About the Compassionate Friends

 butterfly-10   September 2014

My dear Friends,

The first editorial letter I wrote for this newsletter I used the tragedy of 9/11 as an analogy of facets of the grieving process.  A few months ago I was at Ground Zero and once again found messages for us there. 

Some of the buildings surrounding the Twin Towers were so badly damaged they had to be imploded.  Many have already been rebuilt and soar triumphantly into the iconic New York skyline, stronger and more awe-inspiring than before.

As for the World Trade Center itself, it’s still an enormous crater in the ground, but it’s not empty.  Even on a Saturday morning of a holiday weekend, there were bulldozers and cranes, front-end loaders and piles of building materials, and many, many workers determined to complete the new tower and memorial.  Progress is behind schedule and there’ve been problems galore but the will to surmount all that defies mere timetables.  One day there will be another fabulous attraction in the city, a monument to the past and a commitment to the present and future.

Across one of the streets is the WTCH Heritage museum.  Full of photographs and posters, artifacts found on the tragic site, testimonies of survivors and mourners, it’s a heartbreaking experience.  Through the blur of tears one is constantly aware of courage and selflessness.  Many sacrifices were made, most notably of lives, but also of time and resources.  Everywhere there are reminders of how people stood together with love and support.  Despite the shock and the fear, New York survives and remains the vibrant city that never sleeps.

Visitors are requested to comment on the effects of these events.  Pinned up all around the walls of the museum basement are messages from adults and children from the USA and the world.  There are common threads – admiration and praise for the brave and the good, an understanding of the anguish still endured, a commitment to the building albeit in tiny ways, of a stronger, better, kinder life. 

We don’t know why our personal edifices are torn apart and are unsure if we are capable of building afresh.  But, as in New York, each individual, every family, can and does eventually, construct new beautiful futures.  From tragedy must come truth, and delight must follow despair.  The TCF family is proof of that; may you soon feel part of the renewal.

Much love,

Rosemary Dirmeik       

Lifted from the book A String of Pearls by Rosemary Dirmeik, which is for sale at the TCF Office in Johannesburg.

THE COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS

We are a Charity Organization and or aim is to help bereaved parents cope with their loss. Our services are free of charge for the first year. (Starting from the first time you made contact with us at TCF). Thereafter if you would like to continue participating in our activities, we ask for a fee (Subscription) of R250 per annum That would include receiving Newsletters, birthday and anniversary cards.

  • You can also sponsor a page in our Newsletter at R100 per page or R50 per half page.
  • A LOVE GIFT can be any amount of money you would like to donate in memory of your child.
  • We are looking forward to your participation in putting together our Newsletters by writing your own story. Send your story to TCF at the beginning of the month and we will do our best to publish it. We would like to support you in your grief journey. Writing brings healing.
  • Contact any of our Counsellors for one-one-one sessions.

If you know of any organization (schools, hospitals, work places) that would benefit from our services at TCF, please inform them about our work. Often people do not know what to say or do or how they can help someone who has lost a child or a sibling. Our contact details are in the Newsletter.

BUTTERfly1  The History of The Compassionate Friends
TCF was founded by Reverend Simon Stephens in the UK in 1969 after he witnessed the support two bereaved families were able to draw from each other after losing a child. TCF was founded in South Africa in 1983 by Linda Abelheim and there are now more the 30 groups throughout the country.

All who belong to TCF have learned that the death of our child has caused a pain that can best be understood fully by another bereaved parent. Knowing that others need love and support, we reach out as our own grief subsides to those who still feel alone and abandoned.

TCF believes that bereaved parents can help each other towards a positive resolution of their grief, as we know that expressing thoughts and feelings is part of the healing process. We never suggest that there is a correct way to grieve or that there is a preferred solution to the emotional and spiritual dilemma raised by the deaths of our children – we understand that each parent must find his or her own way through grief.

TCF reaches out to all bereaved parents across artificial barriers of religion, race, ecomomic class, or ethnic group.

We also offer advice to other relatives, friends and professionals as to how to deal with those close to them who may be grieivng. To this end, TCF offers support literature and gives regular talks and presentations within the community, such as at schools, hospitals, corporates, the media and other charitable organisations.

Our Mission Statement
THE COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS is a mutual self-help organisation offering friendship and understanding to bereaved parents and siblings.

The primary purpose is to assist them in the positive resolution of the grief experienced upon the death of a child and to support their efforts to achieve physical and emotional health.

The secondary purpose is to provide information and education about bereaved parents and siblings. The objective is to help those in their community, including family, friends, employers, co-workers and professionals to be supportive.

