About Us

Mission

The Compassionate Friends is a mutual assistance, self-help organization offering friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved families.  The primary purpose is to assist them in positive resolution of the grief experienced upon the death of a child and to support their efforts to achieve physical and emotional health.  The secondary purpose is to provide information and to educate about bereaved families.  The objective is to help those in their community, including family, friends, employers, and co-workers to be supportive.

Vision

The vision of The Compassionate Friends is that everyone who needs us will find us and everyone who finds us will be helped.

"The Compassionate Friends is about transforming the pain of grief into the ELIXIR OF HOPE.  It takes people out of the isolation society imposes on the newly bereaved and lets them express their grief naturally.  With the shedding of tears, healing comes.  And the newly bereaved get to see people who have survived and are learning to LIVE AND LOVE AGAIN".
-- Simon Stephens,
 Founder of The Compassionate Friends 

Steering Committee

Chapter LeadersErin Koepp, Lorie Haacke
First Contact (Open)
TreasurerErin Koepp
Chapter AdvisorArlene Priest
Newsletter EditorNadine Boyd
LibrarianCarol Newman
Activities Coordinator(Open)
OutreachPeggy Mills
Men's SupportPat Mills

Why Butterflies?

Since early times, 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 Kûbler-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.  Many members of The Compassionate Friends embrace the butterfly symbol—a sign of hope to them that their children are living in another dimension with greater beauty and freedom—a  comforting thought to many.

The Secret of TCF

The secret of The Compassionate Friends' success is simple:  There is no line between being a helper and being helped.  In the early months of peoples' membership in TCF, it seems that most of the time is spent absorbing ideas, crying and letting the grief flow, and "learning the ropes" of being a bereaved parent.  The next step is reaching out to others and helping them.  It is not a big step, for listening to another person sort out his life helps us to sort out our lives, too.  But it is an important step because it is the first point at which the movement is reversed.  All the energy had been going inward.  We had been feeling so empty inside that we kept withdrawing into ourselves.  But at that point when we turn around is the point when we first listen to another, speak the words of comfort and hope, share out pain instead of just feeling our pain.  At that time the real healing has started.

The Compassionate Friends Credo

We need not walk alone.  We are The Compassionate Friends.
We reach out to each other with love, with understanding, and with hope.
The children we mourn have died at all ages and from many different causes, but our love for them 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, creeds, and relationships.
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 they feel helpless and see no hope.
Some of us have found our faith to be a source of strength, while some of us are struggling to find answers.
Some of us are angry, filled with guilt or in deep depression, while 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 the children who have died.
We are all seeking and struggling to build a future for ourselves, but we are committed to building a future together.
We reach out to each other in love to 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.

Siblings Walking Together
(Formerly The Sibling Credo)

We are the surviving siblings of The Compassionate Friends.
We are brought together by the deaths of our brothers and sisters.
Open your hearts to us, but have patience with us.
Sometimes we will need the support of our friends.
At other times we need our families to be there.
Sometimes we must walk alone, taking our memories with us, continuing to become the individuals we want to be.
We cannot be our dead brother or sister; however, a special part of them lives on with us.
When our brothers and sisters died, our lives changed.
We are living a life very different from what we envisioned, and we feel the responsibility to be strong even when we feel weak.
Yet we can go on because we understand better than many others the value of family and the precious gift of life.
Our goal is not to be the forgotten mourners that we sometimes are, but to walk together to face our tomorrows as surviving siblings of The Compassionate Friends.