The Compassionate Friends
The Compassionate Friends of Brattleboro
Meetings currently held online in Zoom format
every other Sunday of each month from 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Eventually, in-person meetings will be held at
West Village Meetinghouse
29 South Street
West Brattleboro, VT
The Compassionate Friends (TCF) of Brattleboro, a local chapter of the national self-help organization for families that have endured the death of a child, currently holds an online bi-monthly meeting every other Sunday of each month, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. When able to meet again in person, the meetings will be held at the West Village Meetinghouse, 29 South St., West Brattleboro, VT.
“A bereavement organization like TCF where families can talk about their loss publicly without feeling out-of-place is invaluable to those of us whose children have died,” said 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 our children, sharing our stories and tears, brings us what I have come to call “a terrible comfort.”
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 alters us as nothing else ever has,” added Miller. “Through our shared experience, we are able to talk about our loss and learn what each of us are doing to cope with this new way of being in the world, a world without our children.”
Meetings last two hours in general, and all those attending are invited to discuss their child’s life and death and anything related to their grieving and living with the death of their children. We encourage the sharing of readings, poetry, music, artwork and photographs. Occasionally, we may include a special topic, speaker or activity. The chapter has 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. Donations or “Love Gifts” from the community are accepted in memory of the children of the chapter and may be used to publish a chapter newsletter, further outreach in the community, and/or cover other expenses.
“The Compassionate Friends welcomes the Brattleboro chapter,” says 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 call Beverly Miller at 802-251-5598. For information about the national organization, call toll-free 877-969-0010, or visit www.compassionatefriends.org and www.facebook.com/TCFUSA on the web.