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Monthly Meetings

MONTHLY MEETINGS

SUPPORT GROUPS AND MONTHLY MEETINGS FOR SEPTEMBER 2014

Saturday, 06  September     at 10:00 Coffee and Sharing Meeting at 11 Andre Street, President Ridge, Randburg (above The Brightwater Commons) Facilitator: Gladys Gagliardi

011-787-7876 or     084-500-5440

Saturday, 13 September at 14:00 Monthly  Meeting at TCF Centre, 122 Athol Street,  Highlands North Speaker:   Lynda Lagrasso Medium
Saturday, 27 September

14:00 to 16:00

NO SUICIDE MEETING DUE TO THE FUNDRAISING

FUNCTION AT THE BARNYARD

Tuesday, 30 September

at 09:00

At TCF Centre, 122 Athol Street,

Highlands North

NEWSLETTER

PACKING

Saturday, 27 September – BARNYARD FUNDRAISING FUNCTION AT 20:00, CRESTAIMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER

Wednesday, 12 November – CANDLE LIGHTING CEREMONY at 18:30 FOR 19 :00, at ST COLUMBA’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 45 LURGAN ROAD, PARKVIEW. Speaker: Rev. Chunky Young

COUNSELLORS:

Maureen Conway:  011-802-2805 or 082-452-4490 (Siblings)

Ntuthu Radebe:  011-933-3869 or     082-741-5761

Roseline Ananmalay:                      084-556-4616

Judith Hawarden:                            082-550-6689

 

Elise Barnes:            083-267-9465

Isabel Ferreira:          082-335-8593

Jabu Mpungose:          082-548-9604

Maryna Seldon:            083-256-2214

BANKING DETAILS:First National Bank – Balfour Park, Account No: 50360007395, Branch Code: 212217

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TCF Johannesburg Chapter Monthly Meeting

MONTHLY MEETINGS

SUPPORT GROUPS AND MONTHLY MEETINGS FOR AUGUST 2014

Saturday, 2 August at 10:00 Coffee and Sharing Meeting at 11 Andre Street, President Ridge, Randburg (above The Brightwater Commons) Facilitator: Gladys Gagliardi011-787-7876 or084-500-5440
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~      NO   MONTHLY   MEETING     ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Saturday, 30 August at 14:00 to 16:00 Suicide Meeting at TCF Centre, 122 Athol Street, Highlands North Counsellor:   Elise Barnes083-267-9465 
Tuesday, 26 August at 09:00 At TCF Centre, 122 Athol Street,Highlands North NEWSLETTER PACKING
COUNSELLORS:Maureen Conway:  011-802-2805 or  082-452-4490 (Siblings)Ntuthu Radebe:  011-933-3869 or 082-741-5761

Roseline Ananmalay:  084-556-4616

Judith Hawarden: 082-550-6689

 

Elise Barnes:  083-267-9465Isabel Ferreira:  082-335-8593

Jabu Mpungose:  082-548-9604

Maryna Seldon: 083-256-2214

 

IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER

Saturday, 27 September – BARNYARD FUNDRAISING FUNCTION AT 20:00, CRESTA

Wednesday, 12 November – CANDLE LIGHTING CEREMONY at 18:30 FOR 19 :00, at ST COLUMBA’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 45 LURGAN ROAD, PARKVIEW. Speaker: Rev. Chunky Young

BANKING DETAILS:First National Bank – Balfour Park, Account No: 50360007395, Branch Code: 212217

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Events and Fundraisers

NOTICE  IS  HEREBY  GIVEN  OF  THE  THIRTY-FIRST ANNUAL  GENERAL  MEETING  OF  THE JOHANNESBURG  CHAPTER OF  THE  COMPASSIONATE  FRIENDS.  DATE: SATURDAY,  13 SEPTEMBER  2014   TIME: 14:00    PLACE:          TCF  CENTRE,  122  ATHOL  STREET, HIGHLANDS  NORTH,

We invite you, our members, family and friends to join us for the Thirty-First (31st) Annual General Meeting of the Johannesburg Chapter of The Compassionate Friends.  The business proceedings of the Meeting will be handled first, lasting approximately thirty (30) minutes, followed by our guest speaker, Lynda Lagrosso.  Lynda Lagrosso is a Medium.

Now is the time for you to think about your role at The Compassionate Friends.  We need you.  Are you a member of the Committee or can you help with the library, community awareness, counselling, outreach programmes or just getting more involved?  Please give some urgent thought as to whether you would be willing to stand as a member of the Committee.  Executive Meetings are held every three (3) months.  Nomination forms must be received by SATURDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 2014 – the date of the Meeting.

Saturday 27 September,  2014:  We need your support for our Fundraising Event at The Barnyard, Cresta. Time: 20h00 Theme:  TIME WARP! Book your table early. The audience is part of the action from the word GO, so get ready to experience some dance routines and you will also enjoy some movie themes and medleys from James Bond, Men in Black, St Elmo’s Fire, etc.  TIME WARP is not just a show, it is an unique experience where Rock Stars invade and it erupts into one enormous party. Be daring and dress up as a character from a show, movie or musical … … … anything goes!  Glorious music from Dirty Dancing and Grease. We will also rock you with melodies from Moulin Rouge and more recent musicals.  You can book a table for 8, 10 or 12 people or join a table not fully booked. Tickets will cost R150 each. Bring your own food or you can order pizzas from the Pizza Restaurant. The Barnyard has a comprehensively stocked bar. No outside beverages or alcohol may be brought onto the premises.  For any additional information please contact Carol at 083-463-2949 or carol@allaffairs.co.za

Friday 2 to Sunday 5 October, 2014: Retreat. The Cape Town Chapter is offering a Retreat at Montagu in the Cape. If you would like to join parents, siblings and grandparents on this journey, you need to book as soon as possible. Payments before the end of July will be R2 800. Thereafter it will be R3 200.  Those joining from outside Cape Town can arrange with the TCF Chapter in Cape Town to be met at the Airport and then travel to Montagu. It is a lovely venue with short walks in nature and a labyrinth.  For any additional queries kindly contact Suzette at support@tcfcape.co.za

 

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About The Compassionate Friends

 Butterfly-2   August 2014

My dear Friends,

 

‘Where there is no hope, one must invent hope.’   Albert Camus.

