Pick up the ‘threads’ with Compassionate Friends

Threads is the theme of the national annual gathering of the South African Compassionate Friends, the international support group for parents who have lost a child.

This year’s event takes place from Thursday August 9 to Saturday August 11 at Mountain Breeze Chalets and Caravan Park on the R44 near Stellenbosch.

Parents who have lost a child are invited to “pick up the threads” again – “threads” that will help the bereaved to find their way back to life, even though the threads may be in tatters or even broken. The message is that everyone’s “thread” is an integral part of our combined lives, and that the bereaved are not alone.

The leader of the Somerset West branch, Alta Volschenk, said the theme for this year’s meeting was chosen to help parents find new courage for the indescribable journey they face, and that with “gathering all the threads together, we can create new harmony”.

There will be a weaving frame and yarn in different colours, and during the gathering, participants will be able to weave something of their own life into a new work of art to be appreciated by all at the end of the gathering. As Alta says, although your life’s “threads” may be torn, “there is life and power in the weaving of them”.

The Compassionate Friends is an international interdenominational support group whose members provide peer support to parents who have lost a child. In South Africa there are about 13 groups across the country that meet regularly, and monthly newsletters are sent as far as Zimbabwe. There are no membership fees, and also no fees asked for the support services provided.

The Western Cape Compassionate Friends branches of Cape Town, Somerset West, Kuils River, Hanover Park and Paarl are organising the event. All are welcome to attend.

For information on the various conference packages and other details, contact Alta Volschenk at aswannie@mweb.co.za or Ina Thiart at inat@live.co.za