Lorraine’s compassion has helped many cope with loss

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Lorraine’s compassion has helped many cope with loss

LORRAINE GRENNAN Tweed Shire’s 2010 Citizen of the Year

The Tweed’s official Australia Day Awards paid tribute to many Local heroes with inspired mother Lorraine Grennan named the Tweed Shire’s 2010 Citizen of the Year.

Mrs Grennan was recognised for her ongoing work with the worldwide support group The Compassionate Friends for bereaved family members, an organisation which came to her aid when her son Michael died of Leukaemia in 1983.

Mrs Grennan had modest ambitions when she set out to help other bereaved parents 25 years ago – believing her efforts “would be worth it if she could at least ease the suffering of one other person”. Instead, the Murwillumbah resident has come to the aid of hundreds of parents throughout Australia, through the countless telephone calls, meetings and events she had conducted as leader of Murwillumbah’s chapter of The Compassionate Friends.

Lorraine is one of seven Australia Day Award winners to be honored at the Tweed’s main Australia Day ceremony at Bogangar Public School on 26 January 2011. Tweed Shire Australia Day Committee Chairman Don Beck said an exceptional number of nominations were submitted for the 2010 awards, including an extraordinary level of support for Mrs Grennan.“Numerous people put in nominations for Lorraine, recognizing the wonderful work she has done over many years,” Mr Beck said. “It was an overwhelming level of support from a community which holds her in high regard. She is widely regarded as a caring person, who always has time to reach out and help others with sensitivity and understanding.”

For the past two decades, the mother of five has staged The Compassionate Friends meetings at her home, made long phone calls to grieving family members and organised special Christmas lunches where parents could remember their deceased children. In 1993, she completed a book called “Mick…Send Me a Butterfly” about her son ‘Mick’ and dealing with grief.

“The grief process is extremely complex. It is very different from one person to another and these feelings never go away entirely,” Mrs Grennan said.

Taken and adapted from The Tweed Shire Council Tweed Link By Helen Harm TCF Facilitator Tweed Heads/Southern Gold Coast Chapter