 

I read those words in an interview with Elie Wiesel, noted writer, Nobel Laureate and human rights activist, and thought them particularly appropriate for the TCF family.  As a child Elie Wiesel spent time in a Nazi concentration camp, and subsequently wrote of his experiences, most notably in his inspiring book Night.

 

Mourners may think bitterly that for them there can be no hope, their boxes, unlike Pandora’s, gape empty of any consolation.  Why I believe the quote as recalled by Elie Wiesel is so true for us is that I once heard that on a psychological scale of adult trauma, the loss of children is only equalled by the Holocaust experience.  Wiesel suffered terrible loss, felt great bitterness and desperation, knew the nadir of hopelessness, but, despite all that, survived and went on to fight for justice and dignity and humanity in the face of the antithesis of every one of those qualities.  His life and philosophy exhibit both strength and tenderness, determination to succeed coupled with a sense of responsibility.  That responsibility encompasses his duties in society and his obligation to the memory of those who died, and importantly to his own continuing survival.

 

I mentioned Wiesel’s masterpiece, Night.  Night time can be very frightening.  In the dark we can’t see, we could stumble and fall.  But night also brings the brightness of the moon and the brilliance of the stars.  Wiesel and so many others who have triumphed over evil and adversity have dug deep into themselves to recover hope; without it, it is doubtful that they would be examples to us.  It’s fragile as hope, a bit like a flickering candle flame.  Abandoned, it splutters and dies; protected it gathers energy and flares anew.  Hope is innate to us; it might be dormant as we begin our journeys of grief but hidden beneath the torment it remains, just waiting to be remembered and stirred into animation.  When you find you can do that, you are well into the next phase of your life, the acknowledgement that in spite of loss you too have become a survivor and an example of the wonders hope has wrought.  Having lived through the fearsomeness of the worst of the night may you know the beauty of the moon and the stars.

Much love,

Rosemary Dirmeik

Lifted from the book A String of Pearls by Rosemary Dirmeik, which is for sale at the TCF Office in Johannesburg.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS

We are a Charity Organization and or aim is to help bereaved parents cope with their loss. Our services are free of charge for the first year. (Starting from the first time you made contact with us at TCF). Thereafter if you would like to continue participating in our activities, we ask for a fee (Subscription) of R250 per annum That would include receiving Newsletters, birthday and anniversary cards.

  • You can also sponsor a page in our Newsletter at R100 per page or R50 per half page.
  • A LOVE GIFT can be any amount of money you would like to donate in memory of your child.
  • We are looking forward to your participation in putting together our Newsletters by writing your own story. Send your story to TCF at the beginning of the month and we will do our best to publish it. We would like to support you in your grief journey. Writing brings healing.
  • Contact any of our Counsellors for one-one-one sessions.

If you know of any organization (schools, hospitals, work places) that would benefit from our services at TCF, please inform them about our work. Often people do not know what to say or do or how they can help someone who has lost a child or a sibling. Our contact details are in the Newsletter.

BUTTERfly1  The History of The Compassionate Friends
TCF was founded by Reverend Simon Stephens in the UK in 1969 after he witnessed the support two bereaved families were able to draw from each other after losing a child. TCF was founded in South Africa in 1983 by Linda Abelheim and there are now more the 30 groups throughout the country.

All who belong to TCF have learned that the death of our child has caused a pain that can best be understood fully by another bereaved parent. Knowing that others need love and support, we reach out as our own grief subsides to those who still feel alone and abandoned.

TCF believes that bereaved parents can help each other towards a positive resolution of their grief, as we know that expressing thoughts and feelings is part of the healing process. We never suggest that there is a correct way to grieve or that there is a preferred solution to the emotional and spiritual dilemma raised by the deaths of our children – we understand that each parent must find his or her own way through grief.

TCF reaches out to all bereaved parents across artificial barriers of religion, race, ecomomic class, or ethnic group.

We also offer advice to other relatives, friends and professionals as to how to deal with those close to them who may be grieivng. To this end, TCF offers support literature and gives regular talks and presentations within the community, such as at schools, hospitals, corporates, the media and other charitable organisations.

Our Mission Statement
THE COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS is a mutual self-help organisation offering friendship and understanding to bereaved parents and siblings.

The primary purpose is to assist them in the positive resolution of the grief experienced upon the death of a child and to support their efforts to achieve physical and emotional health.

