Bereavement group meeting planned
Anyone who has had a child die in their family is invited to an informal meeting Thursday, Sept. 26 with the intent of eventually establishing a local chapter of The Compassionate Friends, a nonprofit self-help bereavement support organization for families that have experienced the death of a child.
John Chapman Sr., of Canton, knows what a difference group support can make. After his son, John Chapman Jr. passed away in 2009 after an overdose, he began attending meetings with the Compassionate Friends at the closest chapter in Hendersonville.
"It helped me know that I wasn't crazy for feeling what I was feeling some days," Chapman said.
Despite the long drive, he regularly attended the meetings and made close friendships with many other parents who also lost a child. That's why he hopes to establish a Haywood County chapter of The Compassionate Friends for local people who need support after losing a child, sibling or grand child.
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. Today, more than 640 chapters serving all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico offer friendship, understanding and hope to bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents during the natural grieving process after a child has died.
The meeting will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26 at Long's Chapel United Methodist Church in room 105/5 across from the Fellowship Hall.
Chapman hopes to find enough interested people to create a local chapter and create a steering committee of about four people to organize and lead the group.
For more information, call John at 400-6480. To learn more about The Compassionate Friends, visit their national website at www.compassionatefriends.org.