1500 Grieving for Children Converge on Boston July 5-7 for Compassionate Friends 36th National Conference

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Grieving the death of a child within their families, 1500 persons from the across the country are expected at The Compassionate Friends 36th National Conference July 5-7 in Boston, MA. The conference will incorporate the 14th annual Walk to Remember which begins at 8 a.m. Sunday July 7.

A variety of keynote speakers are heard at TCF National Conferences.

Author, bereaved Mother Lois Duncan speaks at TCF's National Conference last year. A variety of keynote speakers are heard at TCF National Conferences.

We are gathering . . . in a nurturing atmosphere of acceptance, validation, understanding, and hope.

The nation's largest self-help bereavement conference will be held in Boston, MA by The Compassionate Friends July 5-7 when up to 1500 parents, siblings, and grandparents from across the country, grieving the death of a child, are expected to converge on the city. This will be The Compassionate Friends 36th National Conference, and incorporates its 14th annual Walk to Remember®.

“This is a unique conference because everyone attending has experienced the ultimate loss, the death of a child in their family, whether it happened two weeks or 40 years ago,” says TCF Patricia Loder, executive director of The Compassionate Friends. “We are gathering as parents, brothers and sisters, and grandparents in a nurturing atmosphere of acceptance, validation, understanding, and hope.”

Keynote speakers for the conference are well known within the grief world: Tina Chery who, after the murder of her son Louis, created the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute with a mission to create and support an environment where families can live in peace and unity; Ken Druck, bereaved parent and founder of the Jenna Druck Foundation, and one of the nation’s pioneers in personal transformation including healing after loss; Bill Hancock, director of college football’s Bowl Championship Series, author of Riding with the Blue Moth, and father of Will, who was killed in the 2001 crash of an airplane carrying members of the Oklahoma State University men’s basketball team; Dr. Heidi Horsley, Dr. Gloria Horsley, founders of “Open to Hope” Foundation, and Phil Horsley, Chair of TCF Foundation, a family united after the loss of son and brother Scott, will combine for the conference opening.

In addition, there will be more than 100 workshops covering most aspects of grief after the loss of a child; sharing sessions; memory boards; reflection room; complete book store; and a Remembrance Candle Lighting following the Saturday Evening Banquet; and much more. There will be quality entertainment throughout the conference including the East Coast Acappella performance Friday evening.

This year’s conference theme is “Beacon of Love—Rays of Hope,” using the nation's first lighthouse, in Boston, as the symbolism for bringing together the many who seem lost after the death of their child, sibling, or grandchild. The conference is being held at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton St. in Boston with rooms available at the host hotel, as well as other hotels in the immediate area. On-site registration for the conference will be held from 3-9 p.m. Thursday July 4, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday July 5, and 8 a.m. through noon Saturday, July 6.

The annual Walk to Remember, a highlight of the conference, begins at 8 a.m. July 7 at the hotel. Anyone can come to walk in remembrance of children gone too soon. Registration is required and starts at 7 a.m.

The Compassionate Friends has 660 chapters serving every state plus Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Every month more than 17,000 bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents attend chapter meetings where they can talk candidly about their loss. The organization has a presence in at least 30 countries worldwide. There is no charge for any outreach services. Call 877-969-0010 for information about the conference and the Walk to Remember, or visit http://www.compassionatefriends.org. Also on Facebook.

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Wayne Loder
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