BRATTLEBORO >> Bereaved families that have experienced the death of a child now have an opportunity to meet with others on a regular basis who have endured similar tragedies.
The Compassionate Friends of Brattleboro, a national self-help organization for families that have had a child die, will hold its next monthly meeting Sunday, Nov. 15, at 2 p.m. at 541 Black Mountain Road. Meetings will be held each month the third Sunday of the week at the same time and location.
"A bereavement organization like TCF where families could talk about their loss publicly without feeling out-of-place is invaluable to those of us whose children have died," said new chapter leader Beverly Miller. "After your child dies, most people do not want to talk with you about your child probably because they are afraid of making you feel bad. The irony is that talking about your child helps you — no one wants their child forgotten. And studies have proven that sharing our stories and tears is an emotional release that helps us."
The Compassionate Friends is a national non-profit organization with more than 650 chapters in the United States and locations in every state. Chapters welcome immediate family members to attend including adult siblings. Meetings are for all families regardless of race, religious orientation, economic background, or the cause and age of the child at death, from pre-birth up.
"The death of a child turns the whole family upside down," added Miller. "Through our shared experience, we will be able to talk about the loss and learn coping techniques that will help us in our journey toward life without our children."
Meetings last two hours. In general, the first hour those attending will be able to discuss what happened to their child or anything related to their grief. The second hour may include a special topic, speaker or activity. Refreshments are also served.
The chapter is seeking grief books to create a lending library, and will have a selection of hand out brochures on many topics related to the death of a child. Members are not charged fees or dues to attend. Love gifts from the community are accepted in memory of the children of the chapter and will be used to publish a chapter newsletter, further outreach in the community, and cover other expenses.
"The Compassionate Friends welcomes the Brattleboro chapter," said Executive Director Alan Pedersen. "When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. The Compassionate Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or a daughter, a brother or sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family. The Brattleboro chapter will help us toward that mission."
For more information about local chapter meetings, or to make a donation call Beverly Miller at 802-251-5598. For information about the national organization, call toll-free 877-969-0010, visit www.compassionatefriends.org and www.facebook.com/TCFUSA or email email@example.com.