The Compassionate FriendsThe Compassionate Friends

(877) 969-0010


For your nearest chapter:

“The Compassionate Friends is about transforming the pain of grief into the elixir of hope. It takes people out of the isolation society imposes on the bereaved and lets them express their grief naturally. With the shedding of tears, healing comes. And the newly bereaved get to see people who have survived and are learning to live and love again.”
—Simon Stephens, founder of The Compassionate Friends


The Grief Toolbox
The Grief Toolbox

When it comes to dealing with grief, it can be a challenge to find the resources we need to educate ourselves and our loved ones on what is happening and how to best keep going forward. The Grief Toolbox’s goal is to be a place for grief tools: a singular area where a person can find all the resources they need to help with grief.


Karen PetersonKaren Peterson

A medium who specializes in the bereaved.

Karen Peterson’s first recollection of communicating with the other side came as a young girl of 12 years. It was a year when her family was faced with the loss of several relatives. During the funeral services she had a sense that the deceased were speaking to her. Karen tells how she thought it was nothing extraordinary: “It all seemed so natural, and I thought everyone heard the same as I did.”


Law Center to Prevent Gun ViolenceLaw Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is a public interest law center dedicated to preventing gun violence. Founded by lawyers, the Law Center is the country’s only organization devoted exclusively to providing legal assistance in support of gun violence prevention.


Insight Prison ProjectInsight Prison Project

Since 1997, the Insight Prison Project has been dedicated to reducing recidivism rates and improving public safety by conducting highly-effective in-prison rehabilitation programs that provide prisoners with the tools and life skills necessary to create durable change. Working in
partnership with San Quentin State Prison, IPP conducts 19 weekly classes involving more than 200 prisoners. Our classes focus on preparing the men to become responsible and productive members of the community when they leave prison.


Project GraceProject Grace

Project Grace organizes service trips for grieving mothers, fathers and families. Our participants come together in a supportive environment for the dual purpose of honoring a loved one and serving a community in need. Whether they are singing songs with the children of an orphanage, handing out food and clothing to the families living at the Puerto Vallarta dump in Mexico, or helping to build a school in Nicaragua, our goal is to help Project Grace participants find strength, hope and a renewed sense of purpose through dedicating their time and hearts to a meaningful endeavor. Laughter, friendship, tears and treasured moments are all a part of the experience as participants share their stories, offer compassion and support.


Tim Griffith FoundationTim Griffith Foundation

The Tim Griffith Foundation helps to heal and strengthen Bay Area communities by providing support and services to those affected by addiction, violence and loss.


Open to Hope LogoOpen to Hope

Open to Hope is a non-profit organization with the mission of helping people find hope after loss. We invite you to read, listen, and share your stories of hope and compassion.


the MISS foundationMISS Foundation

Since 1996, the MISS Foundation C.A.R.E.S. for families experiencing the death of a baby or child at any age and from any cause. They are a community of compassion and hope for grieving families.


Reading List

I always have these two books on hand to give to newly grieving people.
They were the only books (at that time) that gave me anything. One of the nice
things is that you can open the books anywhere and get something. You do not
have to read the whole book, which is difficult for most people in the beginning
stages of traumatic grief.

A Broken Heart Still Beats – After Your Child Dies
Authors – Anne McCracken and Mary Semel
(I also think this book is great for anyone)

Remembering with Love – Messages of hope for the First Year of Grieving and Beyond
Authors – Elizabeth Levang, Ph.D. and Sherokee Ilse

Other WONDERFUL books that have been written since:

Books of amazing poetry:
Stars in the Deepest Night – After the death of a Child and Catching the Light – Coming Back to Life after the Death of a Child
Author – Genesse Bourdeau Gentry
*Genesse was the Compassionate Friends group leader during the many years when I attended monthly.

A heart filled book:
Sugar Cookies and a Nightmare – How My Daughter’s Death Taught Me The Meaning of Life
Author – Carol Kerns

A father’s journey of loss:
Making Toast (2010) and Kayak Morning (2012)
Author – Roger Rosenblatt