I am a Member ofÂ THE UGLY CLUB.
I never wanted to be and I truly hate being so.
I have found family and friends and compassion among my fellow bereaved parents.
I have made great and what I hope will be long lasting and meaningful friendships with other parents who I understand and who understand me.Â We easily talk and listen to each other as we share stories about the children we love and miss so very much.Â Â We socialize together, go out to eat together, go for walks, and sometimes even travel together.Â I have met people I probably never would have if not for my daughter’s, or their children’s, death.Â I like these new friends.Â I care about them.Â I am glad that they are now in my life.
And I Would Trade EveryÂ One Of Them Away,
as I know they would me,
If I Could Only Have My Child Back Alive With Me Again.
I AM A MEMBER OF THE UGLY CLUB.
AND I DON’T WANT TO BE.
THERE IS NOTHING MORE UGLY, TO ME, THAN A PARENT LOSING THEIR CHILD.
But apparently, not everyone who has read the words “The Ugly Club”Â understands “the club” to which I refer.Â I regret any misconception.Â Â Let me assure all that I was NOT using the term to reference The Compassionate Friends;Â nor was there any inference that Compassionate Friends are UGLY.Â Â In fact, â€œTHE UGLY CLUBâ€ has nothing to do with Compassionate Friends at all!Â “THE UGLY CLUB” is a term that I first read as coined by a young mom who had lost her 5 year old to cancer.Â It refers to the fact that loosing our child, feels ugly and horrible…
…that losing a child is an UGLY EVENT…
that we are forced into this “ugly club” against our will.
Our children have died and WE HATE IT.
It is UGLY in our hearts.
A compassionate friend wrote to me:
â€œUgly is the reflection in the mirror that seems to have forgotten how to smile or to look carefree – ugly because it is the antithesis of all that I was and ache to be again but know that my scars will always be visible. Ugly is experience that robs beauty and joy from our lives.Â Ugly is the sound of inconsolable tears… Ugly is the loss of a child.â€
Being a member of the â€œTHE UGLY CLUBâ€ is different from happily joining a sewing circle, a Bible Reading Class, or a car club…the things that we WANT to be part of…the things that provideÂ us with fun and enjoyment. Â We don’t CHOSE to be in it. Â We are FORCED to be Members…and the price we “pay forÂ membership” is too dear, too horrible, too much.
Â As aÂ bereaved mom wrote to me:
â€œNobody wants to join this ugly club, there is no BEAUTY in being a member. There is love and compassion and beauty among those of us who were forced to become members against our will, but certainly not in the reason that the ugly club existsâ€
We are all members who did not chose to become part ofÂ â€œTHE UGLY CLUBâ€.
Our lives have all become different.
And it is an ugly reality that made it so.
Many of we who relate to the term “THE UGLY CLUB”
are on the end of newer bereavement”* and Â deeply feel theÂ ugliness of it being forced upon us.
For many of us, â€œTHE UGLY CLUBâ€ is a very apt description.
I absolutely agree that The Compassionate Friends is a source of comfort and compassion, and there is beauty and friendship among our meeting room walls and within the pages of our bogs and newsletters.
As it states on the National Website
â€œWe are truly glad that you have found us but profoundly
Â saddened by the reason of your visit.â€
It is absolutely NOT BY CHOICE that I am a MEMBER OF THE UGLY CLUB.
I am, though, very much by choice
and by need,
a Member of The CompassionateÂ Friends.â™¥
Forever RobynAprilâ€™s Mom
* We are considered NEWLY BEREAVED for the first full five years and including the sixth anniversary.