Sunday, April 8, 2012

Conferences This Season

This year holds a lot of promise for some wonderful gatherings for bereaved parents. I know some parents are newly bereaved this year and would like to know of these conferences, and others who are interested just need reminding of these events. I start off with information on two new conferences and websites for you to check out the other three national events.

The Western Pennsylvania Regional Conference
The theme “Treasured Memories,” will be held April 20-21 in Meadville, PA. Regional conferences are more affordable for those who would like to go but can’t afford the national conferences. You have the opportunity to share an intimate time with families going through the grief process.

Keynote speakers include TCF Executive Director Patricia Loder, Carla Blowey, author of Dreaming Kevin; The Path to Healing, and Lillian Meyers, PhD, FT, a bereaved parent and licensed clinical psychologist, certified grief counselor and a Fellow in Thanatology. Planned are eight sharing sessions and 12 workshops. There will be picture boards, a butterfly table with a variety of items available for purchase.

Registration fee for the conference is $50 which includes all materials, entrance to all workshops, sharing sessions, break time refreshments and a buffet luncheon. Days Inn has special rates. For more information, contact Ralph and Norma McClay at

Ohio Conference: Changing Colors of Grief

If you live in Carey, Ohio, or anywhere in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan or anywhere in the Midwest and don’t have much time off work, this conference might be for you. It will be a one day Saturday event held at Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation. Registration by Sept. 15 is $15 or $20 if received later. Final registration is due Monday, Oct. 8.

Keynote speaker will be Joyce Harvey, who has done seminars for Now Childless conferences, Bereaved Parents USA, Compassionate Friends and is a motivational speaker by profession. Joyce’s only child, Jennifer, died of suicide while in the Marine Corps in 1995. She is the author of “I’m Fine. I’m With the Angels and a contributing author to “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series.

There will be one breakout session in the morning to choose either Anticipatory Grief, Your Funeral Rights, Child/Teen Grief or Men and Women Grief. The afternoon breakout choices are Ambiguous/Disenfranchised Grief, After the Rites, Violent/Sudden Loss or Grief/Depression. Each session will have different speakers.

Overnight Accommodations are available by contacting Brother Randy at 419-396-7970. Complete registration forms and questions are available by contacting Germaine Kirk at 419-224-6711, ext. 431 or email

BPUSA National Gathering (Bereaved Parents USA)
June 29-July 1, 2012, in Tampa Bay, FL. See their website for more information

35th National TCF (Compassionate Friends Conference combined with the 5th International Gathering of Compassionate Friends
July 20-22 in Costa Mesa, CA at the Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa Hotel. See the website for additional information:

26th National POMC Conference (Parents of Murdered Children)
August 9-12 in Phoenix, AZ at the Arizona Grand Resort. Contact or call 602-254-8818 with question. You can also look on the web site.

Additional info
Compassionate Friends is now making it possible for everyone to get a free online subscription to their national magazine We Need Not Walk Alone with many helpful articles on surviving the death of a child. All you have to do is go to, click on “sign up for national publications” near the top of any page and fill out the subscription form. Then you will get a link each time it is published that you can open on your computer and read online or download for personal use.

If you can not attend the TCF national conference, you can still purchase a momento called “Remembrance of Love.” It is the picture of your child with this year’s national conference logo attached to a heart made out of stainless steel. Donation for this is $10 plus $5 shipping.


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