From the November 2009 magazine.

A death in the family

A home group becomes a community when an anchor of the meeting dies

Most of us who are regular members of an AA group feel ourselves to be a part of a community cemented together by common desperation--to paraphrase the Big Book, like passengers from a sunken ship who find themselves in a lifeboat on the open ocean. That sense of cohesiveness and mutual interdependence is particularly strong in my home group, which meets at 7 A.M. six days a week and numbers among its members people who have been showing up, sharing and making themselves of service virtually every day for years. That they are anchors goes without saying--but what does a group do when it...


Eugene, Ore.