The Compassionate Friends

Providing Grief Support After the Death of a Child

The Compassionate Friends is about transforming the pain of grief into the path 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

Friendship, Understanding, Hope


The Compassionate Friends was founded over 40 years ago when a chaplain at the Warwickshire Hospital in England brought together two sets of grieving parents and realized that the support they gave each other was better than anything he, as a chaplain, could ever say or provide. Meeting around a kitchen table, the Lawleys and the Hendersons were joined by a bereaved mother and the chaplain, Simon Stephens, and The Society of the Compassionate Friends was born. The Compassionate Friends jumped across the ocean and was established in the United States and incorporated in 1978 in Illinois.

Each chapter, along with the supporting National Office, is committed to helping every bereaved parent, sibling, or grandparent who may walk through our doors or contact us. The National Office has national and regional upcoming events.

Today TCF has about 600 chapters serving all 50 states plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam offer friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved parents, siblings, grandparents, and other family members during the natural grieving process after a child has died. Around the world more than 30 countries have a Compassionate Friends presence, encircling the globe with support so desperately needed when the worst has happened.


The Compassionate Friends • Central Iowa Chapter


Our Mission

When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. The Compassionate Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope, and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family.

Chapter Meetings

Our Chapter meets the first Tuesday of each month. Meetings start at 7pm and generally last two hours.

Chapter Newsletter

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News & Events

2021 Virtual National Conference

Posted on February 19, 2021

July 16 – 18, 2021

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Rising Together in Grief and Hope

Posted on January 29, 2021

Please join The Compassionate Friends national office for this virtual event!

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Walk to Remember 2020

Posted on September 27, 2020

MercyOne's Walk to Remember

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Speaking Grief

Posted on August 26, 2020

Iowa PBS Virtual Film--Speaking Grief


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