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 for peer-to-peer support. Grief companions can provide more one-to-one contact 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 meetings.
Your grief companion 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). They are not formally trained but will offer you an opportunity to share your grief and experiences. They will 'walk alongside' you and be a listening ear and an understanding friend.
The contact you have may be by phone, email, online media and possibly in person (if you live in a similar location, although this is not usual) - whatever suits you both.
Please note that if you are in the very early days and weeks of your loss, for example before your child’s funeral has taken place, if you are very distressed or while you are needing immediate and/or very frequent support, it may be more appropriate to contact the TCF Helpline on 0345 123 2304 or by email at email@example.com. Your call will be answered by trained volunteers who are all bereaved parents.
If you would like us to find you a grief companion please email our Grief Companion Coordinator Shirley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shirley will gather some information about your loss and what you are looking for in a grief companion. This is done via a simple form, which can be completed online, by post or over the phone. We will then search for a suitable ‘match’ for you. Sometimes this can take some time - as our grief companions are all volunteers themselves - and so please be patient while we find the right person for you.
If you would like to be a grief companion, we would love to hear from you. The more companions we have available, the sooner we can find matches for our newly bereaved parents.
The grief companion scheme offers a newly bereaved parent an opportunity to share their grief and experiences with you, to have a friend who will 'walk alongside' them and be a listening ear. As you would be providing informal support and friendship to a more recently bereaved parent, you would need to be at least 3 or more years from your own bereavement. The contact you have may be by phone, email, and/or online media, 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 honour your child. If you feel you would like to offer support in this way, please email our Grief Companion Coordinator Shirley 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.