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“After a Child Dies”
Are you newly bereaved or new to The Compassionate Friends?
Dear Wounded Heart,
The Rochester Area Chapter of The Compassionate Friends wishes to extend to you an understanding hand in friendship. We are glad that you have found us but saddened for the reason that brings you searching.We understand how overwhelming the feelings are that you are experiencing. We too have been there. While it is not easy to take that first step and face the reality of what has happened, it is the only way to begin to heal. It is a very difficult journey but one that we have found made easier by having the support of others who truly understand. We know that coming to that first meeting can feel overwhelming, so we encourage you to call and speak with one of us beforehand. We will be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. You may also bring a friend to the meeting for support if you like. At our meetings no one is required to speak. Often at that first meeting people are not ready to share but find great comfort in listening to others share the same thoughts and feelings that they too have been experiencing. We have a lending library of books and other resources for you to take home with you. Another support system we provide to our members is our newsletter. t contains many poems and articles written by grieving parents and siblings that we hope will provide comfort during this most difficult time. In addition to being a support for bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents we also provide opportunities where we honor our precious children and siblings. One such event is the Compassionate Friends worldwide candle lighting ceremony held the second Sunday in December. At these special events family and friends are welcome to join us. While the journey is difficult, Compassionate Friends can offer a safe harbor from the storm. We offer you our friendship, a listening ear, compassionate support, and hope. This is your journey and you must walk it the way that is right for you... but know that you need not walk alone.
Your Compassionate Friends
Are you a new member of The Compassionate Friends?
To Our New Members
You did it! You attended your first TCF meeting. You may not realize just how significant that is - you've taken an important step in the healing process. Even if you left the meeting feeling as though you didn't get the comfort you expected or that you didn't connect with anyone, please give it another chance. Remember, we have all been where you are now, and although the circumstances may be different, we do know what you are feeling. It might take the second, third or even the fourth meeting, but you will find the right person to share with, and you will hear the words you've needed to hear. We are here for you.
Are you a seasoned member of The Compassionate Friends?
To Our Seasoned Members
Thank you for your continued encouragement and support of TCF. You are the light that keeps hope shining for all of us - old and new. Think back to the day you first walked through our doors. It may have been a few weeks or months ago - it may have been years. Remember how thankful you were to be with people who understood what you were feeling, who were there to support you from the very beginning of this journey. You are one of "them" now, and it is you who provide the caring words, the silent support and the wisdom to those who are just beginning to heal.
What can you expect at our meetings? Support, Sharing and Caring.
The meetings are facilitated by bereaved parents who are further down the road of grief, and are now able to reach out to help others. The first few minutes are set aside for signing of the guest list and informal conversation. The facilitator will begin with a brief introduction and reading of the Credo. We then introduce ourselves and begin discussion on the topic or exercise of the evening. Group participation is encouraged during the discussion, but it is by no means required. In fact, new attendees may find that listening is all they want to do. Meetings are very informal and any other topics of interest can be brought up, giving everyone an opportunity to express their concerns. We try to conclude about 9 PM and often some attendees will get together for a bite to eat after the meeting and further discussions.
More "What to Expect" on the The Compassionate Friends National Website