The secondary purpose is to provide information and education about bereaved parents and siblings. The objective is to help those in their community, including family, friends, employers, co-workers and professionals to be supportive.

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So You Think You’re Losing Your Mind Because …

So You Think You’re Losing Your Mind Because …

You find yourself reading the obituaries since your child died – searching for names and ages of others who have died too young?

Well, if this is a sign you are losing your mind, you have lots of company. Some are drawn to the obituaries. Is it because we seek to know that we are not alone in this seemingly endless maze? That there are others out there who know the horror of losing one of their children, and we need to identify with them? Not everybody has this need, but many do. It may be bothersome to your spouse because he/she may feel it is a sign of abnormal grief and is morbid. It isn’t for some. You may do it for a time, but eventually most people stop having the need. Don’t worry about it.

Because you have a bad time with the time of day and the day of the week on which your child died?

There again, in the beginning you may find this a problem. It may seem that if you can stop that particular time of day of the week from coming, you will be able to stop the death from having happened. We fail, but it doesn’t stop us from having a go at it the next week. This, too, will eventually stop bothering most people, and one day you will realize that, that particular day and time have come and gone, and you have made no note of it. You may find it hastens the process if you make an effort to do something that day that keeps your mind occupied and that changes the scenery – maybe nothing more than a window-shopping trip to the nearest mall.

Because you find yourself going over and over in your mind what you imagine your child felt or thought as he or she faced death?

This seems to be a particularly bad problem for those whose children died accidentally or as a result of suicide or murder. You may feel it almost a compulsion at times to try to picture and imagine the thoughts and feelings your child may have had. It really is a universal problem, and we may have more trouble putting this one aside. You will, as a rule, get better about it, and later on it will not occupy your thoughts as much as in the beginning. It is normal! Some find it helpful to find out from anyone connected, or who may have witnessed the death, as much information as possible. Others have no desire to know the details. It is an old story – but we all do it differently, and the way that fills your needs is right for you.

Just know that it is normal to have it on your mind! Because you find yourself thinking that it would be easier to join your child in death than to go through the pain of living without him or her?

The telephone friends hear this from lots of bereaved parents. They get so tired of the hurt. It frightens the parents that they are entertaining suicidal thoughts, but it must be a normal reaction for some to consider this as an alternative. Many parents, as they talk, are quick to agree that they would not actually consider this as an option, they could not purposefully put someone they love through the very hell they are seeking to escape. They are able to realize that it is not an answer.

Should you have these thoughts and are not able to put them aside, you would be wise to seek professional help.

Because you keep seeing someone who reminds you of your child?

Well, many of us do – you may even find yourself following along behind – just to make sure! The impulse may be to take that person home with you. It may be all a part of the denial process, but I suspect it is just because we miss our child so much.

[Mary Cleckley, TCF, Atlanta, GA]

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Words of Inspiration for Easter and Passover

This is the month of celebrating Easter and Passover, family holidays and family gatherings. Again, as bereaved parents, especially if we are newly bereaved, we pause and must make a decision as to how and if we are going to proceed, as we have in former years, before the death of our children. For both holidays, there is the “children’s hour” so to speak. For Easter, there have always been the Easter parade, Easter eggs, and the Easter bunny. For Passover, there has been matzoh, the Seder with the recitation of the Four Questions, and the participation of the youngest child.   So again, what to do? Both Easter and Passover are holidays in which children are strongly involved. To see that empty chair at the table, to know that the missing child is no longer with us can be devastating, especially after the first and second anniversary of the death. As with other holidays, Christmas, Chanukah, Thanksgiving, there are no magic formulas. If you can, talk about your child during the holidays. At our home we have made it a ritual to remember our son at the beginning of the Passover Seder. Please handle these holidays any way you can. There are no rules. Do it your way.[Dave Ziv, TCF, Bucksmont Chapter, PA]  

I have sat for some time with a blank piece of paper, pen in hand, wondering what to write for this Newsletter. You see, Easter is looming before me, and with it the memories of that Easter holiday in Christchurch almost six years ago that changed our lives forever.   

Our son Greg was in his seventh year when he was knocked down by a car during that holiday and died instantly, and I have been reflecting on how far I have come down the path of grief in that time.  For the first two years, my way of coping with Easter was to withdraw to my bedroom, swallow sleeping pills, and ‘sleep’ my way through it. TV was not allowed as it seemed to show nothing but ads for Easter eggs, and anyone arriving with chocolate eggs, etc for Michael, were in my mind, the most cruel, heartless people on this earth. Never mind that they were trying to make our ten year old son feel some normality in his life.

Shopping was definitely out as it would have been too costly for my husband Jim to have paid for the damage I inflicted as I smashed every display of Easter eggs in sight. (After all, hadn’t they been put there just to torment me?)

By the third Easter I ‘very graciously’ accepted gifts of Easter eggs for Michael. On the surface anyway. Underneath I muttered many unprintable thoughts, congratulating myself for being such a martyr. However, woe betide anyone who presented me with Easter eggs. The look must have almost turned them to stone.  

By the fourth year I found myself buying the chocolate eggs for Michael and Jim. It wasn’t easy, but I DID IT! 

