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The Compassionate Friends of Brattleboro

Bereavement Group Remembers Children Who Have Died

Bereaved families that have experienced the death of a child now have an opportunity to meet with others on a regular basis who have endured similar tragedies.

The Compassionate Friends (TCF) of Brattleboro, a local chapter of the national self-help organization for families that have had a child die, holds its monthly meetings the third Sunday of every month from 2:00 to 4:00 PM at the West Village Meetinghouse, 29 South St., West Brattleboro, VT. But please check the calendar for any specific date.

“A bereavement organization like TCF where families could talk about their loss publicly without feeling out-of-place is invaluable to those of us whose children have died,” said chapter leader Beverly Miller. “After your child dies, most people do not want to talk with you about your child probably because they are afraid of making you feel bad. The irony is that talking about your child helps you–no one wants their child forgotten. And studies have proven that sharing our stories and tears is an emotional release that helps us.”

The Compassionate Friends is a national non-profit organization with more than 650 chapters in the United States and locations in every state. Chapters welcome immediate family members to attend including adult siblings. Meetings are for all families regardless of race, religious orientation, economic background, or the cause and age of the child at death, from pre-birth up.

“The death of a child turns the whole family upside down,” added Miller. “Through our shared experience, we will be able to talk about the loss and learn coping techniques that will help us in our journey toward life without our children.”

Meetings last two hours. In general, during the first hour, those attending will be able to discuss what happened to their child or anything related to their grief. The second hour may include a special topic, speaker or activity. Refreshments may also be served. The chapter will have a selection of hand out brochures on many topics related to the death of a child. Members are not charged fees or dues to attend.

“The Compassionate Friends welcomes the Brattleboro chapter,” says Executive Director Alan Pedersen. “When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. The Compassionate Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or a daughter, a brother or sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family. The Brattleboro chapter will help us toward that mission.”

For more information about local chapter meetings call or email Beverly Miller at 802-251-5598, bevermont [at] gmail.com.  For information about the national organization, call toll-free 877-969-0010, or visit www.compassionatefriends.org and www.facebook.com/TCFUSA on the web.