TCF National Conferences: Find Friendship, Understanding, and Hope!
national conference of The Compassionate Friends is unlike any other
conference you may ever attend. It is a place where you can go and know
that you truly are not alone as you travel your grief journey. Every
person comes for the same reason a child has died. It is a place where
"friendship, understanding, and hope" are more than just words.
For almost three and a half decades, The Compassionate Friends has held national
conferences in different locations, from the east coast to the west
coast, from north to south. Today it’s normal to have 1100-1400 bereaved
parents, siblings, and grandparents attend. Of that number, it usually
is the first TCF National Conference for over a quarter of those
attending. Those new to TCF conferences are given a special butterfly
sticker to wear on their nametag so that others may notice and give them
special hugs. Everyone feels they are in a place where they belong. We
often say that those at the conference are friends you simply have not
yet met. At
each conference, there are many activities, but you decide what is
right for you. There are more than 100 workshops (but don’t think these
are work—they’re really a time for learning and sharing). Many areas of
grief are covered by the workshops. There are workshops for bereaved
parents, siblings, and grandparents. And there will be many workshops
for those who have no surviving children. You’ll find a hospitality
room, a reflection room, the Butterfly Boutique, and a completely
stocked bookstore. There are very interesting and well-known speakers
who address the Opening Session, the Friday afternoon banquet, the
Saturday evening banquet, and the Sunday closing. You’ll also marvel at
the quality of entertainment geared for those attending. There’s also a
special candle lighting ceremony to conclude the Saturday evening
banquet. If you like a more intimate time with others, join in the
evening sharing sessions of your choice
don’t miss the Walk to Remember Sunday at 8 a.m. prior to the closing.
As many as 1300-1500 carry the names of more than 10,000 children from
across the country who will always be remembered. Some fly in from
across the country just to participate in the Walk!
For Registration and Hotel Reservation on this year's TCF National Conference in Boston, visit 2013 National Conference.
CDs and DVDs still available of speakers and workshop presenters from the 2011 National Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota!
Watch here, in the national e-newsletter, our Facebook Page, or We Need Not Walk Alone for updated information on the next TCF National Conference.
Boston, Massachusetts site of 2013 TCF National Conference!!
For information visit TCF 2013 National Conference.
Find out for yourself why notes are received after our conferences that echo these we received:
Best thing I've
ever done! Thank you to all the friends I made at the conference. You
all inspire me! The memory boards were overwhelming. It was easy to
only see the face of my own grief. Now I see all the beautiful faces of
yours. I will forever be linked to you. I love you.
It was an amazing
experience. I was in a very dark, sad place when I left home to fly to
(the conference). When I came home, I felt a glimmer of hope in the
possibilities. I learned so much. Met some sweet, caring people. At the
risk of sounding overly dramatic, it changed me. Thank you, my
conference was a drink of water for my soul. Thank God for TCF and all
the wonderful people who give of themselves to make it all happen.
always feel like I’m wrapped in a cocoon of compassionate love when I’m
at a TCF National Conference. This is one of the greatest healing tools
available to a bereaved family."
CDs and DVDs now available of 2011 National Conference speakers and workshop presenters
CDs and DVDs still available of 2010 National Conference speakers and workshop presenters
Note: View 2011 National Conference/Walk to Remember Photos on Facebook!
34th National Conference was one of love, caring, and sharing and
remain in the hearts of those 1300 who attended. Those
looking back at what they experienced at the conference will remember
the great keynote speakers, the many grief related workshops, and the
Walk to Remember, just to name a few of the highlights.
View video from the 2010 National Conference in Arlington, Virginia and relive the memories.
Here are a few of the many comments posted on our TCF/USA Facebook Page from Compassionate Friends who attended the 34th National Conference held in Minneapolis:
Chris G: My 1st conference. I went anxious, nervous, and not knowing what to expect. What a wonderful experience!!!!
Leah K: It was so wonderful to talk about my son all weekend and not have people turn away. I left this weekend with HOPE in my heart.
Barbara L: The bond that we all have is amazing. No one is a stranger and we all act like we have known each other forever. In reality we have. I thought it was all great and the candle lighting was a highlight. Seeing all of those candles and all those people was something I will always remember.
Nancy M: This was our first conference and I cried so many tears, not just for myself, but for all the stories people shared. I have never felt such peace as when we walked together and shared and hugged and we all knew. It was so healing for me. I have gotten stronger because of the hope that was given me. My husband and I came away from it with a renewed spirit. We will be there again next year.
For a deeply moving story by one of those who took pen to paper after the conference, please read the heartfelt remembrance written by Anne Castaldo of the Bridgeport, Ct. Chapter of The Compassionate Friends, which we warmly call "Healing on the Wings of Hope