By Debbie Shelley

The Catholic Commentator  

The death of an adult child may cause mothers to believe they are emotionally and spiritually “going to pieces.” 

Cracked Pots.tif

The concept behind the name of St. Aloysius Church in Baton Rouge’s “Cracked Pot … Blessed and Broken” grieving comes from the Japanese artform kintsukuroi, which means “to repair with gold.”  Gold or silver lacquer was used to create something stronger, more beautiful, than it was before.  Photo provided by Lisette Borné  

 

However, there is relief. Through St. Aloysius Church in Baton Rouge, “Cracked Pots … Blessed and Broken” grieving ministry, mothers who have lost adult children pray together, share stories and help each other fill their brokenness with a faith and hope that make their lives more beautiful, according to participants.  

The ministry was developed to assist mothers whose needs were not being met by other grieving ministries, according to Cracked Pots founder Lisette Borné.  

“In the fall of 2012 I had been facilitating a monthly grief recovery group at St. Aloysius for about three years,” said Borné. “It was comprised of six to eight senior citizens, all of whom had experienced their losses (of adult children) some time ago.”  

After two mothers who had lost adult children to sudden, tragic deaths visited the group on separate days they determined it was not what they needed and did not return, said Borné   

One afternoon, she compiled a list of 11 mothers she personally knew who lost children in “untimely deaths.”  

 “How many people know this many mothers who have experienced this kind of unthinkable loss?” said Borné. “I felt very strongly that God was asking me to pay attention to this question.”  

She said the Holy Spirit prompted her to establish a moms’ grief group comprised of mothers who had lost young adult children, said Borné, who facilitated the group for five years.   

Seven mothers attended the initial gathering, and now there are about 40 members on the roster, according to Mary Heffron de Brueys, a charter member of the group who currently facilitates the group. Her son, James, is believed to have died, Nov. 26, 2010 while traveling by boat between Arno Atoll and Majuro in the Marshall Islands, where he was serving for a year as a volunteer teacher with World Teach.  

The concept behind the name “Cracked Pots … Blessed and Broken”  comes from the Japanese artform kintsukuroi, which means “to repair with gold.”  When a ceramic pot or bowl would break, the artisan would put the pieces together again using gold or silver lacquer to create something stronger, more beautiful, than it was before.  

“The cracks are the reason we are called together. We talk about the cracks being filled with gold – the gold filling is God. We talk about the cracks of gold – making your stories more beautiful,” de Brueys said.  

The diverse group is Christian-based, but people of any race, religious affiliation, if any, or life circumstances are welcome.  

The main fruit yielded from the gatherings is peace, said de Brueys.   

“It’s an amazing group. We have had people who have come from extreme anger to peace, from sadness to peace,” said de Brueys. “It seems that one person’s words make a huge impact in ways you don’t expect.”  

She said the women help each other put a positive focus on every circumstance and having peace in “something that doesn’t make sense.”  

The group maintains a library of resources and share wisdom and stories that help the women heal.   

Missy Jones, also a charter member of “Cracked Pots,” said while many grief support groups are compassionate, Cracked Pots’ Christian focus draws her.  

“Prayer makes a huge difference,” said Jones, whose son, Gordon, was one of 11 men who died on April 20, 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon exploded during the final stages of drilling an exploratory well in the Gulf of Mexico. “We talk about eternity and how one day we will see our children again.”  

She said there’s a comfort at the gatherings knowing that one is not alone.  

“It’s a safe place. You can tell people how you feel. It helps me along the journey to have the group of women with me.  You don’t have to apologize about your feelings. We’re in this together,” Jones said.  

Though the circumstances behind their children’s death are different, the members have an intuitive understanding of what each other is experiencing. 

“You have an instant bond, like you have known them before,” said Jones, adding that long-term members help newer members because they have “been there and done that.”  

The group meets on the fourth Monday of the month, with adjustments for holidays, from 9 – 10:30 a.m., at St. Aloysius, 2025 Stuart Avenue.  

For more information, call Angela Falgoust at 225-343-6657 or email afalgoust@staloysiusparish.com.