Regular support group meetings are held the first Thursday of every month. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and end at 9 p.m., at:
St. John’s Episcopal Church
9120 Frederick Road
Ellicott City, MD 21042
We gather in the Auditorium. Enter through the large red doors, building is behind the flag pole visible from Frederick Road. Occasionally, our meeting is held in the lower level of the Parish Life Center building. Click here for campus map.
We welcome all family members who need the support The Compassionate Friends offers.
Meetings are led by members who are further along in the grieving process. When attendance is high, small groups are formed so that everyone can participate to the extent they need. Newcomers participate at their own pace and there are no preconceived expectations of any kind.
Feel free to share pictures and memories of their child in a safe and loving environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I go to a meeting, will I have to talk?
No one is required to talk at any meeting. We understand how difficult that can be when our grief is so fresh. We do ask that you listen, however.
My child was an adult and didn’t live at home. Can I still go to a meeting?
Chapter meetings are open to all families who have experienced the death of a child, at any age, from any cause. Regardless of age, we in TCF believe our children will always be thought of as just that…..our children.
Is there a charge to attend?
There is never a charge to attend a TCF meeting. Our chapters rely on voluntary donations from members, friends and the community at large.
What happens at a meeting?
Some meetings are simply about introducing ourselves and sharing our thoughts and feelings. At other times, chapters have short programs before the sharing time. The programs may include a brief guest speaker, viewing a video tape, or listening to an audio tape.
Can I bring a friend with me?
Of course, you can bring a friend, but we ask that they, as well as all members, respect each other’s privacy. It is important for us to be able to share freely within our group and be sure confidences will be respected.
My husband says he won’t come with me. Can I come alone?
Yes. We all grieve differently and he may not be ready to take part just yet…or ever. And, likewise, many husbands attend meetings without their wives.
My child died from AIDS or substance abuse. Will I still be welcome?
Yes. All families who have experienced the death of a child at any age, from any cause, are welcome.
Religion doesn’t matter to me anymore. Can people at a meeting accept that?
Generally you will find TCF members are very tolerant of any views. After the death of a child, many priorities, as well as values, change.
I notice the meeting is in a church. Do I have to belong to a church to attend?
TCF has no religious affiliation at all. Chapters meetings are held in a wide variety of locations depending upon what is available in our communities.
I have baby-sitting problems. Would it be all right to bring my five year old with me?
While we understand the difficulties of finding child care, we must ask that any children attending with you be old enough to understand the meeting discussions and not be upset by them. We are not able to offer child care at this time.
Do I need a reservation before I come to a meeting?
No reservations are needed. Just come whenever you feel up to it.
My child died seven years ago, and I postponed my grief work. Now it’s catching up with me. Is it too late to come now?
We all grieve differently. Many parents don’t feel the need of a support group until years after the death of a child. It’s all right to come whenever you are ready, whether it’s soon after your child’s death, months later or years later.