither beak nor feathers                                Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
Yet I freeze helplessly next to your bed                        For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
                                                                   so He loves also the bow that is stable. [Kahlil Gibran]
One day the bird does not appear
The sun shines on my face
'I can cure your son' he said
*     *     *     *     *     *    *
I creep inside the curtains round your bed Skeletal Bird how you have grown Your claws are
clenched around his neck I have lost and you have won Take Him Try to be gentle As you lead
Him to the valley of death

For his first anniversary by Carolanne Morison-Nelson Mother of Conrad Nelson 17.O7.1981 – 13.02.2010
[Written in an attempt to express the anguish of a mother bereaved and also a tribute to a mother’s love which passes all understanding]
Touched by Angels                                                                              WE DO NOT NEED A SPECIAL DAY
We are touched by angels                                                                        We do not need a special day
                                                       is only an old door
and walk where angels tread                     Set in a garden wall.                             To bring you to our minds.
      they will guide us                       On quiet hinges it gives at dusk,               The days we do not think of you
                                                When the thrushes call.                              Are very hard to find.
        walk beside us
  through the days ahead.
  In the hours of darkness                     Along the lintel are green leaves,               Each morning when we awake,
                                                 Beyond, the light lies still;                    We know that you are gone.
When our dreams have flown                     Very weary and willing feet                     And no one knows the heart ache
     they bring us hope                          Go over that sill.                                  As we try to carry on.
     and gentle healing,
       we are not alone.                       There is nothing to trouble any heart,          Our hearts still ache with sadness
In our times of doubting                         Nothing to hurt at all.                           And secret tears still flows,
    still they understand                      Death is only an old door                           What it meant to lose you
           and forever                           In a garden wall.                                   No one will ever know.
    touched by angels                          [Nancy Byrd Turner]
  we walk hand in hand.                                                                          Our thoughts are always with
                                               Sometimes I Wonder                                              you,
                                               Sometimes I wonder why people say                   Your place no one can fill.
In the evening of my life                       “You’re looking fine, you look ok.”               In life we loved you dearly;
I shall look to the sunset                         “Time is the best healer”,
                                                                                                    In death we love you still.
                                                 “Soon you’ll feel much better.”
At the moment in my life
When the night is due,                         Sometimes I wonder why people say               There will always be a heartache,
And the question I shall ask                    “Try to go out”, “take a hobby”,                      And often a silent tear.
                                                      Do this, do that,                            But always a precious memory
Only you can answer ...                           “Go on a holiday, perhaps”.                  Of the days when you were here.
Was I brave and strong and
true?                                          Sometimes I wonder why people say
                                                      All these words,                             If tears could make a staircase,
Did I fill the world with love                     To them full of wisdom                            And heartaches make a lane,
My whole life through?                              Bust to us so shallow.                           We’d walk the path to heaven
[From “Goodbye Mr Chips”]                                                                               And bring you home again.
                                               Sometimes I wonder how could they
                                                  How it feels when day after day                  We hold you close within our
                                                      The door of a room                                      hearts;
                                                  Only opens onto an empty bed,                       And there you will remain,
                                                 And clothes never to be worn                     To walk with us throughout our
                                               again.                                                          lives
                                               [Annie Huet]                                            Until we meet again.

                                                                                                 Our family chain is broken now,
                                                                                                  And nothing seems the same,
                                                                                                 But as God calls us one by one,
                                                                                                    The chain will link again.
                                                                                               [Connie Dyer, BP, USA, Springfield, IL]

                                               Birthdays – 2011 February
Stacey Sipser                        01.02.1975 – 21.02.1986              Rose-Leigh Jacobs                   14.02.1995 – 03.03.2010
Beloved daughter of Rivelle Hasson and sister of Warren:                  Beloved daughter of Rachel Jacobs and brothers
Cancer                                                                    Clarence, Griffiths and Vichiran: Suicide
Darren Taylor                        01.02.1982 – 11.05.2003              Ralph Johnson                       15.02.1982 – 01.08.2006
Beloved son of Maureen Taylor and brother of Nicole: Homicide             Beloved son of Roger and Jane Johnson and brother of
                                                                          John: Killed in action in Afgahnistan
Lyle Stephen                          03.02.1978 – 09.02.2006             Denise De Wet                       16.02.1975 – 09.09.2010
Beloved son of Keith and Aileen Stephen and brother of                    Beloved daughter of Amanda and Andre Erasmus and
Leeanda, Lauren, Lucasta: Hijacking                                       sister of Konrad and Francois: Suicide
Benny Derick Mpapele                  04.02.1964 – 25.02.2009             Garth Littleford                    19.02.1975 – 31.07.2001
Beloved son of Lucy Mpapele and brother of Raymond, George,               Beloved son of Derek and Olly Littleford and brother of
Setsama: Cancer                                                           Dion and his wife Janine: Road Accident
Dudley Kotze                          04.02.1969 – 22.09.2001             Brad McCully                        20.02.1961 – 13.01.1983
Beloved son of Leon and Dawn Kotze and brother of Cielle.and              Beloved son of Bob and Elaine McCully and brother of
the late Lauren:.Accidental Choking                                       Sheila, Tara, Robert, Noel: Suicide
Isabella Groenewald                   05.02.2009 – 23.10.2010             Mark Kriel                          20.02.1983 – 21.10.2008
Beloved daughter of Henk and Claudia Groenewald: Drowning                 Beloved son of Mike and Felicity Kriel and brother of Chris:
                                                                          Aircraft Accident
Dane Ryan                                  06.02.1989 – 08.08.2010        Lethlogfonolo Mokoe                 21.02.2007 – 15.12.2010