Last year and this year, the displays in the shops haven’t brought the intense feelings of pain that went with the first few years, although I would be lying if I said there was no hurt there at all or that I have not felt the odd pang of panic. But it is there and gone in a few seconds, whereas before it came and outstayed its welcome

[Patsy Holley, TCF, Otego, BZ]

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Announcements

 

Calling all members of the Compassionate Friends – Additional participation on TCF’s website – Kindly inform the office if you want your name to appear on our website for the purpose of advertising.  www.compassionatefriends.org.za
 butterfly19    

THANK  YOU,  ROSEMARY  FOR  YOUR  INSPIRATIONAL  WORDS

This year we are celebrating 30 years of the existence of The Compassionate Friends in South Africa.  During that time we’ve had to say goodbye to several of our stalwarts and treasured supporters.The Compassionate Friends of the Johannesburg Chapter has been privileged and blessed to have someone as professional and capable as Rosemary Dirmeik.  Rosemary, a bereaved parent herself, wrote our Editorials in our Newsletters for 12 years. She has been involved with TCF as a Counsellor and ran a Chapter in Vereeniging.  Her qualifications include a Library Degree.  She has a wealth of knowledge about the English language and literature.  

Changes are happening all the time.  So, it is with great sadness that we have to bid farewell to Rosemary. The Compassionate Friends extends our most sincere gratitude to Rosemary for all her efforts, input, advice and love over the many years.  She shared her deepest emotions and sadness with all of us through the Editorials.  We wish her peace and inner strength for the years ahead.  Her influence in TCF will be remembered and greatly missed by all.

Rosemary published a book which is a compilation of some of her Editorials under the title: A String of Pearls.  She has graciously given us permission to use these Editorials in our future Newsletters.  So, although Rosemary will not be actively involved in the Newsletters any longer, her spirit will remain with us.

A String of Pearls is on sale at our Johannesburg Office.

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Wall of Remembrance

wall-of-remembrance   WALL OF REMEMBRANCE

In Memory of our children.  Would you like to remember your loved one by adding their photographs to our wall of remembrance on this website ? If so please forward your photograph together with name, details and a short message. webmaster@compassionatefriends.org.za. See Contact Form below. Photographs will be published on the Wall of Remembrance and the name will appear under the birthdays and anniversary sections once consent has been received.

AMBER PEAKE  10 Dec 2001 to 07 Mar 2002  amber peake
“With us always, Love Dad, Mom, Jason and Bianca.”

Angie Johnston ANGELIQUE JOHNSON 21/12/1991 – 26/08/2007
Angie I will always carry our memories close to my heart and that nobody can ever take away. We thank God everyday for the time we had with you although it was so short. Will always Love you Mom.

ANGELO GOVIND KARA 27-06-1975 – 25-12-2002 Angelo Govind Kara

With love from Sushiela Rama & P. Rama Nirendra, Narisha, Nitendra, Nirupa, Tanuja, Rishi, Rajendra, Sapna, Suraj

Annia-du-Plessis  ANNIA DU PLESSIS   13 August 2007 – 26 February 2008

Jy was ‘n vegtertjie van die begin af en as vegtertjie (saggies) het jy besluit om ’n engeltjie te word. Jy sal altyd ons Otpot bly! Liefde Mamma

ANTON VAN TONDER 19.06.1987 – 11.07.09  Anton

My seun jy het ‘n leemte gelos wat niemand kan vul nie, my hart is leeg sonder jou maar die tyd wat ek jou gehad het sal ‘n leeftyd hou. Jy was my hart en ek mis jou oneindig. Rus in vrede my baby.   Thank you so much for just being there.

Annette van Tonder

Baby-Joshua  BABY JOSHUA YIREFU – 29/12/2010 – 25/01/2011

Sweet baby Joshua, you are forever in our hearts. We will always love you. You were mummy & daddy’s little angel. So beautiful, so brave. We never got to hold you in our arms, even for just a minute. You will forever be remembered by mum Loresh, dad Zeru, sister Malaika and brothers Daniel & Gabriel

BLYDE VAN DEN BERGH – 12.05.1981 – 03.02.2007  Blyde
Our wonderful dearest Blyde, we miss you every day. We will always love you and we are looking forward to the reunion one day ! All our love, Wessel, Jeanne, Wessel Jnr, Corni and Laetitia

Daniel-Albert-James DANIEL ALBERT JAMES - 22/05/1994 and left us on the 03/05/2014.  Son of Andrew and Candy. He was a loving son, brother, cousin, nephew, grandchild and great grandchild. Daniel will always be missed but will remain on our hearts forever..

One night I dreamed a dream.As I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, One belonging to me and one to my Lord. After the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that at many times along the path of my life, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints. This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it. “Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, You’d walk with me all the way. But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you Never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you.”

Devon-Allman DEVON ALLMAN  02.01.1995 – 25.07.2009.  “Devon, you were more than we ever hoped for and more than we ever deserved. We will all have an enormous (or as u used to say, humongous) hole in our hearts where u used to be. You were the type of big brother to the three little kids that childhood memoirs are written about. We love you Dev, with our entire hearts. From Daddy, Mommy, Mike, Maia, Damien, Sinead and Christopher.”

