A grief support group for parents, grandparents and siblings that has been meeting since February 2013 has finally become an official chapter of The Compassionate Friends (www.compassionatefriends.org). The national organization includes 650 chapters with locations in all 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam…and now Saipan.
The death of a child or grandchild is an unexpected event in anyone’s life. Most of us will experience the death of parents, and many, the death of a spouse. But those deaths, as difficult as they are, are an expected part of life.
When a child dies, at any age, and from any cause, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. Chapters of The Compassionate Friends provide highly personal comfort, hope, and support to families experiencing the death of a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, or a grandchild, and help others better assist the grieving family.
We are a self-help organization and do not offer professional counseling—but we have “been there.” We respect everyone’s beliefs but have no specific religious or philosophical agenda. There is no pressure on attendees to speak but everyone is asked to listen. Our meetings are confidential.
On Sunday, Dec. 14, the local group will be participating in The Compassionate Friends’ 18th annual Candle Lighting; this is a very special and moving event when bereaved families join together from around the world in memory of all children gone too soon. Further details will be available shortly.
The Compassionate Friends of Saipan holds their monthly grief support meetings on the first Thursday of each month, from 6pm to 7:30pm, in the NMPASI conference room on Middle Road, in Gualo Rai. The group co-leaders, Jill Derickson (989-9821, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Donna Krum (783-0755, email@example.com), can be contacted for further information.
The group’s steering committee members are Derickson, Krum, Matilde Rosario, and Magdalena Sablan George.
The newly formed group is grateful to NMPASI for the use of their facility and appreciate the continuing support of the community.