Our monthly meetings are usually held on the last Sunday of the month (with exceptions for several holiday months).
Time: 2:30 - 4 p.m.
Location: Bower Hill Community Church
70 Moffett Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15243
Next gathering: Sunday, December 10, 2023 (2nd Sunday in December)
35thAnnual Candlelight Remembrance Service
The Pittsburgh Chapter of The Compassionate Friends is part of an international organization that remembers our deceased children, siblings, and grandchildren in a candlelight ceremony on the second Sunday of every December. This year’s event is scheduled for Sunday, December 10, 2023, starting at 2:30 p.m. (for our members only) in the sanctuary of Bower Hill Community Church. if you are a member of TCF, you should have received the invitation to RSVP for this event. The day comes to a close with TCF's Worldwide Candle Lighting event, where we light a candle from 7 – 8 p.m. in our homes to add light to the 24-hour, worldwide recognition of life and love that never dies.
PLEASE NOTE** - IF IT IS YOUR FIRST MEETING (NEW MEMBERS), PLEASE ARRIVE AT 1:30 P.M. SO THAT OUR VOLUNTEERS CAN MEET WITH YOU BEFORE THE MEETING STARTS.
**NOT APPLICABLE FOR THE BUTTERFLY RELEASE IN AUGUST OR CANDLELIGHT REMEMBRANCE SERVICE IN DECEMBER.
Please call us at 412-835-1105 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about our meetings.
Home meetings give TCF-Pittsburgh Chapter members, particularly new ones, the opportunity to meet with a small group in a more intimate setting. Often, a monthly sharing just isn’t enough, as members long to talk about and share memories of their child, grandchild, or sibling with others on a more frequent basis. We will guide you through the specifics, although it is rather simple. It is opening your home and hearts to others who are struggling to move forward in the grieving process. In the past, home meetings have been in held in the eastern, western, northern, and southern regions of Pittsburgh. Meetings can be held on the day of your choosing, and they have typically been held in the evenings.
TCF-Pittsburgh Chapter’s trained facilitators will be available to provide support and guidance for the home meetings.
If you are interested in hosting a home meeting or would like more information, please contact Megan Talbot (814-860-4732 or email@example.com).
We will list the dates and contact information for any future home meetings here on our website.
With more than 660 chapters of The Compassionate Friends across the United States, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam, there are a number of different chapter meeting formats. Chapter leaders and steering committees work together to determine how the sessions can best be structured to help both the newly bereaved and returning members in their area.
Generally, most meetings are held once a month. Our meetings should not be confused with counseling sessions. Participants are all bereaved parents (guardians), adult siblings, or grandparents who are dealing with the death of a child. We have been where you are and we continue to return to offer friendship and support through the natural grieving process after a child dies.
In the past (pre-COVID), TCF-Pittsburgh Chapter meetings consisted of three parts: a program related to bereavement after the death of a child; a break for refreshments and fellowship; and sharing sessions, where we break up into smaller groups for sharing so that everyone has the opportunity to talk about their grief. Our usual sharing groups included: newcomers; newly bereaved (up to one year); bereaved three to five years; bereaved over five years; and siblings. Sharing groups may be combined based on the number of members present at the monthly meetings.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, our meetings have been much smaller, so we have been meeting as one group for now; also, we no longer have a break for sharing refreshments. If we get back to pre-pandemic attendance numbers, we anticipate a full or partial return to our previous meeting format.
At our meetings, you will hear from others whose child died from pre-birth to adulthood. Some who attend will be young and some will be old. Some will be women and some will be men. Some will come alone while others will come as couples.
If you’re shy or unable to talk about your loss, you do not have to speak, although you will have the opportunity. No one is forced to talk about his or her loss. Much can be gained by listening. Some people believe it’s harder to talk in front of strangers about something so intimate as the loss of a child, but because everyone else at the meeting has had a similar experience, they understand much of what you are feeling and you will eventually reach a comfort level with those you meet. A point to always keep in mind is that what is said in the meeting stays in the meeting. The privacy of our members is important. We’re all there to work toward healing.
It may be hard for you to believe, but occasionally you will hear laughter. This is not a dishonor to any child. Rather it is often a reaction to a wonderful memory of a child.
When you come to a meeting of The Compassionate Friends, we ask that you attend at least three meetings before you decide if the group is for you. For many, the first meeting may also be the first time they’ve been able to talk about what has happened to them and to their family and to the child. This can bring a lot of emotion to the forefront, emotion which seems to disappear over the months as you talk about your loss. Don’t worry, we’ll bring the tissues. Tears are a natural release for a grieving person and is a way to help cleanse the body of toxins.
More than 17,000 bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents in need of support attend TCF meetings in the U.S. every month. You will find it is so very true what we often say, “You Need Not Walk Alone!”
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P.O. Box 15495, Pittsburgh, PA 15237/412-835-1105