My use of the words “THE UGLY CLUB” has spurned  some emotion…and unfortunately a tiny bit of confusion for at least one reader.  It is time for me to clarify the pure intention of my words and to share some of the notes I’ve received from parents who have read them.  The first of this two part article will share the reaction of other parents,  to my use of the words THE UGLY CLUB.  Part two covers what is in my heart and why.

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Just wanted you to know that after reading the newsletters you have written, I think you have done a great job of putting feelings into words, and understanding how everyone feels things differently.   The Ugly Club is a different name, and I relate to it.   Ugly feelings make you feel so bad.  And there is nothing worse for BAD feelings than losing a child, at any age.  We all grieve in our own way, but the “ugly” feelings are so hard!  Even now sometimes when I look at Jen’s picture, the stab in the heart is renewed fiercely.  I try to have positive memories, and often I do.  But when you have watched your child slip away, sometimes it is so hard to have good thoughts.  Anyway, thank you for doing such a good job.   Lord knows I could not handle writing alot right now.   My concentration is still off!

Best to you,
Michele H,  Jen’s mom

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On July 29th, 2007, our 21 year old grandson Greg was killed, 5 days after his Dad’s birthday, that was “Ugly”.  He hit a tree, that was “Ugly”.  His body was virtually untouched, except for the head trauma, that was “Ugly”.  I will never forget the pain in my son’s voice, when he called to tell me what had happened to Greg, that was “Ugly”.  Two month’s before we were celebrating his graduation from college, and his whole world ahead of him.  That was all taken away on July 29th, how “Ugly” is that?  I am sorry if some people take  offense at the word “Ugly” but that is the way it feels. I hope in time the ugliness will go away, but I don’t know when.  Until then, don’t blame me for feeling that this whole situation was

Lucille Rothammer, Greg’s Grandma 

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I do not like the term “ugly club” when it references the Compassionate Friends.  An organization is made up of it’s members and the words ugly club have a direct reflection on the membership.  This group reached out to me when I was at my lowest after losing Russ.  The love and compassion was something  that has helped tremendously in the healing process.  To refer to the group in the way you do says that the members are ugly because they belong to this club.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  Maybe you don’t mean it that way but I would like to see you stop using the term in regards to the TCF.  I know what you are trying to say, because I wished I never met any of the groups members.  That would mean Russ would be alive.  But  the fact of the matter is he is gone forever from this life and this group will help you and I get thru the grief…

Pete Hany,  Russ’ Dad

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THE UGLY CLUB Part Two  covers my reaction….
~Bettie-Jeanne, Forever RobynApril’s Mom
TCF East Of The River CT Chapter Leader