Newsletter May 2013



Newsletter May 2013
Volume 8 Issue 5
May 2013
The Compassionate Friends
Brevard Chapter
When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. The Compassionate
Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope, and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or a daughter, a
brother or a sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family.
TCF Brevard Chapter Web Site
TCF Brevard Newsletter
Monthly Meeting
PO Box 304
Brevard, NC 28712
Always the 2nd Monday
of the month
May 13, 2013
7:00 PM at the
Vickie Van Antwerp
The Lutheran Church of
the Good Shepherd
[email protected]
22 Fisher Rd. Brevard
This Month’s Topic
Chapter Leaders
Marisol and Bill Gollnick
Mother’s Day
828-890-8227 (Home)
828-329-9783 (Cell)
[email protected]
To all of our TCF Moms
Mother’s Day
Have a blessed and
Annette Mennen
Page 2
Steering Committee
Vickie Van Antwerp
peaceful Mother’s Day
[email protected]
Sharon Bach
[email protected]
Joanne Snyder
[email protected]
filled with loving memories
and unbridled hope.
Our Children
Page 4-7
Caroline Smith
[email protected]
National TCF Office PO Box 3696 Oakbrook, IL 60522-0246
Toll Free: (877) 969-0010 Fax: (630)-990-0246 [email protected]
P a g e
T h e
C o m p a s s i o n a t e
F r i e n d s
Anticipating Mother’s Day
Before we lost our children to death, Mother’s Day was a happy time. We each reflect back on Mother’s Days
past…, cards, special memories and one day set aside to acknowledge the best in our relationship with
our treasured children.
With the death of our child, this dynamic was forever transfigured. Now, instead of looking forward to this
day, we grasp at anything that will keep our minds away from it. Yet the anxiety still creeps into our minds
and hearts; our stomachs churn and tears fill our eyes at the most inopportune moments. The dreadful
countdown begins in late April and lasts for nearly three weeks.
This is the eighth Mother’s Day I have endured since the death of my son. Each year I have the same, desperate anxiety, yet each year the day is a bit easier to handle. Each year the anticipation is far worse than the
day itself…. “borrowing trouble” as my dad would say. Since my son is my only child, I do not have the
comfort of other children nor do I have the need to put on a happy face. Instead, I am able to choose what I
will do without feeling the burden of guilt.
While my first Mother’s Day was filled with tears, subsequent Mother’s Days have been more subdued.
The choice to embrace or ignore Mother’s Day is yours alone. Many bereaved mothers adopt a new perspective which honors their child and still gives normalcy to their family. Mother’s Day is bittersweet for us. The
pain is part of the love that we will feel for our children for eternity. We wouldn’t trade one treasured moment for a cosmic reduction of our pain.
Some of us plan the day carefully. Some of us just “go with the flow.” Some of us weep; some of us work.
Some of us read, some of us revel in this special moment set aside just for mothers. Each of us makes a
choice that is based on our own truth.
The day itself is not nearly as overwhelming as the buildup of anxiety and sadness which precedes it. I have
found this to be true of all holidays, birthdays, death anniversaries and special occasions. I am trying to live
in the moment. When the moment of Mother’s Day happens, I will decide what I should do. I refuse to let
others pressure me. I refuse to become maudlin over greeting card commercials and heart-grabbing point-ofpurchase marketing efforts. I will not be manipulated
by the agenda of others.
But on Mother’s Day, as on each day of the year, I will think of my son, remembering the child he was and
the man he became. I will honor his life by doing the best I can with what is left of my life. I will remain in
the moment and treasure my memories. And for this mother, that is enough.
Annette Mennen Baldwin
In memory of my son, Todd Mennen
TCF, Katy, TX
V o l u m e
I s s u e
P a g e
C o m p a s s i o n a t e f r i e n d s
A s a f e p l a c e t o t a l k
There is a need to talk, without trying to
give reasons. No reason is going to be
acceptable when you hurt so much. A
hug, the touch of a hand, expressions of
concern, a willing listener was and still is
the things that helped the most. The
people who were the greatest help were
not judgmental. It’s most helpful when
people understand that what is needed is
to talk about it and that this is part of the
grief process.
"The object of good grief is to remember,
not relive."
author unknown.
To Our New Members
Coming to the first meeting is the hardest, but you have nothing to lose and
everything to gain! Try not to judge
your first meeting as to whether or not
The Compassionate Friends will work
for you. At the next meeting you may
find just the right person or just the right words
said that will help you in your grief work.
