Page 6 - 2017 Spring-Summer Issue
P. 6

National Conferences:
                                                       Comforts Conferred

                                                       by. Peggi Johnson

                           © zuccheronero/

                                                       My cherished and fiercely loved son Jordan died by suicide in April of
                                                       2009 at the age of 19. In the minutes, hours, days and weeks that followed,
                                                       I struggled to figure out how to live with a heart that hurt so much I could
                                                       not comprehend why it still beat. It felt as though my entire existence had
                                                       been detonated.

                                                       A dear friend made me aware of The Compassionate Friends almost
                                                       immediately. As I trudged through time, I read TCF materials,
                                                       sporadically attended chapter meetings, met with a grief counselor, and
                                                       joined a suicide survivor support group. I was aware that a TCF National
                                                       Conference was offered that summer – the summer of 2009 - in Portland,
                                                       OR. Attending a conference at that point was unfathomable.

                                                       Events unfolded differently in 2010. For one thing, the conference was to
                                                       be held in Arlington, VA. Since I lived in Northern Virginia, this meant
                                                       that the conference was “local.” I would not have to travel. I would not
                                                       have to stay in a hotel.

6 |We Need Not Walk Alone
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