Learn About our principles

Principles of the Compassionate Friends

TCF offers friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents.

We have learned through our own experiences that the death of a child, brother, sister, or grandchild has caused a pain that is best understood by others who have also experienced such a loss.

We focus on supporting parents, siblings, and grandparents in their journeys through grief.

We define the terms "parent", "grandparent", "brother" and "sister" broadly, welcoming the bereaved from all family units.

TCF believes that bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents can help each other towards healing.

We understand that each bereaved person will find a unique path through grief.

We know that expressing our thoughts and feelings is integral to the healing process, and we focus our help to the bereaved by providing a safe, supportive environment for such expression

We are a self-help group and thus do not offer professional psychotherapy or counseling

We respect the professional community and welcome its support, however, we do not rely on the professional community for supervision or formal guidance.

TCF reaches out across society's barriers to all bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents.

We respect everyone's beliefs and espouse no specific religious or philosophical ideology.

We welcome parents, siblings and grandparents, grieving the death of a child, sibling, or grandchild of any age and from any cause.

We do not charge individual dues or fees for participation in local chapter meetings.

We do not take sides on political issues or endorse political candidates.

We treat each other with care and respect, showing consideration for those with whom we may disagree.

TCF understands that every member has individual needs and rights.
We never suggest that there is a "correct" way for a parent, sibling or grandparent to grieve.

Everyone joining a local meeting deserves the opportunity to share thoughts and feelings. However, no one is compelled to do so.

All participants at a TCF gathering have the responsibility to listen.

TCF reaches out to the bereaved primarily through our community of local chapters.

Local chapters are the bedrock of TCF, and regularly scheduled chapter meetings are the foundation of our service and support.

Chapter meetings are, above all, safe places where thoughts and feelings can be freely expressed, and where all participants can find care and friendship.

TCF chapters belong to their members.

We treat what is said in chapter meetings as confidential and privileged information.

We reserve the most intimate segment of chapter meetings "the sharing session" for those who are bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents.