Al Hemingway, staff writer for the ReminderNews is no stranger to grief and loss.Â A Vietnam Vet, Â he has known the loss of Â friends, who may not have been brothers by birth, but became so by choice and circumstance.Â Â Al attended The Compassionate Friends East of the River October 6, 2010 Event featuring Alan Pedersen of the Angels Across The USA Tour and wrote an article for the Reminder News.
The article can be found in the 11/18/2010 East Hartford Edition and highlights how the East of the River Chapter came to be, in honor of RobynApril Rivard-Darby Maguire, who was killed in a tragic accident in her own Vernon front yard December 4, 2008 and is the daughter of leaders Jim Darby and Bettie-Jeanne Rivard-Darby .
“It is a good article” says Bettie-Jeanne.Â “His quotes of Alan speak to every bereaved parent’s heart.Â Al captured the essence of the night,Â and I think, wasÂ touched to be able to light a candle alongsideÂ of us for those he has lost.”
Among the quotes that Alan Pedersen shared between his songs of the evening was the very poignant, “When you are a bereaved parent, you don’t wake up one morning and get ‘unbereaved’.Â We have to go on, but we don’t have to forget.Â We scratch and claw our way through our loss each day. Our ties still remain.Â Our relationships did not die that day; they still live on.”
Chapter Co-Leader Jim Darby was also very pleased with the article and hope that it will help those in needÂ become aware that the newly formed Compassionate Friends chapter exists.Â “I do have one BIG CORRECTION to the article tough,”Â he adds.Â “An error quoting Bettie gives some incorrect information.Â It should have read that although bereaved parents make up the highest concentration of most The Compassionate Friends meeting groups, we very much welcome bereaved siblings and grandparents.Â We are a peer-to-peer support group for anyone whose has lost a child, grandchild or sibling of any age, from pre-birth to full maturity, from any cause.Â There are other grief support groups dedicated to the loss of a parent or grandparent.Â We are the parents who have experienced the death of our children.”Â â™¥