ETHAN COETZEE  22/05/2009 – 03/06/2009  Ethan-Coetzee

Het nooit gevoel hoe jy in my arms voel maar sal jou nooit vergeet
Baie Liefde
Mamma

Hein-Lucas-van-Zyl  HEIN LUCAS VAN ZYL  26-01-1982 – 18-10-2009

JACQUES ETTIENE MALANE 19 April 1975 – 27 July 1994  Jacques
“You are always in our hearts and minds and you will live in our memories forever. We love and miss you, Mom, Dad, Eloise and Theo.”

Jaydene Rajah  JADENE RAJAH 12.05.1999 – 20.13.2006

JENINE RACHEL PRETORIUS  1984/12/26 – 2005/02/24   Jenine-rachel-Pretorius

Our little sunshine, until we meet again little one love always, mamma, pappa en boeta

Kayla-Jayne-Roadley  Kayla Jayne Roadley  11/08/2009 – 28/10/2009

KAYLA VAN DER WESTHUIZEN 03.09.2007 – 01.03.2009  Kayla-Van-Der-Westhuizen

“Kayla jy is in ons harte, gedagtes en met ons in alles wat ons doen.

Ons sal jou nooit vergeet nie en mis jou vreeslik baie.

Baie lief vir jou kleine engeltjie.”

Liefde Mamma, Pappa, Waldo en Marko

Koketso-Kganyago   Koketso Kganyago 12/12/1994 – 12/03/2009

A thousand times we needed you
A thousand times we cried
If love alone could have saved you
you never would have died
A heart of gold stopped beating
two twinkling eyes closed to rest
God broke our hearts to prove he only took the best – never a day goes by that you’re not in our heart and our soul
We know you have gone to a place far away, and unknown to us,
But you are still in our heart and mind everyday and you will live in our memories forever. We love and miss you, Mom and Dad.

KRISTIAN FALLS 21.10.1980 – 01.08.2005   Kristian-Falls

Beloved son of Roger and Vicky

  Luayne  LUANE CRAUSE (NEE) FERREIRA  18:08:1977 to 14:03:2004
Softly, softly the leaves of memories fall …Slowly, leisurely I stretch out and gather them all. Because today, tomorrow and till my life is through, I’ll always cherish knowing you Love Mom

LOUIS DANIEL DE LA PORTE  29/04/1991 – 29/07/2008  Louis-Daniel-de-la-Porte
Ons is steeds platgeslaan deur jou skielike heengaan, maar weet dat jy by die HERE is. Ons lewens sal nooit weer dieselfde kan wees nie. Tot ons mekaar weer sien. Vir Altyd Jou Mamma

MARCELLE PRETORIUS 26-04-1986 – 08-12-2007   Marcelle-Pretorius
Marcelle’s was everyone’s friend and she loved her family dearly. In the memory of our daughter Mommy, Daddy and Paul

MICHAEL CILLERS – 12 February 2007 – 5 April 2013 Michael-Cilliers                 Darling son and brother Mikey. You were our incredible gift from God – and having the privilege of meeting your extraordinary, gentle, wise, beautiful soul – enriched us all, and everyone you met. We will love and treasure you forever, until we meet again. Love from Mommy, Daddy, Amy and Robbie

millicent  MILLICENT CWAILE  01-08-1978 – 24-12-2008

We treasure every single memory we have of you,we miss you.Though we are not happy you left us,we are grateful for all the times we spent with you.From you sister and mom

NEIL ‘POP RIVET’ MOORE  08-11-1982 – 29-02-2004  Neil
“Gone Fishing”

Pranith  PRANITH DAYA 

Our beloved son Pranith Daya
age 20 who was called by our Heavenly Father on the 1-09-2008.

 Reilly-Ty-Costa  REILLY TY COSTA  12.10.2007 – 22.11.2008 

 Forever our little girl loving you is easy, we do that everyday, missing you is a heartache that never goes away.  Love Mom, Dad & Logan

Robert Andrew Ellis  17.09.1971 – 22.01.2010  Robert-Andrew-Ellis

Beloved son of Robert & Eileen and
brother of Debbie

ROBIN JOHN GRADY  05.05.1992 – 30.03.2009  Robin-John-Grady

You were taken so unexpectedly and couldn’t even say goodbye. We miss you so much my darling angel, the hugs and kisses you freely gave. We thank God everyday for the time we had with you although it was so short. Until we meet again.

Love Mom Debbie and your brother Wayne.

RoryL     RORY ERIC LOWTHER – 14-01-1984 – 03-02-2004
“May you soar like an eagle above the Mountains that you loved so dearly” Love you always Mom, Dad, Gary & KC

RYAN JEANS   07.06.94 – 23.08.95   Ryan Jeans
We will always love you, our little king, Mum, Dad & Dylan

  rynoduplessis (2)  RYNO DU PLESSIS 24 Julie 1991 – 18 April 2008

Ons mis jou vreeslik seun. Ons lewens is leeg sonder jou.

