Frequently Asked Questions
If I attend a meeting, do I have to talk?
No. No-one is required to join in the topic under
discussion. People cope with their grief in different ways and we respect
this. We also understand that it can be difficult to speak when our grief
Is there a fee for attendance?
We do not charge any fees for attending our meetings. We
rely on voluntary donations from members, friends and the community.
Can I bring a friend with me to meetings?
Yes. However, we ask that everyone, members and friends,
respect our confidentiality. It is important for us to be able to share freely
within the group and to do this we need to be sure that our confidences will be
My husband will not come with me. May I come alone?
Of course. We all deal with our grief differently and some
people are unable to share their grief, even among those who are going through
the same process. Husbands are also welcome to attend without their wives.
What happens at a meeting?
Each meeting is different. The dynamic of the group
changes depending on the participants. We usually follow a format where we
introduce ourselves and our children before focusing on a topic for
discussion. Occasionally we invite guest speakers along. Sometimes
we simply share where we are, what we are feeling and what we are doing to help
My child was an adult and didn't live at home. Can I still attend a meeting?
Our meetings are for all parents, grandparents, siblings
and/or primary caretakers who have lost a child from any
cause. We believe that our children are always our children, whatever
My child died of AIDS. Will I still be welcome?
Yes. We do not discriminate in terms of
circumstances of death.
I have no religious affiliation any more. Will this be a problem if I
We are not a religious organisation and are not affiliated to
any organised religion. Our members may or may not be associated with a
particular religion. But you will find that the attitudes of the members is
generally very open to widely differing opinions. The death of a child often
brings about a change in outlook and values.
Do I need to call to confirm my attendance before a meeting?
No. You may come whenever you feel like it.
My child died several years ago. Is it too late for me to join?
Absolutely not. Grief work takes many forms and some
people may not have felt the for a support group at the time of their child's
death. Some people may not have known about us at the time. You may
join The Compassionate Friends at whatever stage of grief you are in.
We have other children at home who may benefit from a support group. May we
bring them with us?
Teenage and adult siblings are welcome to attend but the
meetings are not always appropriate for young children. If you are unsure, feel
free to call our hotline and discuss your situation.