What to Expect
Our meetings offer friendship and a caring and safe place to talk, but
should not be confused with counseling sessions. Participants are all
bereaved parents, grandparents or adult siblings who are dealing with the
death of a child. We have been where you are and we continue to return
to offer friendship and support through the natural grieving process after a
Chapter meetings often consist of two parts, a sharing session plus a
program related to bereavement after the death of a child. Sometimes we
break up into smaller groups for sharing so that everyone has the
opportunity to talk about their grief.
You will hear from others whose child died from pre-birth to adulthood.
Some who attend will be young and some will be old. Some will be women
and some will be men. Some will come alone while others will come as
Often times there will be a preplanned speaker who will
talk about a bereavement issue. Sometimes a
bereavement topic of interest will be chosen to discuss.
We offer special programs throughout the year such as a
butterfly release in June and a special memorial service
It may be hard for you to believe, but occasionally you will hear laughter.
This is not a dishonor to any child. Rather it is often a reaction to a
wonderful memory of a child.
When you come to a meeting of The Compassionate Friends, we ask that
you attend at least three meetings before you decide if the group is for you.
For many, the first meeting may also be the first time they have been able
to talk about what has happened to them and to their family and to the
child. This can bring a lot of emotion to the forefront, emotion which
seems to disappear over the months as you talk about your loss. Don’t
worry, we’ll bring the tissues. Tears are a natural release for a grieving
person and is a way to help cleanse the body of toxins.
More than 17,000 bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents in need of
support attend TCF meetings in the United States every month. You will find
it is so very true what we often say, You Need Not Walk Alone.
If you’re shy or unable to talk about your loss, you do not have to speak,
although you will have the opportunity. No one is forced to talk about his
or her loss. Much can be gained by listening. Some people believe it’s harder
to talk in front of strangers about something so intimate as the loss of a
child, but because everyone else at the meeting has had a similar
experience, they understand much of what you are feeling and you will
eventually reach a comfort level with those you meet. A point to always
keep in mind is that what is said in the meeting stays in the meeting. The
privacy of our members is important. We’re all there to work toward