About the Compassionate Friends

CANDLE LIGHTING SERVICE 

SPECIAL  REMINDER

Remember, our Annual Candle Lighting Service will take place on WEDNESDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2015 at St Columba’s Presbyterian Church,

45 Lurgan Road, Parkview.

THE THEME FOR THE EVENING WILL BE “HOPE”

The Ceremony starts precisely at 19:00.  The programme incorporates readings, (poems and verses) music and song.

Our speaker will be Reverent Young.

Please ensure that you arrive early enough to

find parking, purchase candles and find seats.

THIS IS NOT A RELIGIOUS SERVICE, BUT AN EVENING WHERE WE HONOUR AND REMEMBER OUR BELOVED CHILDREN.

Please bring a photograph of your child to be placed on the table at the entrance of the church.  These photographs can be collected again at the end of the evening.

Looking Forward To Seeing You All

My dear Friends 

‘It is our light more than our darkness which scares us … While we allow our light to shine, we unconsciously give permission for others to do the same.  When we liberate ourselves from our own fears, simply our presence may liberate others.’                                                                                                                                 Marianne Williamson.

We want our children to be back with us, alive and well, full of fun and future.  Well, we know that’s not going to be and the next best thing is to feel better about ourselves, better about our future, just better.

Bereavement has robbed us not only of our children but of ourselves too, that ‘me’ that was fairly assured and competent, mostly in control, and usually happy.  That’s gone but it can return albeit in different guises.

Why are we so scared to restart our lives?  Because we know that there are no more guarantees?  Perhaps we feel that we have failed as parents to protect our children from death and therefore think we will always fail.  Maybe the effort to move from mourning’s grip is just too sapping of our fragile energy.  Change is rarely easy, even at the best of times, but we owe it to ourselves, our loved ones, and our late children to learn to embrace change.

You may think you are stuck and the road ahead looms long and arduous.  BUT sit quietly and take stock.  Look back a bit and then you will realize how much you’ve achieved.  It’s taken time, yes, and hard work too, but there’s been admirable progress and it’s yours to be proud of.

I am constantly awed by the courage of bereaved families, at your patience and persistence, your realism and resilience, most of all by your love which extends beyond your immediate circle to the larger TCF family.  Those small but potent mutual gestures of support and understanding we know within the TCF fold comfort and guide us and are an injection of hope into all our lives.  Never have giving and receiving meant so much.

Marianne Williamson also writes, ‘We ask ourselves; who are we to be brilliant, beautiful, talented and fabulous.  But honestly, who are you not to be so?’ 

With love

Rosemary Dirmeik

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

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Information about the Compassionate Friends and how to participate in its services

We are a Charity Organization and our aim is to help bereaved parents cope with their loss.  Our services are free of charge for the first year.  (Star ting 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-to-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.

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.

BUTTERfly1The 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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