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August 2016

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Leesburg Chapter

August 2016

 

A Warm Welcome

Nancy & Kevin Bowling, Parents of Stephen

Elaine Hackett, Mother of Michael Beacham

 

The Gift of Someone Who Listens

Those of us who have traveled a while

Along this path called grief

Need to stop and remember that mile,

That first mile of no relief.

It wasn’t the person with answers

Who told us of ways to deal.

It wasn’t the one who talked and talked

That helped us start to heal.

Think of the friends who quietly sat

And held our hands in theirs.

The ones who let us talk and talk

And hugged away our tears.

We need to always remember

That more than the words we speak,

It’s the gift of someone who listens

That most of us desperately seek.

~Nancy Myerholtz, TCF, Waterville/Toledo, OH

 

Your Child—Gift or Possession?

I had a choice to either view Laura Lou from the vantage point of entitlement, and that is to say, “She was mine. I had a right to her. She was my child, and therefore her death is tantamount to theft”…or to look on her from the vantage point of grace and a gift…that I’d ever had her for a single moment was more than I could claim was my “right.” I had a choice between which perspective I would put around her ten years as a part of my history, and I chose to regard her life as a gift. I chose to regard her as someone whose very presence in my existence was utterly beyond anything I could have created. That did not take the sadness out of it. It did not in any way diminish the grief, but it did keep me from being angry and resentful at God…or at doctors who didn’t know how to save her, and I would say to you that you, too, have the same choice — you can either regard the people you have loved as your rightful possession and therefore their death as a kind of stealing of what rightfully belongs to you; or…you can stop asking, “Why did she die?” and step back and ask a prior question, “Why did she live?”…When you ask that question, you’re getting back to that mystery of grace that any of us exists for a single day, and the kind of gratitude that you feel in the presence of something that

you know is a gift, is something very different from what you feel when something that is rightfully yours has been stolen.

~The Rev. Dr. John Claypool,

Keynote Address 12th Annual National TCF Conference

 

The Gift

I have a gift.

I did not want this gift; it meant suffering and pain.

The pain came because of love,

A love which had manifested itself in my child.

The child brought her love to me and asked for my love.

Sometimes I did not understand this,

Sometimes I did not appreciate it.

Sometimes I was too busy to listen quietly to this love.

But the love persisted; it was always there.

One day my child died.

The love remained.

This time the love came in other forms.

This time there were memories.

There was sadness and anguish and unbelievable pain.

One day a stranger came and stood with me.

The stranger said, “I understand,” and did.

You see, the stranger had also been this way.

We talked and cried together.

The stranger became my friend as no other had.

My friend said, “I am always here,” and was.

One day I lifted my head.

I noticed another who was grieving,

gray and drawn with pain.

I approached and spoke.

I touched and comforted.

I said, “I will walk with you,” and did.

I also had the gift.

~Joe Lawley, Coventry, England

 

The Gift of Hope

It is the gift of hope which reigns supreme in the attributes of The Compassionate Friends. Hope that all is not lost. Hope that life can still be worth living and meaningful. Hope that the pain of loss will become less acute and above all else, the hope that we do not walk alone, that we are understood. The gift of hope is the greatest gift that we can give to those who mourn.

~Rev. Simon Stephens, Founder of TCF