The vision of The Compassionate Friends is that
everyone who needs us will find us and everyone
who finds us will be helped.
TCF's roots come from two couples around a kitchen table in
Coventry, England in 1968. Today, there are more than 600
chapters in all 50 states plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico.
The Compassionate Friends is a nonprofit, self-help support
organization composed of bereaved parents, adult siblings, and
grandparents. We offer friendship, understanding, and hope to anyone
who has experienced the death of a child of any age, from any cause.
Our meetings give those attending an opportunity to talk about the
child who died and about the feelings experienced while going through
the natural grief process.
The Compassionate Friends is a non-religious organization and has no
membership dues. The purpose of this support group is not to focus on
the cause of death or the age of the child when he or she died, but to
focus, instead on the natural grieving process and the feelings and
issues that surround the death of a child and what follows.
Loving you is easy, we do it everyday
Missing you is a heartache that never goes away.
We need not walk alone. We are The Compassionate Friends.
SIBLINGS WALKING TOGETHER
We are the surviving siblings of The Compassionate Friends.
We are brought together by the deaths of our brothers and sisters.
Open your hearts to us, but have patience with us.
Sometimes we will need the support of our friends.
At other times we need our families to be there.
Sometimes we must walk alone, taking our memories with us, continuing to
become the individuals we want to be.
We cannot be our dead brother or sister; however, a special part of them
lives on with us.
When our brothers and sisters died, our lives changed. We are living a life
very different from what we envisioned, and we feel the responsibility to be
strong even when we feel weak.
Yet we can go on because we understand better than many others the
value of family and the precious gift of life.
Our goal is not to be the forgotten mourners that we sometimes are, but to
walk together to face our tomorrows as surviving siblings of The
P.O. Box 3065
Portland, OR 97028
THE COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS CREDO
We need not walk alone. We are The Compassionate Friends. We reach
out to each other with love, with understanding, and with hope.
The children we mourn have died at all ages and from many different
causes, but our love for them unites us. Your pain becomes my pain, just
as your hope becomes my hope.
We come together from all walks of life, from many different circumstances.
We are a unique family because we represent many races, creeds, and
relationships. We are young, and we are old.
Some of us are far along in our grief, but others still feel a grief so fresh
and so intensely painful that they feel helpless and see no hope. Some of
us have found our faith to be a source of strength, while some of us are
struggling to find answers. Some of us are angry, filled with guilt or in deep
depression, while others radiate an inner peace. But whatever pain we
bring to this gathering of The Compassionate Friends, it is pain we will
share, just as we share with each other our love for the children who have
We are all seeking and struggling to build a future for ourselves, but we are
committed to building a future together. We reach out to each other in love
to share the pain as well as the joy, share the anger as well as the peace,
share the faith as well as the doubts, and help each other to grieve as well
as to grow.
We Need Not Walk Alone. We Are The Compassionate Friends.
Since the early centuries, the butterfly has symbolized renewed life. The caterpillar signifies life
here on earth; the cocoon, death; and the butterfly, the emergence of the dead into a new,
beautiful and freer existence. Frequently, the butterfly is seen with the word "Nika", which
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross movingly tells of seeing butterflies drawn all over the walls of the
children's dormitories in the World War II concentration camps. Since Elisabeth believes in the
innate intuitiveness of children, she concludes that these children knew their fate and were
leaving us a message.
Many members of The Compassionate Friends embrace the butterfly as a symbol - a sign of
hope to them that their children are living in another dimension with greater beauty and
freedom...a comforting thought to many.