Compassion on hand
others on the same road.
“We give hope and courage to those who have suffered loss,” TCF East London chapter leader Myrtle Fleming said.
“People don’t realise the devastation of losing a child.
“They expect us to be over it soon, but it takes time. Be it an unborn baby or a ‘child’ in his 60s – it is against the course of nature to lose a child.”
The organisation is expecting around 125 people to attend the gathering which starts at 2pm on October 2 and runs until 1pm on October 4. This year’s theme is “Walking together – a helping hand through grief”.
It features six guest speakers, most of them discussing personal experiences of coping with grief and giving hope for the future.
Fleming would like to highlight Dr Marita Swartz’s talk on the “Self-death of a child – being left behind and finding hope again”.
This will be at 3.30pm on October 3.
Fleming has been in contact with 13 families in East London who have lost a child to suicide over the last year and knows there are many more families affected.
Swartz, who lives in Cape Town, lost her son to suicide nine years ago.
She contacted TCF and found encourage- ment and support.
“The gathering is a safe space to voice emotions, because the public always think you will get over it. It is a shelter where you can encourage others, laugh and cry together,” Swartz said.
If you need help for a bereaved parent, need further information on the gathering or would like to donate, contact Fleming on 083-973-6108.
CARING: Compassionate Friends from East London were busy this week preparing for the national conference that they host next weekend at Baysville School