Compassionate Friends Network

Local Chapter Coordinator: Larry Boggio        Meetings: Third Monday of every month at 7:00 pm

Ph: 978.761.5386

 

You Need Not Walk Alone


When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. The Compassionate Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or daughter, a brother or sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family.

We are profoundly saddened by the reason you need The Compassionate Friends, but we are glad you have found us. When a child has died, the whole world seems to have crashed around you. An emptiness may grip you that nothing seems to fill. As shock finally fades away, you may feel a helplessness and depression that will leave you unable to function. The world has changed - and so have you. Your decision to walk through the doors of a meeting of The Compassionate Friends is a difficult one. But here you will not be judged and will find the friendship of others who truly understand much of what you are feeling. We join together to remember our children, siblings and grandchildren, learn coping skills, and make friendships that can help carry us through the most difficult time of our lives. We Need Not Walk Alone. We are The Compassionate Friends.


History of the Compassionate Friends

Founded in England in 1969 after a young chaplain brought two sets of grieving parents together at a hospital in England, The Compassionate Friends is today located in an estimated 30 countries around the world.

This Chapter is one of more than 650 US Chapters serving every state as well as Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam, operating under the umbrella of The Compassionate Friends national organization.

We welcome you to our meetings with open hearts. You will find hugs of friendship and understanding. You will hear stories of pain, but you will also hear stories of hope. You will find caring leaders who are not professionals, but who understand on a personal level much of your pain, for they have been there, too. Whether the child you mourn is a son, daughter, sibling, or grandchild; whether your child died before birth, as an infant, a young child, a teen, or an adult you have found a new home with caring people who will walk with you every step of your grief journey.


TCF National Activities

The Compassionate Friends National Website: TCF"s National Website http://www.compassionatefriends.org has a wide range of supportive information and details about many TCF activities designed to help you with your grief. It includes our Online Support Community, Chapter Locator (by Zip Code or State), all of our current brochures related to many areas of grief, a Spanish language website, and more.

National Conferences: Every year, The Compassionate Friends sponsors a National Conference during the summer attended by bereaved family members form virtually every state, as well as a number of countries. TCF National Conferences feature well-known grief speakers, more than 100 workshops on a variety of grief topics aimed at all family members, and a candle-lighting in memory of all children gone too soon is held as the conclusion of the Saturday evening program. TCF National Conferences are held in a different section of the country each year so that those wishing to go to a National Conference will have an opportunity to attend without traveling a great distance. Today it is normal to have 1100-1400 bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents attend.

Walk to Remember®: Sunday morning, prior to the closing of each National Conference, those in attendance have the opportunity to join with others for a Walk to Remember in a symbolic remembrance of their children, siblings, grandchildren, and all children gone too soon. The names of thousands of children to be remembered are submitted by families unable to attend through an online form or mailed to the National Office. These names are then carried by volunteers during the Walk, The Walk to Remember is held not only as a way to remember these children, but also as a fundraiser for the organization to help with important outreach. Many Chapters also hold a local Walk to Remember to honor the children, siblings and grandchildren of the Chapter and to raise funds to help in Chapter outreach.

The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting: The holiday season is often extremely difficult for those grieving the death of a child. As a way of remembering all children gone too soon, The Compassionate Friends hosts a Worldwide Candle Lighting the 2nd Sunday in December from 7-8 pm local time, creating a virtual wave of light. Formal services totaling 700 or more are held in as many as 20 countries around the world with services in every one of the 50 United States plus Washington DC, Puerto Rico and Guam. If you are unable to join a service, you are invited to light a candle at 7 pm. We also invite you to post a message of love in the Worldwide Candle Lighting Remembrance Book on our National Website, which is open for submissions during the weekend of the Worldwide Candle Lighting.

Free Bereavement Webinar Series: Understanding that the death of a child is a life altering event, TCF holds free webinars online on different grief-related subjects. This popular program has included topics such as: "Handling the Holidays", "Caring for Your Health While Grieving", "Siblings Grieve, Too", "Seven Dos and Don'ts for Staying Connected as a Couple During Grief", "On Becoming Childless", "A Father's Grief", and "Coping With Guilt During Bereavement". These webinars are recorded and mad available for viewing in the Webinar Library on our National Website.

We Need Not Walk Alone: TCF's National Magazine, We Need Not Walk Alone has been described as a support group in print. It features grief-related stories for all members of the family, book reviews, advice columns by Dr. Heidi Horsley and Dr. Gloria Horsley, information on TCF events, and much more. It is available both in print and onlinie. The printed magazine is given free of charge to all who give a patron donation of $50 or more and all who give a TCF Foundation Donation of $5000 or more (lifetime subscription). Annual subscriptions are also available for $20. The magazine is published bi-annually. In addition The Compassionate Friends makes avaialble a free online subscription simply by signing up on TCF's website. Past issues are available from our TCF National Magazine and Archive website page. We Need Not Walk Alone now accepts advertising to help cover production and publication expenses.

Online Support Community:  Sometimes members need extra support between meetings. We have created our Online Support Community (OSC) with trained moderators avaiable to chat. After registering on our National Website for membership in the OSC, you will find rooms available at different times during the week with such topics as: Parents/Grandparents/Siblings (many sessions), Bereaved One Year or Less, Bereaves Less than Two Years, Bereaved More Than Two Years, Survivors of Suicide, No Surviving Children, and Pregnancy/Infant Loss. Our OSC lineup changes as new subjects are added.

Social Media: TCF National has a presence on Facebook and Twitter. With more than 150,000 members on our TCF/USA Facebook Page, our members, parents, siblings, and grandparents get to talk about their grief and receive support from others who understand their loss and their pain. We also have a discussion forum, and every day we post grief-related quotes or questions designed to help our members on their grief journey.

Closed Facebook Pages: TCF also offeres a variety of Closed Facebook Groups covering many specific areas of grief. These pages are moderated by bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents, and my not be accessed unless the moderators of a given page approve a request to join. These pages were established to encourage connection and sharing among parents, grandparents, and siblings. Groups include the following with more planned for the future: Loss to Substance Related Causes, Loss to Suicide, Loss to Homicide, Infant and Toddler Loss, Loss to MIscarriage or Stillbirth, Sibling Loss to Substance Related Causes, The Compassionate Friends Sounds of the Siblings (for bereaved siblings), Loss of a Grandchild, Loss to a Drunk/Impaired Driver, Loss to Cancer, and Loss of Your Only Child/All Your Children.


The Compassionate Friends offers monthly support meetings through local chapters. In July, a National Conference is held in conjunction with their Walk To Remember. The Worldwide Candlelighting is held on the Second Sunday of December. To find more information, and view additional resources and brochures available, pleas visit the website at http://www.compassionatefriends.org

The Compassionate Friends
PO Box 3696
Oak Brook IL 60522-3696
877.969.0010
nationaloffice@compassionatefriends.org

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