Are you newly bereaved or new to The Compassionate Friends?
Please read this personal message for you from the members of our steering committee.
Dear Wounded Heart,
The Manchester Area Compassionate Friends Chapter wishes to extend to you an understanding hand in friendship. We are glad that you have found us but saddened for the reason that brings you searching.
We understand how overwhelming the feelings are that you are experiencing. We too have been there. While it is not easy to take that first step and face the reality of what has happened, it is the only way to begin to heal. It is a very difficult journey but one that we have found made easier by having the support of others who truly understand.
We know that coming to that first meeting can feel overwhelming and so we encourage you to call and speak with one of our steering members¹ beforehand so we can answer any questions or concerns you may have. You may also bring a friend to the meeting for support if you like. At our meetings no one is required to speak. Often at that first meeting people are not ready to share but find great comfort in listening to others share the same thoughts and feelings that they too have been experiencing. We often have a planned topic but discuss whatever our members need too. At the end of our discussion, time is given for all members to gather and talk one on one. At every meeting we provide handouts to take home containing information pertinent to the topic. We also have a large lending library of books and other resources. Another support system we provide to our members is our bimonthly newsletter. It contains many poems and articles written by parents and siblings that bring comfort, as well as information on other support resources that are available.
In addition to being a support for bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents we also provide many opportunities where we honor our precious children and siblings. One such event is the Compassionate Friend's worldwide candle lighting ceremony held the second Sunday in December. At these special events family and friends are welcome to join us.
While the journey is difficult Compassionate Friends can offer a safe harbor from the storm. We offer you our friendship, a listening ear, compassionate support, and hope. This is your journey and you must walk it the way that is right for you. . . but know that you need not walk alone.
The Steering Committee of Manchester Compassionate Friends
¹ You may contact our Newly Bereaved Coordinator, Linda Riley. Her telephone number is: 603.391.5387
You may also find it helpful to read this, 'To The Newly Bereaved' (a link to the national web site of The Compassionate Friends).