This entry will be short and sweet. We are ten months into our local Helping Parents Heal meetings. It looked like we were getting some traction over the winter with some regular attendees who said things would probably pick up in the spring when the weather got better. We had some Compassionate Friends leaders who wanted to introduce us to their members. We started our meetings in August, still summer vacation season. The winter meetings, at 7 PM were in the dark and cold. There was always a reason why next season would be better.
We had/have two enthusiastic people. They are my Facebook friends. We interact often. Last month, neither of them showed up, but two other people came who both were very engaged. One said she wanted to try a short meditation at the next meeting, which I prepared to do. Another woman messaged me on Saturday to see if we were having the meeting this month. I thought we might have as many as five people this month. The NBA Finals were on at 8 PM. I figured with that many people we might go close to the two hours. I planned to share with them all the news about the new online group and the amazing lineup of speakers we already have.
So, you know what happened. Not a single soul showed up. Not the two who I thought had become regulars. Not the two newcomers last month. Not even the woman who messaged me on Saturday to make sure we were meeting and that she had the right time.
This week we launched a new Helping Parents Heal Online Group. I am one of four co-leaders. In less than a week, the group has almost 900 members. We have booked some of the best afterlife experts in the world to be speakers now through the fall. All of this in a matter of less than seven days. Helping others get through grief is what I want to do now. I guess the numbers don’t matter.
My vision is that the online group helps the local groups. It’s difficult starting a group, I guess especially when it’s a club that no one wants to be in. We had a woman comment on the online group to tell us she had been considering attending a local group, but hadn’t yet mustered the courage. One of the women who attended our last meeting, followed me on Facebook for three months before feeling she was ready. Hopefully, the online group can build a following of say 20-30 people within driving distance of our local meeting and other local meetings, from which we can get 5-6 to form a core group at the local meetings.
Local leaders, if you’re reading this and you are having trouble getting people to your meetings, I encourage you to keep trying. It’s not easy, but I think it’ll be worth it. I set the intention when I packed my stuff and went to the meeting place last night. I can’t let the results dictate my happiness. The intention is what counts. I was there for whomever needed to show up. Apparently, last night no one needed to show up and that’s OK. I was there. I did my part. I’m good with that.
Onward… ever onward.