Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Glade Sun

February 5, 2014

New bereavement group remembers children who died

CROSSVILLE — Bereaved families that have experienced the death of a child now have an opportunity to meet with others on a regular basis who have endured similar tragedies.

The Compassionate Friends (TCF) of Fairfield Glade (Crossville area) recently became a chartered chapter. TCF is a national self-help organization for families who have had a child die. The new chapter will hold monthly meetings the second Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. at the Fairfield Glade United Methodist Church (Room 6), 231 Westchester Dr., FFG, TN. 38558

“This area has long needed a bereavement organization where families could talk about their loss publicly without feeling out-of-place,” said new chapter leader, Sharon Saferite. “After your child dies, no one wants to talk with you about your child probably because they are afraid of making you feel bad or uncomfortable. The irony is that talking about your child helps you – no one wants their child forgotten. And studies have proven that tears are an emotional release that helps you to feel better.”

The Compassionate Friends is a national, non-profit organization with more than 650 chapters in the United States and locations in every state. Chapters welcome immediate family members to attend monthly meetings including adult siblings. Meetings are for all families regardless of race, religious orientation, economic backgrounds or the cause and age of the child at death, from pre-birth up.

"The death of a child turns the whole family upside down," added Saferite. "Through our shared experience, we will be able to talk about the loss and learn coping techniques that will help us in our journey toward the positive resolution of our grief."

Meetings last approximately two hours. The meetings are very casual as though the group is sitting around a kitchen table talking. Those attending will be able to discuss what happened to their child or anything related to their grief. Refreshments are served.

The chapter is seeking grief books to create a lending library, and will have a selection of handout brochures on many topics related to the death of a child. There are no fees or dues charged to attend, although love gifts are accepted in memory of the children of the chapter and will be used to publish a chapter newsletter, further outreach in the community, and cover other expenses.

“The Compassionate Friends welcomes the Fairfield Glade (Crossville area) chapter,” says TCF Acting Executive Director Kitty Edler. “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. The TCF Fairfield Glade Chapter will help us toward that mission. "

For more information about local chapter meetings, or to make a donation, please call Sharon Saferite (co-leader at 287-0042) or Sharon Mellard (co-leader at 707-9318). They can also be reached through email: tcf.fairfieldglade@gmail.com. For information about the national organization, call toll-free 877-969-0010 or visit www.compasionatefirends.org and www.facebook.com/TCFUSA on the Web.

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