We understand that grieving for a child can be a lonely path. The whole philosophy behind The Compassionate Friends is putting bereaved parents in touch with each other to facilitate peer-to peer support. We are now developing our service to provide more one-to-one support especially for those in the early months and first few years of bereavement, particularly in those areas of the country which have limited or no face-to-face support for bereaved parents.
Your grief companion/befriender will be another volunteer bereaved parent who will offer you informal support and friendship. He or she will probably be a little longer from their bereavement (usually over 3-4 years bereaved at least). They are not formally trained but will offer you an opportunity to share your grief and experiences, they will 'walk alongside' you and to be a listening ear and an understanding 'friend'. The contact you have may be by phone, email, Skype/Face Time, and possibly in person (if you live in a similar location, although this is not usual) - whatever suits you both.
If you would like us to try and find you a grief companion/befriender please email our Grief Companion Coordinator Joy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Joy will ask you some questions about your loss by email or phone and what you are looking for in a grief companion and then will search for a ‘match’ for you. Sometimes it can take some weeks or occasionally months to find a suitable companion - as our Grief Companions are all volunteers themselves - and so please we ask you to be patient while we look for a suitable match for you.
If you would like to be a grief companion/befriender, please also get in touch – we would love to hear from you.
You would be providing informal support and friendship to another more recently bereaved parent and so you would be at least 3 or more years from your bereavement. It offers you and another parent an opportunity for them to share their grief and experiences with you, to have a befriender who will 'walk alongside' them and be a listening ear and an understanding 'friend'. The contact may be by phone, email and/or Skype/Face Time, whatever suits you both. Sometimes contact might be in person if you live in a similar location - but this is not usual.
This can be a lovely way to start to volunteer with TCF and to use your experience of loss to offer support to another grieving parent who is more newly bereaved. If you feel you would like to offer support through TCF in this way please contact our Grief Companion Coordinator Joy at email@example.com to find out more.
Each year thousands of parents suffer the loss of a son or a daughter. Please help us to support families in their time of greatest need.