Over two-hundred parents who’ve suffered what some call the greatest grief — the loss of a child — are expected in a Des Moines suburb next Friday (October 8th) for a conference sponsored by a support group. Barbara Lorimor of Des Moines, a regional coordinator for “The Compassionate Friends,” says the conference will give parents a chance to talk with others who’ve lost a child. Lorimor says she’s found there’s healing in talking about your own grief journey, and it helps to find out you’re not alone. The conference is set to get underway in Johnston on October 8th, and it ends the 10th. A nationally-known speaker on the topic — Darcie Sims — will be the keynote speaker. She’s a bereaved parent and the author of several books on grief, but Lorimor says her message will be one of healing and hope. Lorimor joined “The Compassionate Friends” 10 years ago after two of her daughters died. Lorimor joined the group in 1994 after her 16-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident. Another daughter was struck by a car and killed in 1975, but “The Compassionate Friends” was not active in Iowa then. The group has 600 chapters around the country and a dozen chapters in Iowa (in Algona, Burlington, Carroll, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, Jefferson, Milford, Muscatine and Sioux City). While many members are parents who’ve lost a child, the group also offers counseling and support to those who’ve lost a sibling. You can find out more about The Compassionate Friends and the conference in Johnston on the Internet, at www.thecompassionatefriends.com, or you can contact Lorimor at 515-274-3835.
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