The Compassionate Friends of Atlanta Area Chapters

Metro Atlanta TCF Speakers Bureau

If you represent a civic, community or school organization or a metro Atlanta business interested in booking our speakers
you may contact the speakers directly by email at:

The Atlanta TCF Chapters' Speakers Bureau was created  to further the two secondary missions of TCF beyond self-help support for families following the death of a child. Those secondary goals are: 
      1. Community education regarding grief and
      2. Raise the community awareness regarding local TCF chapters.
    We are looking for bereaved parents who are two or more years into their personal grief journey who are comfortable with public speaking and are committed to a subject that would be of general community interest. If you are active or retired TCF chapter participant, we encourage you to  weave the TCF story into your own grief journey.   Following are two presentation summaries and speaker profiles that will provide some examples of what we are looking for in terms of content. 

    Suicide Awareness:

    How does it happen? What are the contributing factors? What is bipolar disorder? Depression? Are there any successful prevention strategies? This presentation will explore some of the aspects of suicide and the grief that follows and its effect on parents and families. 

    Speaker:  Karyl Chastain Beal is an elementary school teacher and a bereaved mom. The co-founder of the Southwest Georgia TCF chapter, Karyl is active with Hospice, email grief support groups and an accomplished writer. She lives in Pavo and is available for speaking engagements throughout SW Georgia. 

    Email Karyl

    What Can We Do When Death Comes to Our School?: 

    A seventh grader is hit by a speeding car.  A senior athlete dies of  heart failure.  A beloved teacher is victim of a violent crime.  A third grader loses her two-year battle with leukemia.  Two high school students complete a suicide pact.  An assistant principal develops complications after a simple surgery and does not survive.  All of these tragic events occurred in Georgia schools during the past year.

    What can we do when death comes to our school?  As members of the school community wrestling with our own feelings of loss and grief, how can we provide support to others?

    This presentation will focus on the predictable chaos that occurs throughout the school community when a death occurs.  The dramas of grief will be explored as well as differences in the grief experience when death has been anticipated and when the death is sudden and unexpected.  The benefits of memorial services, tributes, and lasting memorials will be examined as well as the concept of "being with" those who are experiencing great emotional pain.  The presentation will conclude with a time of sharing 
    personal experiences.

    Speaker:  Elaine Grier, RN, MS, CCRN is a professor of nursing at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing.  Her eighteen month old son was killed in an accident sixteen years ago and she and her husband attended their first meeting of The Compassionate Friends only nine days after Philip's death. 

    Elaine and Jim were Chapter Leaders for The Atlanta Chapter of The Compassionate Friends for seven years and remain active as community representatives for the organization.  Elaine has been a featured speaker at several national and international conferences and has created a nursing elective for her students entitled "Caring in Times of Death, Dying, and Bereavement."  As the mother of three living sons, she has great interest in the impact of death on the school community. 

    Email Elaine

    Sibling Grief:

    Bereaved parents wonder how to communicate with surviving children. Friends don't know what to say to a bereaved friend. Teachers don't know how to approach a bereaved student. This presentation provides numerous successful strategies for dealing with sibling grief and helping those deal with that emotional trama. 

    Speaker: Scott Mastley is a Human Resource Professional and a bereaved sibling. A sibling group leader for 3 years, