Mission StatementThe mission of The Compassionate Friends is to assist families in the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child and to provide information to help others be supportive.
The Compassionate Friends is a national nonprofit, self-help support organization which offers support and understanding to families who are grieving the death of a child of any age, from any cause.
The secret of our success is simple: As seasoned grievers reach out to the newly bereaved, energy that has been directed inward begins to flow outward and both are helped to heal.
Our meetings are open to all family members who are grieving the death of a child. There is no religious affiliation and no dues or fees. There is a free chapter lending library and a free monthly newsletter.
We offer a safe place for bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings to meet and talk freely about your child and your grief issues. No one is required to speak, but non-judgmental listening is expected.
The vision of The Compassionate Friends is that
everyone who needs us will find us and everyone who finds us will be helped.
We need not walk alone.
We are The Compassionate Friends.
We reach out to each other with love, with understanding and with hope.
Our children have died at all ages and from many different causes, but our love for our children 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 and creeds.
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 we feel helpless and see no hope.
Some of us have found our faith to be a source of strength; some of us are struggling to find answers.
Some of us are angry, filled with guilt or in deep depression; 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 our children.
We are all seeking and struggling to build a future for ourselves,
but we are committed to building a future together as we reach out to each other in love
and 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 means victory. Elisabeth Kübler-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.
The Compassionate Friends embrace the butterfly as one of our symbols--a sign of hope to us that our children are living in another dimension with greater beauty and freedom, and that we may be able to build a new life after the death of our beloved children.
Resolutions for Bereaved Parents
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