To Our Members Who Are Further Down
The “Grief Road”
We need your encouragement and your support.
Each meeting we have new parents. THINK
BACK – what would it have been like for you
at your first meeting if there had not been any
TCF “veterans” to welcome you, share your
grief, encourage you and tell you, “your pain
will not always be this bad, it really does get
It Is True
"You will not always hurt like this." These words are true.
If they do not reach your heart today, do not reject them: keep them in your mind.
One morning - not tomorrow perhaps, but the day after tomorrow,
or the month after next month.
One morning the dawn will wake you with inconceivable surprise:
Your grief will have lost one small moment of its force.
Be ready for the time when you feel for yourself that these words are true:
"You will not always hurt like this."
There's no way to know, in those first, early years,
if the crying will stop, be an ending to tears.
But slowly, so slowly, through the grieving and time,
will come moments and days, when hopefulness shines.
Backwards and forwards, into darkness, then out,
we begin to start living; scraps of new life peek out.
This happens most surely, survivors will tell,
when we find time for others and give of ourselves.
Genesse Bourdeau Gentry
Page 4
Sunrise and Sunset Dates
Love that can not be quenched
Our beautiful children forever remembered
Adrienne Christy Altman
Anna Marie Leonard
Brandt Michael Koehler
Bronson David Shepherd
Carlene Price
Catherine Good Jolley
Donna Sheehan
Jack Lloyd Capps
Jeremy William Adams
Jose Luis Santos
Josh Glen Shipman
Joshua Augustino Barbara
Kevin Drake
Lea Lisa Bolt
Melanie Brooke Thompson
Melanie Lorene Stoeppelwerth
Melanie Brown Possinger
Preston Thomas Sloop
Robert Eric Nelson
Stephanie Dawn Hoyle
Steven Gerard Smith
Birthday Table
Every month at our chapter meeting, we provide a Birthday Table. In the month of your child’s birthday, if you are ready to do so,
please bring pictures and small mementos of your child to place on the table. You may also bring a favorite cake, cookies, or other
snacks, flowers, candles or balloons for the table in memory of your child. We do this to celebrate our children’s lives and to share
their special day with others who understand.
If you would like your child’s picture to appear on this remembrance page or if you have a memorial you want printed, please send
me an email at [email protected] with their picture as an attachment in a jpeg or bmp. format.
Page 5
In Memory of Our Beautiful Children
Brandt Michael Koehler
Melanie Brown Possinger
Melanie Lorene Stoeppelwerth
Melanie Brooke Thompson
Page 6
Love Gifts – A Way to Remember
There are no dues to belong to the Compassionate Friends, because we have already paid the ultimate price;
the loss of our loved one (s). A Love Gift is a gift of money given in Honor of a child who has died from
their family members or as a Memorial from friends. Your gifts are tax deductible and are used to reach out
to other bereaved parents, grandparents, and siblings. Your gifts support this newsletter, our TCF Library,
Brochures and other Chapter Expenses.
In Memory of:
TCF of Brevard
PO Box 304
Brevard, NC 28712
You are not forgotten my child.
I see you in the creases of my mind and I
feel you in the chambers of my heart.
The Compassionate Friends of Brevard
PO Box 304
Brevard, NC 28712
May 2013 Newsletter
Our Credo...
We need not walk alone. We are The Compassionate Friends. We reach out to each other with
love, with understanding, and with hope.
The children we mourn have died at all ages and from many different causes, but our love for
them unites us. Your pain becomes my pain, just as your hope becomes my hope.
We come together from all walks of life, from many different circumstances. We are a unique
family because we represent many races, creeds, and relationships. We are young, and we are old.
Some of us are far along in our grief, but others still feel a grief so fresh and so intensely painful
that they feel helpless and see no hope.
Some of us have found our faith to be a source of strength, while some of us are struggling to
find answers. Some of us are angry, filled with guilt or in deep depression, while others radiate an
inner peace. But whatever pain we bring to this gathering of The Compassionate Friends, it is pain
we will share, just as we share with each other our love for the children who have died.
We are all seeking and struggling to build a future for ourselves, but we are committed to building
a future together. We reach out to each other in love to share the pain as well as the joy, share
the anger as well as the peace, share the faith as well as the doubts, and help each other to grieve
as well as to grow.
We need not walk alone. We are The Compassionate Friends. ©2007

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