Meeting Room Guidelines

The Purpose
Much like the credo, stating our purpose is to remind everyone that we are here because someone we love dearly has died…. Our Child, Grandchild Or Sibling.  Our purpose in sharing isn’t to offer professional help and we do not tell each other what to d.  Rather we share our own experiences.  We are here to offer Safe, Supportive and Compassionate Caring to each other.

The Inclusion
We understand that each of us brings a common understanding of loss to the group, but we also understand that each of us brings our own unique life views, cultural experience and perspective of loss.  We don’t judge or measure anybody’s type of loss or amount of pain against anybody else’s.

We reflect and remember when our newest member’s share that Once Upon A Time Ago we all sat in that chair for the first time, and acknowledge the rawness, the pain and hurt that comes with being Newly Bereaved.

We offer a caring shoulder, a warm hand and a hugging heart to those who come behind us.

The Freedom
Each person in the group is free to share their feelings and experiences, but nobody is required to speak if they do not wish to.

We also need to make sure that everyone who has a need to speak or needs support has a chance to receive it.

The Reflection
There may be times during the sharing session a facilitator may gently step in and reflect upon these ground rules to insure that we are maintaining a safe and inclusive place for the group.  Our facilitator’s responsibility to make sure that we use our time wisely and that everyone who wants to share gets to do so.  Sometimes, that may mean interrupting to keep our group focused and to keep the group safe for all.   It is never meant disrespectfully.

♥ We offer caring and respect to all of our TCF Family Members. ♥

♥ Confidentiality is A MUST! 
What You See, What You Hear, When You Leave, Leave it Here. 

♥ Your Honesty is Safely Respected. 
Say Whatever is in Your Heart, Not What You Think others Want to Hear.

♥ It’s OK to be Angry, to be Silent, to just Listen, or to Share. It’s OK Not to Talk. 
There May Be Laughter.  There May Be Tears. It’s OK to cry. Tears are a Necessary Part of the Healing Process

♥ This Room is a Safe Place To Cry Openly.

♥ Be Sensitive to Others’ Needs.

♥ Each Experience is Unique and Valid. 
No One Here May Criticize, Analyze, Preach, Judge, Lecture or Give Unwanted Advice.

♥ Listen with Your Heart, as Well as Your Mind. 

♥ Give Kind Attention to Others.

♥ Accept Each Person.
Regardless of the personal stories shared, it is not our place to Be Shocked, Horrified or Impatient with Anyone Else.

♥ The Compassionate Friends is not a religious organization. 
Grief and Sorrow know No  Religious, Ethnic, Creedal, Geographic or Social Barriers. Members May Share What Has Helped Them, Being Careful Not To Preach Or Judge others Who Feel Differently.

♥ We Know that Our Healing Occurs as “Our Mirrors Start Becoming Windows”.

♥ Help New People Feel Welcome.
Try to Feel Responsibility to Every Other Participant and to The Group as A Whole. The Opportunity to Help Others and Be Sensitive to Their Needs is a Healing and Growing Experience. 

♥ Attending The Compassionate Friends Meetings Does Not Obligate You to a Single Thing. 
You Have the Freedom to Attend as Often or Seldom as You Personally Need.

♥ There are No Dues or Fees.
Our Monetary Needs are Met Through Voluntary Contributions and Fund-Raising. 

♥ Donations are Always Deeply Appreciated, but are Not Obligatory.

♥ We Appreciate Volunteers Who Desire to “Give Back”
and Wish to Assist with Various Functions of The Chapter. When you feel ready to help others, there is a place for you to help.

♥ Sharing Time in Not Intended for Medical or Legal Advice. 

♥ There are Many Heartbreaking Stories That will Be Shared. Feel Compassion for Others, but Be Careful Not to Absorb Their Pain.

♥ Be Gentle to Yourself in The Days Following A Meeting. 
Feeling Very Tired or Drained is Normal, Especially During the Darkest Part of Your Grief.

♥ It is Ok to Move Away from Your Grief.
This is Not Something that Any of Us GET OVER ~ We Only MOVE THROUGH

♥ Celebrating Your Child Honors Their Memory!