May 19, 2019

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if it’s too soon after my child’s death to attend?
No one can say with certainty when is the right time to come to a meeting. Sometimes family members come shortly after the child has died, while others wait longer. Some people who attend shortly after the child’s death may decide not to come back until they’re more ready. This is a personal decision.

Do I need a reservation before I come to a meeting?
No reservations are needed. Just come whenever you feel up to it.

If I go to a meeting, will I have to talk?
No one is required to talk at any meeting. We understand how difficult that can be when our grief is so fresh. We do ask that you listen, however.

Is there a charge to attend?
There is never a charge to attend a TCF meeting. Our chapters rely on voluntary donations from members, friends, and the community at large.

My child was an adult and didn’t live at home. Can I still go to a meeting?
Chapter meetings are open to all families that have experienced the death of a child, at any age, from any cause. Regardless of our child’s age, we in TCF believe our children will always be thought of as just that…our children.

My spouse won’t come with me. Can I come alone?
Yes. We all grieve differently and your spouse or significant other may not be ready to take part just yet…or ever. And, likewise, many husbands attend meetings without their wives.

Can I bring a friend with me the first time for support?
Of course, you can bring a friend, but we ask that they, as well as all members, respect each other’s privacy. It is important for us to be able to share freely within our group and be sure confidences will be respected.

Do men attend meetings?
Yes. Many chapters are divided almost evenly between men and women while others are not. Men grieve, took, and are welcome to attend meetings for support.

What happens at a meeting?
Some meetings we simply introduce ourselves and share our thoughts and feelings. At other times, chapters have short programs before or after the sharing time. The programs may include a brief guest speaker, viewing a video tape, or listening to an audio tape or CD. Chapters usually have special months when they hold a balloon launch or have memorial candle lighting.

My child died from______. Will I still be welcome?
Yes. All families that have experienced the death of a child at any age, from any cause, are welcome.

Religion doesn’t matter to me anymore. Can people at a meeting accept that?
The Compassionate Friends has no religious affiliation. You will find TCF members are very tolerant of any views. After the death of a child, many priorities, as well as values, change.

I notice the meeting is in a church. Do I have to belong to a church to attend?
While TCF has no church affiliation, chapter meetings are held in a wide variety of locations depending upon what is available in our communities.

I have babysitting problems. Would it be all right to bring my five-year old with me?
While we understand the difficulties of finding child care, we must ask that any children attending with you be old enough to understand the meeting discussions and not be upset by them. We are not able to offer child care.

My child died seven years ago, and I postponed my grief work. Now it’s catching up with me. is it too late to come now?
We all grieve differently. Many parents don’t feel the need for a support group until years after the death of a child. It’s all right to come whenever you are ready, whether it’s soon after your child’s death, months later, or years later…