Another thank you on Grief 101 from a bereaved reader

Here’s some of what a bereaved father out in California writes:

Dear Fran,

As a bereaved parent I’m sure you’ve heard of The Compassionate Friends, a nonprofit support group for bereaved parents and siblings. Thanks for your excellent article, “How To Comfort A Bereaved Friend or Relative”, in the June 1st issue of Bottom Line.

Our chapter of TCF would like to reprint your article in our free bimonthly newsletter. Do you think you could help us get permission from BLP. I’m a long time subscriber but that probably doesn’t carry any weight. Hearing other people’s stories can help put your own in perspective.

I lost my son, Mark, 37, to a drug OD in November, 2006. TCF has been a blessing. Thanks for your consideration.


I hear you, Tom. I’m so very sorry for your loss. While any loss of a child is terrible beyond words (Well, I wrote about 50,000 words on the subject, but let’s leave that aside for the moment), losing a child to a suicide, OD, or homicide carries with it very heavy additional burdens.

As it turns out, your letter has made me realize that June 1, the day that article was published, is actually the 15th anniversary of my son’s death. We bereaved parents are members of the club that no one wants to belong to. Compassionate Friends is a terrific organization, a life-saver for many people. Whatever helps is a blessing, I say. Just being in the presence of others traveling along the same sorrowful path can be helpful. I would say, though, that in any peer-facilitated support group, (or professionally facilitated support group, for that matter) it does depend on who’s running the group. Don’t you think?

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