When a family experiences the catastrophic loss of a child, it is common to see them go through various stages of grief: shock, disbelief, sadness, loneliness, depression, fear, anger, regret, guilt, despair and personal loss. Parents often move through the various stages differently, which can cause strain on an already intense situation. The Compassionate Friends (TCF) is not a therapy group, it is a self-help support organization that gives any parent that has experienced the loss of a child, a safe and inviting environment to share their grief. Through the support of seasoned grievers, those who are further in the grief process, parents learn they are not alone, and with guidance and reassurance they learn to survive their loss and find a “new normal” and begin the process of rebuilding their lives.
TCF was founded in England in 1959. In 1972, it opened it’s first chapter in the United States, and became incorporated in 1978, as a nonprofit organization. Since then, the chapters have grown in nearly 600 communities and 30 countries around the world. TCF is funded by donations and staffed by volunteers.
Each year, staff personally answers thousands of calls, letters and emails from individuals seeking understanding in their time of grief, in addition to organizing the two yearly remembrance events: the annual Worldwide Candle Lighting, held at 7 P.M. the second Sunday of December to honor all the children who ave died… that their light may always shine, and the annual Walk to Remember, held the last day of the national conference, where nearly 1,000 people walk in memory of children whose lives have been cut short. Though chapter meetings are often held in church facilities, TCF has no religious affiliation. It was organized solely to give those who have lost a child an outlet to gain a sense of direction through knowledge and understanding.
For further information you may contact The Compassionate Friends – local chapter – Jo Reck at 1-320-583-6036 or Hantge Funeral Chapels at 1-800-937-1728.
Meeting: 2nd Monday of each month
Start time: 6:30 P.M.