TCF Principles
For bereaved Parents, Siblings, and Grandparents

1. TCF offers friendship and understanding to bereaved parents, siblings and siblings and grandparents. We have learned that the death of our child sibling or grandchild has caused a pain that can best be understood fully by another who has experienced a similar loss. Knowing that all need love and support, we reach out as our own grief subsides to those still feel alone and abandoned.

2. TCF believes that bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents can help each other in the grief process. We understand that each family member must find his or her own way through grief. We know that expressing thoughts and feelings is a part of the healing process. We offer the opportunity for sharing and learning from other bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents. Everyone deserves the opportunity to share; however no one is compelled to speak. We have the responsibility to listen. We do not offer professional psychotherapy or counseling. We seek the support of the professional community but do not depend upon it for supervision or formal guidance. We welcome the opportunity to share with the professional community what we have learned about the needs of bereaved families.

3. TCF reaches out to all bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents across artificial barriers of religion, race, economic class, or ethnic group. We espouse no specific religious or philosophical ideology. We support our activities through voluntary contributions and assess no dues or fees to our members. We do not participate in legislative or political controversy. We express our individual views on controversial subjects with respect and consideration for those who may disagree with us.

4. TCF understands that every bereaved parent, sibling and grandparent has individual needs and rights. We never suggest that there is a correct way to grieve or a preferred solution to the emotional and spiritual dilemmas raised by the death of our children, sibling or grandchildren. We recognize that there is more then one way to grieve and that bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents may grieve in different ways and on differing timelines. We know that these differing grief styles can cause additional stress and conflict in an already disabled family. We recognize that the term bereaved sibling encompasses all age groups. We understand that the death of a brother or sister affects not only children but adult siblings as well. We show sensitivity to all siblings regardless of age.

5. TCF helps bereaved families primarily through local chapters. We have established local chapters to provide sharing groups that create an atmosphere of openness and honesty. We believe that local chapters should be autonomous in all matters except those affecting other chapters of the organization as a whole. We believe that chapters succeed most frequently if there are three or more founders, at least two of whom are a year or more from there loss and including at least one father and one mother.

6. TCF chapters belong to their members. We treat what is said at meetings as confidential and what we learn about each other as privileged information. We recommend that attendance at meetings by the media, by students, or other observers be permitted only with prior announcements and with the consent of the chapter members. We realize that some time must be spent on organizational issues and financial matters but we prefer to keep this to a minimum and out of the regularly scheduled TCF.

7. TCF chapters are coordinated nationally to extend help to each other and to bereaved parents, sibling and grandparents everywhere. We maintain a national office to serve us by assisting in the development of new chapters, by offering support and consultation to existing chapters, and by responding to bereaved families where there is no local chapter. We have learned that it is often easier and more effective to provide program material and educational services by working together at the national or regional level than having to work alone. We seek opportunities to share with society the insights our grief has brought us that future bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents may receive needed understanding and support. We encourage other family members, to share in our task of mutual support. We acknowledge our responsibility to support our local and national goals by contributing what we can of our time, our talent, and resources.