Kan nie wag om jou weer eendag te sien nie.
Liefde Pappa, Mamma en J.W.

 SHONASE DESAI 07-03-1991 – 07-07-2005  Shonase-Desai (2)

 You are always in our hearts and minds. I miss you so so much that it hurts.

 Love You my Angel.

 Mummy & your brother Shameer

shyrian  SHYRIS CUAN NAIDOO  8 May 2004 – 29 September 2004
“Little Wolf was He” Love Mom & Dad

 THEO HOEKSEMA 26/06/1976 tot 17/08/2002    Theo
Geliefde Seun, broer en pappa! Met liefde Pa; Ma
& sussie Karien en Lizelle

Posted in Wall of Remembrance | Leave a comment

Siblings Corner

Thank you to all those who have been in touch to say that they would like to be in contact with other bereaved brothers and sisters.

For those of you who are reading this newsletter for the first time, “Sibling’s Corner” puts bereaved brothers and sisters in contact with each other for mutual support and also gives help to those looking to set up support groups.
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The death of a child is a family crisis no less for the siblings than for the parents. Surviving siblings may feel abandoned because grieving parents no longer have the emotional energy to care for them. They may feel unloved as they experience family friends putting the deceased child on a pedestal. They may feel incredibly guilty, remembering every bout of sibling rivalry, every unkind word, and every slammed door. They may feel unworthy to be alive, longing for answers to explain why their brother or sister died and they didn’t. And they may, therefore, seek conscious or unconscious ways to self-destruct: running away from home, using alcohol and other drugs, taking on characteristics of the dead siblings and thus diminishing their own image.

 

Following are suggestions children have shared about how parents can help them when a brother or sister has died:

1. Allow siblings to participate fully in funeral plans and memorial activities. Let them the funeral home. Let them choose some of the music, write and/or read a memorial to their brother or sister, go with you or alone to cemetery visits.

  1. Share with the siblings all factual information as it becomes known. Being “left out” only enhances a growing sense of not being important choose whether or not they want to see their sibling at the funeral home. Let them choose some of the music, write and/or read a memorial to their brother or sister, go with you or alone to cemetery visits.
    1. When you see children who remind you of your child, point them out to the siblings and explain the grief spasm it has caused. Mysterious behaviour enhances the sibling’s fear of being left out.
    2. Ask the siblings to be with you occasionally as you grieve. If you always grieve in private, the emotional distance between you will widen.
    3. Talk with siblings both about pleasant memories and unpleasant memories of the dead child. This prevents pedestal placing.
    4. Don’t tell siblings to “be strong” for someone else. That is too great a burden to carry.
    5. Understand that it may be easier for siblings to talk to friends, or another trusted adult, than to parents. They desperately do not want to add to their parents’ devastation so may seek counsel and understanding elsewhere.
    6. Remember that you can’t change the past. But you can face the present and guide the future. Your family will forever be changed – it does not always have to remain devastated.

[Janice Lord, TCF, Anne Arundel County, MD]

 

  1. Allow siblings to participate fully in funeral plans and memorial activities. Let them the funeral home. Let them choose some of the music, write and/or read a memorial to their brother or sister, go with you or alone to cemetery visits.
  2. Share with the siblings all factual information as it becomes known. Being “left out” only enhances a growing sense of not being important to the family.
  3. When you see children who remind you of your child, point them out to the siblings and explain the grief spasm it has caused. Mysterious behaviour enhances the sibling’s fear of being left out.
  4. Ask the siblings to be with you occasionally as you grieve. If you always grieve in private, the emotional distance between you will widen.
  5. Talk with siblings both about pleasant memories and unpleasant memories of the dead child. This prevents pedestal placing.
  6. Don’t tell siblings to “be strong” for someone else. That is too great a burden to carry.
  7. Understand that it may be easier for siblings to talk to friends, or another trusted adult, than to parents. They desperately do not want to add to their parents’ devastation so may seek counsel and understanding elsewhere.
  8. Remember that you can’t change the past. But you can face the present and guide the future. Your family will forever be changed – it does not always have to remain devastated.
 

It’s The Music That Bonds The Soul

The room you once lived in

Doesn’t look the same.

The people who used to call you

Never mention your name.

 

The car you used to drive,

They may not make them anymore;

And all the things you once treasured

Are boxed beyond closet doors.

 

The clothes you set the trends by

Are surely out of date.

The people you owed money to

Have wiped away the slate.

 

Things have changed and changed again

Since you went away,

But some things have remained the same

Each and every day … .

 

Like this aching in my heart –

A scar that just won’t heal –

Or the way a special song

Can change the way I feel.

 

Brother, you must know that the music

Bonds us and will keep us close;

Because secretly I know deep in my heart

It’s the music you miss the most.

 

So let the world keep on turning,

And time can take its toll.

For as long as the music keeps playing

You’ll be alive and dancing in my soul.

