MABOU: A group aiming to provide comfort to parents and guardians mourning the death of a child will meet this Sunday at the Gaelic College’s Mabou Campus (formerly known as the Renewal Centre).

“Sometimes you’re there to listen, and sometimes you need a shoulder to cry on,” said Marion Graham, organizer of the Inverness County chapter of Compassionate Friends.

“Everyone there has walked in the same shoes.”

Compassionate Friends is a group with chapters all over the world, and their overarching goal is to provide whatever comfort can be given to those who’ve lost children – young or old, recently or from years past.

Registration is at the Gaelic College in Mabou from 6:15-6:45 p.m., and a candle for all children who’ve died will be lit at 7 p.m.

Individual candles will also be lit, for specific sons and daughters who’ve left the world too soon. A table set up where photos or memorabilia can be displayed.

Although this is the Inverness County chapter of Compassionate Friends, Graham said grieving parents from outside the local area are welcome. Richmond and Victoria County families have visited in years gone by, and they are certainly welcome once again.

With that, grandparents and siblings who share the grief of a lost family member won’t be turned away.

“This support group offers those who are there an opportunity to share their pain, their loss, their grief during the holidays – those are the hard times,” Graham said.

“Christmas is a time that can make happy people happy but it can also make sad people very sad. If we can people through the holiday, that’s what we want. We want them to get through with friendship, support, and hope.”

This year, Betty Ann Cormier will serve the guest speaker. The Cheticamp native is a registered social worker and a motivational speaker. Cormier has a great deal of experience helping families deal with loss.

For more information on Compassionate Friends, please visit: