The Compassionate Friends is an organization that helps you to step out of the isolation that society expects from the bereaved and gives you the support you need to push forward. The Compassionate Friends is there to support you -- the parent, the grandparent, the sibling -- thorugh the loss of a child gone too soon, a child lost at any stage of life.
I know firsthand that society expects you to never speak of your loss. Society expects you to mourn privately, to "get over it," to push forward with a happy face. I also know that without support, without compassion, you aren't going to get very far in your grief journey.
The Compassionate Friends can help you in many ways:
Online Support - By registering for the "virtual support chapters," The Compassionate Friends can connect you with other grieving parents and relatives who are there for you as you process the pain of your loss.
In Person Support Chapters - The Compassionate Friends have over 660 support chapters nationwide, from small towns to big cities. The chapter locator can help you find your nearest chapter. There is no fee to attend a support meeting. All TCF chapters are donation based (made possibly by kind donors like all of you supporting this Blogathon!). For more information on what to expect from a meeting, you can check out the FAQ's here.
For The Newly Bereaved - If you are still processing your loss and are not yet comfortable with attending a meeting -- virtual or in person -- The Compassionate Friends can provide you with a bereavement packing just by calling. They are committed to helping every family in the face of their loss.
Memorial Book - Every year since 1996, bereaved parents have been able to add their children's names to the memorial book. TCF also sends a card to the family on the birth and death day, which seems so small but really is anything but. There is nothing more wonderful than knowing your child has been remembered.