Sunday, November 6, 2016

Giving Back

Two people who feel that Compassionate Friends has given them their lives back after the death of two of their three children is Jacquin Edwards-Mitchell and John Mitchell. Even though they lost two children, they say they gained a family of thousands, referring to the TCF community.

Fortunately they didn’t let their children’s death destroy their their lives. Both children died by drowning 22 years ago and yet they still attend meetings and try to help others who are going through their grief journey. John and Jacquin run the Manhattan, New York, chapter, going twice a month.

Their two boys were swimming one day and the older one hit his head on the side of the pool. The younger boy dove in the water and tried to save him but to no avail and also died in the attempt. 

They didn’t think they would survive this devastation. Someone told them about Compassionate Friends and they attended their first meeting, feeling a camaraderie with those who had lost a child.

When asked how they survived that first year, the answer was “One day at a time.”

 “Grief doesn’t just go away,” said Jacquin. “You don’t wake up one night and think you are all better. It’s a lifetime struggle and you need other people. You can’t do it alone.” In the first year one needs support--someone to call in the middle of the night who understands what you are going through. The Mitchells try to help those in need through this difficult time. She emphasized that if one chapter of TCF doesn’t work for you, go to another one. Shop around to find the best fit for your needs.

John tries to help men in grief, while Jacquin works on the board of directors of TCF. Someone was there for them and now they want to be there for others. 

Gloria Horsley, grief specialist, says it feels good to help others, and it gives you a chance to give back.

“At TCF you are surrounded by love,” said Alan Pedersen, executive director of TCF.

Whatever you decide is best for your needs, take that first step and you will find that after a while, you will be helping others like yourself. I know it is true. I have given back by speaking at TCF National Conferences and making new friends with those who sought help. It is very rewarding, and in the process of helping others, I also helped myself. 

No comments:

Post a Comment