Page 10 - 2016 Spring-Summer Issue
P. 10

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                           What Does Your Story Look Like?

                           Here are four unique stories of grief, pain, tears and         and congratulate The Compassionate Friends in creating
                           discrimination. What does your story look and sound like?      the Diversity Commission that will educate our grief
                           Nivia’s story: Before 1993, I did not know the pain of losing  community on this very important issue which, in turn, will
                           someone dear and very close to my heart. But then, my          also help us grow and become a part of our new selves.
                           son José Francisco “Yoito” Barreto died in an
                           automobile accident on June 6, 1993. What                                       Jacquie’s story: From the moment our sons
                           pain, what disbelief, what a difficult road to                                  Kareem and Kevin died, TCF entered our
                           travel, completely unbeknownst to me! Many                                      lives. One of the nurses on duty in the
                           messages of condolence were given to me                                         emergency department was a bereaved
                           and my family, but there were others that                                       parent. She handed me a book and said when
                           hurt so deeply and were so confusing that                                       you get home please read this book because
                           I could not appreciate or understand them.                                      “he is going to need this,” referring to my
                           Even in this life-altering experience, I was                                    husband, John.
                           confronted with diversity of religious beliefs                                  Our journey started on the day we buried
                           that came into contrast with mine and were                                      our boys; we attended our first TCF meeting.
                           much less respectful of mine: “If she was                                       The next day, as we returned from the
                           religious she would not be crying over her son´s death”                         first of many visits to the cemetery, I was
                           was an example of this lack of respect. This statement         informed by relatives that a woman had come by to bring
                           will never leave my mind, both as a sad expression and         us some books on bereavement and the organization, The
                           as a learned lesson. People need to be in others’ shoes to     Compassionate Friends. It turns out she was a parent from
                           understand, acknowledge and respect diversity. I applaud       the Manhattan chapter whom my mother had contacted
                                                                                          about the meeting, and she just felt she needed to come to
                           1 0 |We Need Not Walk Alone
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