Guide to the Eastside TCF

"Mission"

The mission of The Compassionate Friends is to assist families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age and to provide information to help others be supportive.

The Compassionate Friends is a national nonprofit, self-help organization that offers friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings. There is no religious affiliation and there are no membership dues or fees.

The secret of TCF's success is simple: As seasoned grievers reach out to newly bereaved, energy that has been directed inward begins to flow outward and both are helped to heal. The vision of The Compassionate Friends is that everyone who needs us will find us and everyone who finds us will be helped.

This website is dedicated to the memory of all of our children.
 

"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. 2007
 

"Butterfly"

Why the Butterfly as a symbol?
The Butterfly has long symbolized a renewal of life.

The caterpillar signifies life here on earth; the cocoon signifies death; and the butterfly signifies the emergence of the dead into a new, beautiful and more free existence.

Frequently, the butterfly is seen with the word "Nika", which means victory, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross movingly tells of seeing butterflies drawn all over the walls of the children's dormitories in world war II concentration camps.

Since children are intuitive, she concludes that these children knew their fate and were leaving a message.

The Compassionate Friends adopted the butterfly as a symbol of hope that our children are living in another dimension with greater beauty and freedom, which is a comforting thought to many of us.