Beloved son of Anthony and Mary-Gail Ryan. Natural Causes         Beloved daughter of Gwen and Theo Mokoe: Illness

Justin Hope                           06 02.1973 – 28.02.2010     Patrick Setuke                   21.02.1974 – 24.06.2010
Beloved son of Sarah Hope and Nico Mogentale and brother of       Beloved son of Sam and Selina Setuke and sisters
Shiba: Motor Bike Accident                                        Yvonne and Elizabeth: Homicide
Dylan Sarkis                          08.02.1983 – 18.09.2010     Brett Dickinson                  23.02.1970 – 01.08.1988
Beloved son of Derrick and Yvette Sarkis and brother of Ancilla   Beloved son of Margaret and Neville Dickinson and brother
Donaldson. Unknown                                                of Trevor, Grant and Gavin: Motor Vehicle Accident
Noziga Nkomo                          08.02.2010 – 08.02.2010     Brendon Bennie                   23 02 1975 – 22 01 2006
Beloved daughter of Sandile and Khensani Nkomo: Stillbirth        Beloved son of Jack and Patti Bennie and brother of Leigh
                                                                  and Jonty: Motor Vehicle Accident
Sipho Nonzaba                         09.02.2008 – 26.06.2010     Aletta Buzo                      23.02.1976 – 07.07.2010
Beloved son of Oma Nonzaba and Daniel Dazana: Bronchitis          Beloved sister of Amanda Buzo. Aneurysm
Gregory Bouca                         10.02.1971 – 09.11.2008     Ivan Mrkusic                     25.02.1977 – 25.04.2010
Beloved son of Luis and Margaret Bouca and brother of             Beloved son of Peter Mrkusic: Suicide
Alexandre: Heart Attack
Michael Jospe                         12.02.1944 – 04.07.2000     Elyse Jacobson                  27.02.1960 – 20.12.2007
Beloved son of Gerda Jospe and brother of Yvonne: Medical         Beloved daughter of Mavis Jacobson and sister of Andrea
Causes                                                            and Aronson: Cancer
Clive Holdsworth                      13.02.1973 – 06.04.2002     Heloise Strike                  28.02.1980 – 17.01.2007
Beloved son of Peter and Natalie Holdsworth: Road Accident        Beloved daughter of Norman and Joelle Strike and sister of
                                                                  Sylvaine and Taina: Suicide
Lwazi Makhathini                     13.02.1999 – 18.02.2001      Simphiwe Mpungose               15.02.1977 – 24.02.2006
Beloved son of Bekezela and Vicky Makhathini and brother of       Beloved son of Jabu Mpungose and brother of Bonga:
Londeka and Makwanda: Drowning                                    Illness
Julia De Kock                        14.02.1962 – 08.07.1989      Baby Radeba                     14.02.2010 – 14.02.2010
Beloved daughter of Jenny and Romaine De Kock: Motor              Beloved child of Busiswe and Hangwani Radeba:
Vehicle Accident                                                  Miscarriage
Kutloano Matlala                        10.02.1999 – 10.07.2010   Adrian Davidson                 18.02.1978 – 10.04.2009
Beloved son of David and Joyce Matlala and brother of Kabelo:     Beloved son of Bodil Davidson and brother of Kia and
Suicide                                                           Mark: Brain Tumour

