DALLAS (CBS 11) – Regina Franklin-Basye is the founder of an organization that no one really wants to join: all of the members have lost their Mothers.
“We learn to physically adapt without them. But, I don’t think you’ll ever get over the death of your mother,” says Franklin-Basye. And she should know. Her mother, Barbara Franklin, died of cancer a decade ago. And still, the tears come. “I’m done,” she insists with a laugh, as we sit down for our interview. “I’m all cried out.” But, I know better. And so does Franklin-Basye.
Faced with the loss of her mother, Franklin-Basye soon learned that others were struggling as well. “I thought we needed to bond — I wanted to provide an avenue for us to journey together.” So, ‘Remembering Mom: The Barbara Franklin Foundation’ was born. The group will host its tenth annual Mother’s Day Luncheon on Saturday, May 11. The organization offers guidance and support to people dealing with the loss of their Mothers.
“If I think about it, I’ll cry,” says Karen Carr, who is facing her first Mother’s Day following the death of her Mom in July. “When I start, I can’t stop.”
Franklin-Basye, who is also a seminary student in her fourth year, and married mother of two, says such emotions are normal and support groups give those present permission to grieve, however that happens.
“It helps women to have their grief normalized,” she says, as she recounts comments heard from grieving women over the years. “ ‘I thought I was going crazy’, ‘I thought my crying was way too much, and way too intense’, so it helps women to normalize their grief and it’s also helpful for them to have other people to journey with.”
Carr says the support groups have helped her realize just how much the grief had altered her life. “That’s one of the things I learned with the grief classes, and I’d forgotten that, and it’s true, you go through this process and you’re not the same person. And I’m sure Regina’s not the same person, but you just get through it somehow.”
“If you feel like you’re doing it alone, it makes it so much more difficult.” says Franklin-Basye, “But, when you find there’s a sisterhood, when you find there are others journeying with you, you can get through it.”
She credits an army of volunteers for helping ease so many aching hearts. And as proud as she is of what the Foundation has accomplished over the years, she readily admits, “Some days I look back and I think, had she not died, we would not have this. I’d rather have her.”
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