News From the End of Life

Grief group aids families of terrorist victims

Grief support for families that lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon on Sept. 11 is available from the nearly 600 chapters of The Compassionate Friends, a national bereavement self-help organization. Compassionate Friends was established to help families resolve their grief following the death of a child of any age and to provide information to help others be supportive.

"Thousands of people have had to face the fact that their child, sibling, or grandchild has died because of these terrible acts," says Patricia Loder, executive director of The Compassionate Friends. "We have to remember that everyone who died was someone’s child. The time will come when many of these parents and family members will want to talk with others who have also faced the grief of losing a child and can help them travel this long journey. That is why we exist."

In the states including and surrounding New York and Virginia, where the attacks took place, Compassionate Friends has 137 chapters. In California, the destination of the four jetliners, there are an additional 36 chapters.

Within days of the terrorist attacks, brochures and national Compassionate Friends magazines were shipped into New York City and Washington, DC. "Along with this came the promise to our chapters that whatever they needed to serve the victims of these catastrophic events, the national organization would find the means to supply them," says Loder.

For more information about the national Compassionate Friends organization and locations of local chapters, people can call (877) 969-0010 or visit the organization’s web site at