                                     Anniversaries – 2011 February
Allan Cochrane                   30.08.1983 – 05.02.2010      Ncedi Mdumela                     11.01.1980 – 23.02.2009
Beloved son of Melody and Brian Cochrane and brother of       Beloved son of Taylor and Zanelle Mdumela: Suicide
Cheryl Zeghers: Suicide
Noziga Nkomo                     08.02.2010 – 08.02.2010      Lyle Stephen                        03.02.1978 – 09.02.2006
Beloved daughter of Sandile and Khensani Nkomo: Stillbirth    Beloved son of Keith and Aileen Stephen and brother of
                                                              Lauren, Leeanda and Lucasta: Hijacking
Neo Makgare                      11.10.2009 – 24.02.2010      Wayne Dreyer                       15.07.1977 – 06.02.2001
Beloved daughter of Japhtaline Makgare and sister of Isaac    Beloved son of Basil and Beverley Dreyer and brother of
and William: Heart Problem                                    Gillon and Candice: Homicide
Lwazi Makhathini                 13.02.1999 – 18.02.2001      Hloni Modiselle                     01.03.1976 – 04.02.1996
Beloved son of Bekezela and Vicky Makhathini and brother      Beloved son of Stella Modiselle and brother of Morongwe:
of Londeka and Makwanda: Drowning                             Homicide
Muhammad Zardad                  08.01.1996 – 26.02.2002      Justin Hope                         06.02.1973 – 28.02.2010
Beloved son of Mustapha Zardad: Brain Stem Injury             Beloved son of Sarah Hope and Nico Mogentale and brother
                                                              of Shiba: Motor Bike Accident
Michael Howard                   18.09.1994 – 23.02.2004      Mark Hofmeyer                      29.07.1966. – 13.02.1986
Beloved son of Paul and Sarah Howard and brother of Abby:     Beloved son of Murray Hofmeyer and twin brother of Gill:
Accident                                                      Motor Vehicle Accident
Ruan De Bruin                     29.05.1990 – 26.02.2010     Benny Derick Mpapele                04.02.1964 – 25.02.2009
Beloved son of Estelle and Jeremi De Bruin and brother of     Beloved son of Lucy Mpapele and brother of Setsama,
Wesley and Josh: Suicide                                      Raymond and George: Cancer
Steven Marneweck                 26.03.1990 – 28.02.2010      Louise Sulman                       15.04.1963 – 04.02.2009
Beloved son of Lorraine Marneweck and brother of David:       Beloved daughter of Shirley Sulman: Natural Causes
Mpho Mathibane                   31.08.1987 – 28.02.2010      Tumelo Mukoki                     23.11.1990 – 12.02.2006
Beloved son of Lucy Mathibane: Homicide                       Beloved daughter of Dikeledi Malema and sister of Fumani
                                                              and Papa Mukoki: Train Accident
Rory Lowther                     14.01.1984 – 03.02.2004      Baby Radeba                       14.02.2010 – 14.02.2010
Beloved son of Eric and Debbie Lowther and brother of Gary    Beloved child of Busiswe and Hangwani Radeba:
and Kathryn and grandparents: Climbing Accident               Miscarriage
Sonette Bothma                    27.07.1983 – 27.02.2009     Trevor Rossi                      11.12.1973 – 25.02.2006

Beloved sister of Vanessa Van Niekerk: Wegeners                Beloved son of Claude and Wendy–Ann Rossi and brother of
Granulomutosis                                                 Cilla: Cancer
Neil Moore                         08.11.1982 – 29.02.2004     Stacey Fiona Sipser                01.02.1975 – 21.02.1986
Beloved son of Keith and Barbara Moore and brother of          Beloved daughter of Rivalle Hasson and sister of Warren:
Shaun: Motor Vehicle Accident                                  Cancer
Joe Langlois                        07.06.1982 – 16.02.2010    Adam Falcke                        31.10.1962 – 17.02.1991
Beloved son of Joe and June Langlois and brother of Kate,      Beloved son of Gita Falcke and brother of Gavin and Adam’s
Julie, Chantelle and Michael: Motor Bike Accident              wife Susan: Motor Vehicle Accident
Nicholas Bartram                    19.03.1982 – 19.02.2010    Oteng Sebetwane                    10.02.1997 – 10.02.1997
Beloved son of Allan and Cathy Bartram and brother of          Beloved child of Kope and Kealeboga Sebetwane: Tube Birth
Simone: Suicide
Hugh Jacobs                         04.12.1981 – 15.02.2009    Simphiwe Mungose                  15.02.1977 – 24.02.2006
Beloved son of Annette and Lenn Jacobs and brother of          Beloved daughter of Jabu Mpungose and sister of Bonga:
Darryl and Justin: Suicide                                     Illness
Conrad Nelson                       17.07.1981 – 13.02.2010    Joshua Moll                       21.10.1986 – 27.02.2009
Beloved son of Carol Anne and Clive Nelson and brother of      Beloved son of Jan and Michelle Moll: Sucide
Claude and Clifford: Wegeners Granulomatosis
Blyde Van Den Bergh                 12.05.1981 – 03.02.2007    “Experience is not what happens to a man. It is
Beloved daughter of Wessel and Jeanne Van Den Bergh            what a man does with what happens to him.”
and sister of Wessel, Corni and Laetitia: Motor Vehicle
                                                               [Aldous Huxley]

