Members pay high admission for The Worst Club in The World
BY Caryn Dolley
A CLUB no parent wants to belong to has been established in SA.
The admission requirement: the loss of a child.
“The Worst Club in the World” is a website that invites families from around the world, who have experienced the death or murder of a child, to connect, share stories and support each other.
Online club founder Denise Goldin is the mother of actor Brett Goldin, who was abducted and killed with his friend, Richard Bloom, in Cape Town nearly six years ago.
It has been running for about a month and includes entries from parents who describe the last moments they shared with their children, hearing of their deaths, the suffering they went through as a result, and how their lives had changed.
Photographs of their children are also posted on the website.
Yesterday, Goldin told the Cape Times that her daughter, Samantha Goldin Behrmann, who had been “like a twin” to Brett and who had suffered greatly after his murder, had helped her come up with the idea of the online club. After Brett’s murder, Goldin had struggled to get around to all the people she had wanted to chat to, and the internet proved an ideal solution.
From there, the idea for the online club grew. “This is like Facebook for grieving families,” Goldin said.
Other founding members include Shireen de Waal, mother of Roodepoort schoolgirl Louise de Waal who was abducted and murdered in October, and Vernon Norton, the grandfather of six-month-old Jordan Leigh Norton, who was killed about seven years ago.
Yesterday, Norton said being a member of “The Worst Club in the World” evoked many emotions.
“I think it’s a difficult website to belong to in terms of emotions. The idea is to try and get people who go through similar experiences to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel … I don’t profess to be a counsellor, but I can lend an ear. The important thing is to be able to listen,” he said.
Last week, a mother in Strand had contacted Norton because she was struggling to come to terms with the death of her son, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in January. Norton said he had visited her to see if he could comfort her.
“I think this is ‘The Worst Club in the World’, but it’s seen as a positive space for people to interact and reach out to each other,” he said.
On the website itself, it says the site is not a professional one offering counselling, but was a forum for “those of us who have suffered the worst loss one could encounter”.
It says: “It is hoped and prayed that this international forum will bring comfort and assist us to navigate that deep, dark hole that has formed inside us, so that we don’t fall into it.”
For further information, visit www.theworstclubintheworld.org
Date posted: March 22, 2012
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