Welcome to the Camden County NJ Chapter
of The Compassionate Friends
The Compassionate Friends
The Compassionate Friends is an international self-help, mutual-support organization for bereaved parents, grandparents, and siblings of children who have died from any cause and at any age.
The mission of The Compassionate Friends:
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.
The vision of The Compassionate Friends is that everyone who needs us will find us and everyone who finds us will be helped.
There are approximately 600 chapters of The Compassionate Friends in the U.S.
National Chapter of
The Compassionate Friends
The Camden County NJ Chapter of The Compassionate Friends meets on the third Friday of each month at 8 pm.
The meeting place is the Audubon Senior Center at the corner of Oak & Oakland Avenues, Audubon, NJ, 08107.
The building is right next to the Audubon Library on Oakland Avenue.
If you wish to send a message to our chapter's webkeeper, please simply click on her name and you will be directed to an e-mail addressed to her.
Bobbi Stagliano is our webkeeper and is always hoping to hear from you re: anything you would like to have added or removed or corrected on our website.
If you need to send something to our chapter in hard copy, please address the correspondence to Vivian Gano, 406 Barby Lane, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003.
If you need to send something to be printed in our newsletter, please send it to email@example.com
or to Bobbi Stagliano, 36 Alexander Ave., Merchantville, NJ 08109.
Note: it may be necessary to double click on some of the hyperlinks to connect to the e-mail of that person and/or organization.
Table of Contents:A guide through the Web site
How it all Began: How Compassionate Friends originated.
Credo: We need not walk alone. We are The Compassionate Friends.E-Mail addresses: Communication is the key to survival for bereaved parents. TALK TO SOMEONE.
Guest Book. We want to hear from you. Please let us know what your thoughts are. If you would like to have your child or sibling remembered on the Memorial page or submit a poem on our Newsletter page; please fill out the form provided in our Guest Book. Thank you
Memorial: This page is dedicated to our precious Children. Watch for changes to this format this Spring (2013.)Reflections Page:
Reflections: This page contains poems and deep thoughts.
Articles and Link Page:: Other sites with similar interests. The Bereavement Journey a place where you can email or chat with others. A Bereaved Parent's Wish List: A List which every person should read to help understand some of the ways Bereaved parents feel.
NATIONAL CHILDREN'S MEMORIAL DAY: A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America signed in 1998.
Magazine of The Compassionate Friends: Published Quarterly.Our Website: : What is really important for anyone who visits this site to know is that the website is "ours", Columbia GA and Camden County NJ. Both chapters have special places where they have remembered their children with memorials for those children. The Riverwalk is a memorial for the children from Georgia. A dedicated park bench in the Camden County Park System is a memorial for the children of the Camden County NJ TCF Chapter. Please read about these special places.
Quotes: Variety of quotes from various sources.
How It All Began
The Compassionate Friends was founded in Coventry, England in 1969, following the deaths of two young boys, Billy Henderson and Kenneth Lawley, the previous spring. Billy and Kenneth had died just three days apart in the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital where Rev. Simon Stephens was Assistant to the Chaplain. Simon mentioned Billy's death to Iris and Joe Lawley, and the Lawleys decided to send flowers to Billy's funeral. The signed the card simply, "Kenneth's parents," realizing that the Hendersons would know who they were.
Bill and Joan Henderson then invited the Lawleys over for tea, and an immediate bond was formed as the two couples spoke freely about their boys, sharing their memories and the dreams that had died with Billy and Kenneth. They continued to get together regularly, and young Rev. Stephens, then only 23, encouraged them to invite other newly bereaved parents to join them. In 1969 another grieving mother accepted their invitation to meet with Simon and the two couples. They decided to organize as a self-help group and actively begin reaching out to newly bereaved parents in their community. Because the word "compassionate" kept coming up, this new organization was called "The Society of the Compassionate Friends."