We would like to thank you
 most sincerely for your                                                          It is with great pleasure that we welcome Anisa
 generosity and support                                                          Mahomed as our new Chapter Leader. Anisa
Clarence and Mildred Dreyer                                                      joined on Thursday, 13 January, 2011 and we
Judy and Costas Couremetis                                                       know that you will give her every support as she
JP Rogers                                                                        finds her feet at The Compassionate Friends. We
K Aitken                                                                         wish her a long and happy stay with us.
M Gaylard                                  Thank you to Cathy                    Executive Committee, Arthur Christie.
M Murray
Q and C Leeds
                                           Bartram for the donation              Thank you to our Newsletter packers:
                                           of R500.00 to spend on                Kathy Cooles, Joan Rees, Merle Dick,
                                           the garden.                           Lorraine Cochrane, Belinda Vania

               “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the
               most massive characters are seared with scars” Kahlil Gibran
I believe that anyone who experiences the great tragedy of losing a child and walks over the burning coals of grief cannot but
become a better, wiser, more refined human being. Our values are redefined and modified as we search to reclaim some
meaning in our lives; often we become more compassionate and caring towards others.
Manju Moodley, one of our members, has found an outlet that gives her life meaning. On the birthdays of her precious Yadin
and Tameesha she reached out to pour love and support onto the children of the ABH children’s home in Lenasia. And on the
20th of November 2010, supported by her loving family, she again honoured the memory of her husband and children by
giving the children at the home a Christmas party to remember.
The look on those children’s faces as they watched the magician performing his tricks and the balloon artist blowing the flower
or animal of their choice was a sight to behold; beautiful girls danced for them, they had their faces painted and the food and
drink was plentiful. Each child was made to feel special.
Manju must contend every day with her everlasting grief; but she has gained an increased awareness of the preciousness of
life and through her life and actions she is keeping her beloved children and husband alive in the hearts of all the people she
And as we left the home that day, I swear I felt a gentle “spiderman hug” and “butterfly kiss”! [Isabel Ferreira]

Dancing                                                                                   Manju’s Party

          The Naidoo family extended their thanks and appreciation to Kathy Cooles for her
          support during their bereavement on the 15 January 2011.

                                (Support Groups for Bereaved Parents, Sibling/s and Grandparents)
                                     MONTHLY MEETINGS FOR FEBRUARY 2011
Saturday,                                  JOHANNESBURG CHAPTER MONTHLY MEETING            Speaker: Aubrey Pieterse
12 February, 2011                          At TCF Centre, 122 Athol
at 14:00 for 14:30 pm                        Street, Highlands
Saturday,                                   JOHANNESBURG CHAPTER SUICIDE MEETING           Counsellor : Sheila Levinson
29 February, 2011                          At TCF Centre, 122 Athol                        (011) 728-3064 or 082-264-4532
at 14:00 to 16:00 pm                         Street, Highlands                              Counsellor: Elise Barnes
                                                    North                                  (011) 788-9829 or 083-267-9465
Saturday,                                               LENASIA CHAPTER                    Counsellor: Roseline Ananmalay
29 February, 2011                                       MONTHLY MEETING                    (011) 852-5344 or 084-556-4616
at 14.00 to 16:00 pm                         At Lenasia Recreation
                                             Salvia Street, Lenasia
Thursday evenings – Please contact                      PRETORIA CHAPTER                   Counsellor: Retha Naude-De Jager (012) 654-
the Counsellor for the time and venue                   MONTHLY MEETING                    1768 or
in your area                                   At Minor Hall,                              082-441-6360
                                            Brooklyn Methodist
                                           Church, Murray Street,
Please contact the Counsellor for the                   SOWETO CHAPTER                     Counsellor: Jabu Jabulile
time and venue in your area                             MONTHLY MEETING                    (011) 932-2395 or 082-548-9604
                                                                                           Counsellor: Ntuthu Radebe
Tuesday, 22 February, 2011 at                         NEWSLETTER PACKING                   At TCF Centre, 122 Athol Street, Highlands
09:00 am                                                                                   North
Shannon Palmer (011) 672-6743/082-883-1406 (Counsellor)                       Gary Sheehan 083-633-4732 (Father’s Counsellor)
Sue Wilde (Procter) 082-462-1497 (Sibling’s Counsellor)                       Ntuthu Radebe (Counsellor)

              This full page was sponsored by Peter and Erica Tattersall in loving memory of their most beloved son, Neill
                                                 Tattersall: 31.07.1984 – 25.01.2008



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