Com­pas­sion on hand

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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.

Pic­ture: SUPPLIED

CAR­ING: Com­pas­sion­ate Friends from East Lon­don were busy this week pre­par­ing for the na­tional con­fer­ence that they host next week­end at Baysville School

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