Meeting Format

Wondering what to expect at a meeting?

Allow us to provide some information in order to help you become more comfortable when joining us for the first time.

We hold our meetings in a cozy small hotel meeting room.
Though we are there earlier to set up,
We open our doors at 6:30 to greet those joining us for the evening’s meeting.

  • Chairs are usually placed in a circle, with  boxes of tissues easily available.
  • We frequently begin the meeting together, and then allow time for Dads, Moms, Siblings to talk privately.  At the end of the meeting time, we come back together for a Closing.
  • There is a Loaning Library and other print material available.
  • A digital photo frame will be continually  running with a slideshow of our loved ones.
  • There may be A Memory Table or Two, hosted by the family remembering their loved one that month.  The table will contain photos or mementos of their loved one, allowing all of us to get to know their child, sibling or grandchild through their eyes and to keep their memory alive.  The Memory Table hosts are invited to share a favorite snack of their ‘child’, if they wish.Light Refreshments and Beverages Are Served at no cost, though donations are always welcomed.
  • Our Meeting Room Guidelines and The Compassionate Friends Credo are posted.
  • Taking Care of your own needs is Most Important.  You may get up to stretch, to walk around the room, to deal with emotions that you may feel, leave the room for a little bit, to go to the restroom or get a snack or beverage At Any Time during a meeting.


Name badges are available for everyone.
(please remember to leave yours at the end of the meeting)
This time is set aside for our greeters to Welcome New Members,
allowing those who are new to acclimate themselves
and fill out the one page information sheet that we ask of everyone
(if it hasn’t been done prior to a meeting).

Those who have already attended a meeting
will often use this time to chat and catch up about  their lives of the past month,
as well as to enjoy a cup of coffee, tea, a bottle of water or some snacks.

Some people may use the time to browse the library or center themselves before a meeting.
Members of The Steering Committee are available to answer questions.
Every Steering Committee wears a name tag that identifies them.

Meeting Content
Beverages and light snacks remain available at any time during the meeting.

After beginning with meeting with a Welcome
It is customary to go around the circle to introduce ourselves by
Our Name,
Our Loved Ones Name and the Relationship
The Cause and How Long it has been since the death,
and the Town that we are from

And may certainly pass,
though we do ask people to at least share their names, if they feel comfortable in doing so.

Meetings may include a “Sharing Session”
or a Guest Speaker,
a DVD presentation,
a Special Event (such as a Candle Lighting)
or Discussion of a Focused Topic.

Sharing Sessions are a talking time ~
It provides time for those who wish to share to speak,
Or need others to listen,
Or have questions
To bring up what is on their minds.
Some Sharing Sessions may have a Topic of Discussion
While others are Free Flowing.
No One Ever HAS to Speak.
Everyone must, however, respectfully listen to those who are speaking.

We usually will allow for sub-group time,
with our dads, our moms and our siblings all meeting in smaller private groups for a change to talk.

About 8:30, we bring our sub-groups back together again.
Just before 8:45, we will bring the meeting to a close.

Everyone is invited to stand, take the hand of the neighbor,
Perhaps join us in the reciting of a few inspiring lines
And finally to
“Close the Meeting”, saying Good night to their Loved One.


This is an Additional Gathering Time
The Library is Available, as are Steering Committee Members.
Members may stay to visit and continue to share things important to them.


After the meeting has ended,
And everything is packed up for the month,
sometimes we travel  three miles up the road for
a social gathering and, perhaps, a bite to eat
in an informal  “getting to know each other time” at
Vernon Diner  (a full serve restaurant open 24 hours)


One of our Leaders brings a well trained, friendly
ADA compliant Service Dog to Meetings.
Should this present a personal challenge for you, please contact us before the meeting by phone
860-375-EØTR (3087)
or by email