Page 4 - 2016 Spring-Summer Issue
P. 4

A Message from the Executive Director

                    The More We Know

                                 That old saying “the more you know the more you want to know” is so very true when it comes
                                 to the subject of grief and loss. The Compassionate Friends was founded on a principle that
                                 really didn’t require our members to know much about grief. In general, it recognized that
                                 each of us was an expert in our own grief and could work through much of the process by
                                 sharing our loss with each other. This simple, yet effective support system has helped millions
                                 of grieving parents, grandparents and siblings for over 40 years, from all around the world, find
the strength to keep moving forward in life knowing they were not alone.
When the The Compassionate Friends was founded all those years ago, there was very little grief research or educational
materials available to give our members as an additional avenue of support. When you talk to those who attended meetings
in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s they leaned solely on the experiences of others because there was no internet to google
answers and no Facebook to connect with someone who might have shared a similar loss. In our pioneering days, there
were certainly no websites like Open to Hope and The Compassionate Friends dedicated to providing articles, television,
radio, and webinars hosted by professionals focusing solely on the subject of loss and featuring mountains of information
on the grief experience.
Today, The Compassionate Friends hasn’t forgotten the core of who we are and what has successfully made us the largest
grief organization in the world. But in addition to offering 700 local Chapters where we do things the old-fashioned way
by shaking hands, hugging necks and sharing our experiences together, we have added an incredible library of resources to
help all of our members learn more and better understand the grief they are going through.
Through our website and our partnership with Open to Hope, our members have access to hundreds of articles on all types
of loss and nearly every grief situation and challenge we encounter as we try to rebuild our lives. Our members have access
to nightly online chat forums which allow them to connect with others. Our Facebook closed pages, which are specific
to our member’s type of loss or circumstances, provide the opportunity to connect with an even wider audience of The
Compassionate Friends.
Social media and the creation of hundreds of hours of grief education resources and opportunities to share with each other
in new and creative ways has enhanced our organization greatly. We will continue to expand and grow opportunities for
all to find support in whatever format they are most comfortable. We Need Not Walk Alone is truly a reflection of the new
balance we are striking between holding strong to the tried and true of what made The Compassionate Friends so strong,
and the new technologies that provide additional opportunities to learn more about every aspect of the grieving process.
This current issue is a mixture of personal experiences and professional insight. I hope you enjoy it.



Alan Pedersen, TCF Executive Director

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