[Stacie Gillam, TCF, N Oklahoma City, OK]

The death of a child is a family crisis no less for the siblings than for the parents. Surviving siblings may feel abandoned because grieving parents no longer have the emotional energy to care for them. They may feel unloved as they experience family friends putting the deceased child on a pedestal. They may feel incredibly guilty, remembering every bout of sibling rivalry, every unkind word, and every slammed door. They may feel unworthy to be alive, longing for answers to explain why their brother or sister died and they didn’t. And they may, therefore, seek conscious or unconscious ways to self-destruct: running away from home, using alcohol and other drugs, taking on characteristics of the dead siblings and thus diminishing their own image.

 

Following are suggestions children have shared about how parents can help them when a brother or sister has died:

 

  1. Allow siblings to participate fully in funeral plans and memorial activities. Let them choose whether or not they want to see their sibling at the funeral home. Let them choose some of the music, write and/or read a memorial to their brother or sister, go with you or alone to cemetery visits.
  2. Share with the siblings all factual information as it becomes known. Being “left out” only enhances a growing sense of not being important to the family.
  3. When you see children who remind you of your child, point them out to the siblings and explain the grief spasm it has caused. Mysterious behaviour enhances the sibling’s fear of being left out.
  4. Ask the siblings to be with you occasionally as you grieve. If you always grieve in private, the emotional distance between you will widen.
  5. Talk with siblings both about pleasant memories and unpleasant memories of the dead child. This prevents pedestal placing.
  6. Don’t tell siblings to “be strong” for someone else. That is too great a burden to carry.
  7. Understand that it may be easier for siblings to talk to friends, or another trusted adult, than to parents. They desperately do not want to add to their parents’ devastation so may seek counsel and understanding elsewhere.
  8. Remember that you can’t change the past. But you can face the present and guide the future. Your family will forever be changed – it does not always have to remain devastated.
[Janice Lord, TCF, Anne Arundel County, MD]

You’ve got to be Strong Now“You’ve got to be strong now, for your parents.”
How many of you heard that when your brother or
sister died? It generally comes from some well
meaning relative or family friend.
Yes, your parents were grieving and they had a right
to as well. They lost of child. Someone that was
important to them, but you didn’t. You’ve got nothing
to grieve about. You didn’t lose a child. You didn’t just
lose a brother or sister you lost more. You lost any or all of the following:
A playmate who could keep you company as a child.
A dining companion when everyone else seemed to
desert you. A rival in many arenas. A critic of
everything bad you did. A fan of all your good points
and deeds. A personal doctor who looked after you
when you were ill. A conscience that told you what
the right thing to do was when you didn’t know. A
bank manager who loaned money to you when you
were broke. A personal secretary who posted your
mail, answered the phone and answered the door. A
personal slave. A body guard. A soul mate. Your
confidant. The person that when all looked lost, took
your hand and said everything would be alright. Your
best friend.
You didn’t lose a person. You lost a whole swag of
people. No wonder you have all this grief. It’s no
wonder you have all these feelings and emotions
swirling around your body. You have a right to grieve
too and don’t let anybody stop you.
[Warren Pynt in memory of his brother Graham]

Siblings Speak Out
The following ideas were formulated from the Siblings Speak Out workshop held in Columbus, Ohio last July. The workshop was part of the 11th National TCF Conference. The workshop consisted of five siblings leading a rap session between siblings and parents. Hopefully some of your own feelings have been summarized here for you to read and share. We thank Jacqueline Bruhn from Arlington, Virginia for summarizing the discussion for us.

Surviving children understand a parents’ fear of another loss after the death of their child, but they feel that they should be allowed to live a normal life.
Some are concerned when their parent/parents keep their grief bottled up inside and will not talk it out with them.
Some parents want their child to grieve immediately. They will grieve when they are ready.
Siblings resent people telling them that they must be strong for their parents. Many took this advice only to crash years later.
Just as the relationship to the dead child was different between sibling and parent, they will grieve differently. Many parents want their surviving children to grieve as they do.
Surviving children resent being compared constantly to their dead sibling at home, in school, among relatives and friends. Again, they are different people.
They feel that parents tend to put the dead child on a pedestal, that they never did anything wrong, when the surviving sibling knows differently.
Bereaved parents put more emphasis on the child that is not here and forgets the child that is here.
Just because a sibling is not grieving openly doesn’t mean that he/she isn’t grieving. They could be doing it privately.
Bereaved siblings are different people after the death of their brother/sister just like their parents are. Their personalities may change, values also. They view life as precious and are fearful that they may lose someone else. They sometimes tend to be overprotective of their parents.
Don’t try to force siblings to attend TCF meetings. They will go when they feel they are ready, or need to.
Surviving siblings have a strong need to know that they are loved as much as their dead sibling. They get messages that the dead child was loved more. “Would you grieve so deeply if it was me?”
If siblings refuse to bring up the subject of their dead sibling, many times it’s because they don’t want to cause the parents any more pain or to make them cry. Siblings may be talking to a friend about it instead.
Don’t force siblings to go to the cemetery if they don’t want to go. Just as adults have varying needs on cemetery-going, so do siblings.
Siblings just want parents to be there when they need them … .
When you talk, talk with your children, don’t talk at them; don’t talk to them.
[National Sibling Newsletter, Winter 1988]

Posted in Siblings Corner | Leave a comment