Bereavement groups are essential to the healing process

The Compassionate Friends is a support group for parents who have lost a child of any age.

  • Oct. 23, 2011 9:00 a.m.

Editor’s note: The following article is from The Compassionate Friends, a support group for parents who have lost a child.

It is not a secret, although it is not “cool” to discuss it, that grief and loss are not high on anyone’s priority to talk about.

That’s really it in a nutshell — no one wants to talk about grief.

Whether you’re a doctor, nurse, social worker, grief counselor (OK — you are definitely going to have to listen because that’s your job), friend or family of the bereaved, no one is really ever comfortable talking about grief.

There is one person, though, who really needs to talk about it, should talk about it, and would be helped by talking about it and that is the person who is grieving.

So, therein lies our dilemma but also the solution.

Notice I said people are uncomfortable talking about grief except for the grieving person? That’s the answer! The rest of us don’t have to talk — we would do the grieving person a much bigger favour if we just listened. And listened readily with no judgment, inappropriate reactions, platitudes, suggestions, “perk-me-ups” or anything other than a sympathetic, patient ear and, when and if appropriate, a warm hug.

The bereaved person needs an outlet for their grief that is safe, anonymous, confidential and non-judgmental where they do not feel vulnerable, where they feel comfortable to let go, and where they feel comforted.

That’s what The Compassionate Friends (TCF) strives to offer bereaved parents. TCF Meetings are held on the last Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at the People Place, 3400-27th Ave. in Vernon. For more information, please contact any of the following: Darlene at 250-558-5026; Natalie at 250-558-7605 in Vernon or Kelli Rose at 1-250-379-2465 in Falkland.

TCF Vernon has compiled a bereavement package designed to offer comfort and guidance as you begin to grieve the loss of your precious child. If you would like a bereavement package mailed to you, please contact Darlene at 250-558-5026 or e-mail to