Archive for September, 2017

Dear Compassionate Friend:

Just as the calendar has noted the change of seasons, the previously absent summer weather seems to have arrived. Just as we are returning to our post-vacation work routine, we look back longingly at the happier days slipping by. As we move forward on our grief journey, we look back on the times with our children no longer with us, wishing that they could return. But they cannot return, and we cannot go back; we must face the winter of our grief despite our worst fears and misgivings. Just as we know and expect that Winter will eventually give way to Spring, we hold on to the hope that our grief will become more bearable in our new future.

Our strongest anchor in these times of emotional turmoil is the understanding and support of others who have made and are making the same grief journey. Remember the message of The Compassionate Friends – “We Need Not Walk Alone”. Here are some of opportunities to take advantage of that support.

  1. Sharing Circles

Our Sharing Circles continue on the third Tuesday of every month from 7pm to 9pm at The Olde Forge Community Resource Centre, 2730 Carling Avenue (at Richmond Road). Our next meetings are on September 19th, October 17th, November 21st and December 19th. There are no fees to attend and no need to register in advance – please arrive a few minutes early to sign in. You can find directions and a map on our Chapter website

  1. BFO Closed Group

The Ottawa Region of Bereaved Families of Ontario (BFO) is currently taking registrations for their 10-week closed group for the loss of a child. These weekly sessions are scheduled to run from October 5th to December 7th. Interested parents can pre-register on-line at

  1. Candle Lighting Celebration

Please mark your calendar for our 19th annual Candle Lighting Celebration to be held on Sunday, December 10th starting at 7pm. The location will be St Augustine’s church hall, 1060 Baseline Road (at Merivale). More details will be provided nearer the date.

If you would like to assist with organizing ahead of time or participating on the day, please reply to this e-mail.

  1. National Gathering

From August 25th to 27th, the Medicine Hat Chapter hosted the first TCF Canada National Gathering in several years. Approx. 70 parents from across the country attended workshops, presentations and discussions on a range of topics. Overall feedback has been very positive with a request for another conference as soon as possible.

Eileen and I presented a workshop on Facilitating a Sharing Circle, as well as MC’ing the Banquet and leading the Candle Lighting Ceremony. We were also honoured to receive the Gwen Brown Memorial Award, presented in memory of Gwen Brown, who was the driving force behind the formation of the national organization. Gwen passed away in 1993 and many of her articles and writings still form the basis of our operations to this day.

  1. Chapter Website and Facebook Page

Our Chapter website ( contains additional information and resources, including our Chapter library and newsletters from other Chapters and the National Board. You can also read and post notices on our Facebook page – look for “The Compassionate Friends – Ottawa Chapter”.

We are currently looking for a Facebook host. If you are familiar with social media and have an interest in providing on-line support, please reply to this e-mail.

  1. Unsubscribe

If you would prefer not to receive these occasional updates, please reply to this e-mail and I will remove you from our mailing list.

Best wishes,

Andy Bond
The Compassionate Friends, Ottawa Chapter
Kevin’s Dad


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