November 30, 2022

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 other times they 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 (including pre-birth), from any cause.

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.

Can I bring a friend with me the first time for support?
Yes, but we ask that they, as well as all members, respect each other's privacy.

Do men attend meetings?
Yes. Many chapters are divided almost evenly between men and women while others are not.

What happens at a meeting?
We may simply introduce ourselves and share our thoughts and feelings or have guest speakers/facilitators before or after the sharing time.

Religion doesn't matter to me anymore. Can people at a meeting accept that?
The Compassionate Friends has no religious affiliation. Our members are asked to be respectful of any viewpoints.

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.

How long do people come to meetings?
People attend meetings until they no longer feel a need- from a few meetings to years. Some stay to help in chapter leadership so they can be there for the next persons who walk through the doors seeking help.

Why is it that TCF recommends that I attend three meetings before deciding if it's for me?
The first meeting & listening to others’ stories can bring many emotions to the surface, which can be difficult. Attending three meetings gives time to allow your emotions to even out, to feel some benefits of sharing and to observe the changing dynamics of the group as different members attend and share

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