Simon became a chaplain in the British Royal Navy in the 70's. He was met by bereaved parents at ports around the world, and he helped them to develop their own chapters. TCF had become well-known through U.K. and U.S.A. editions of such magazines as Time and Good Housekeeping. Paula and Arnold Shamres of Florida read Simon's interview in Time Magazine and invited him to visit them in Florida and speak to bereaved parents there. He did, and the Shamres subsequently founded the first U.S. chapter in 1972. Word of the organization spread rapidly through interest generated by the Phil Donahue Show and the columns of Dear Abby and Ann Landers.
The Compassionate Friends was incorporated in the United States as a non-profit organization in 1978.
In 1989 The Compassionate Friends of Great Britain dedicated a plaque commemorating the founding of the organization, at the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital where TCF had begun. The plaque was unveiled by their patron, Countess Mountbatten, herself a bereaved parent.
Then in November, 1994 Queen Elizabeth presented Iris Lawley with a medal, The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, in recognition of her work on behalf of TCF.
There are now Compassionate Friends chapters in every state in the United Statesalmost 600 altogetherand hundreds of chapters in Canada, Great Britain and other countries throughout the world. In the United States, chapters are open to all bereaved siblings and other family members who are grieving the death of a child of any age, from any cause.
We need not walk alone. We are The Compassionate Friends. We reach out to each other with love, with understanding and with hope. Our children have died at all ages and from many different causes, but our love for our children unites us. Your pain becomes my pain just as your hope becomes my hope. We come together from all walks of life, from many different circumstances. We are a unique family because we represent many races and creeds. We are young, and we are old. Some of us are far along in our grief, but others still feel a grief so fresh and so intensely painful that we feel helpless and see no hope. Some of us have found our faith to be a source for strength; some of us are struggling to find answers. Some of us are angry, filled with guilt or in a deep depression; others radiate an inner peace. But whatever pain we bring to this gathering of The Compassionate Friends, it is pain we will share just as we share with each other our love for our children. We are all seeking and struggling to build a future for ourselves, but we are committed to building that future together as we reach out to each other in love and share the pain as well as the joy, share the anger as well as the peace, share the faith as well as the doubts and help each other grieve as well as to grow.
Siblings Walking Together
(Formerly the Sibling Credo)
We are the surviving siblings of The Compassionate Friends.
We are brought together by the deaths of our brothers and sisters.
Open your hearts to us, but have patience with us.
Sometimes we will need the support of our friends.
At other times we need our families to be there.
Sometimes we must walk alone, taking our memories with us,
continuing to become the individuals we want to be.
We cannot be our dead brother or sister;
however, a special part of them lives on with us.
When our brothers and sisters died, our lives changed.
We are living a life very different from what we envisioned,
and we feel the responsibility to be strong even when we feel weak.
Yet we can go on because we understand better than many others
the value of family and the precious gift of life.
Our goal is not to be the forgotten mourners that we sometimes are,
but to walk together to face our tomorrows as surviving siblings of
The Compassionate Friends.
©The Compassionate Friends
Beverly Walker Beatty, Sunnyvale California, Grandmother of James Kyle.
Ruth Williams, Grovetown GA, son Daniel Williams (17).TCF National, The Compassionate Friends National Office.
If you have corrections, additions, deletions or omissions
concerning information on this site and would like changes to be made by the
web keeper of this site, please contact
Bobbi Stagliano with the information about you and your child (grandchild,
sibling, etc.) and the changes you would like to have made. She will contact you
to verify the information before any changes will be made. Thank you. Thank
you Chris Wallace of Direct Admin for hosting this web site for The Compassionate Friends of
Camden County NJ.
If you have corrections, additions, deletions or omissions concerning information on this site and would like changes to be made by the web keeper of this site, please contact Bobbi Stagliano with the information about you and your child (grandchild, sibling, etc.) and the changes you would like to have made. She will contact you to verify the information before any changes will be made. Thank you.
Thank you Chris Wallace of Direct Admin for hosting this web site for The Compassionate Friends of Camden County NJ.
Music: "All by Myself"-Eric Carmen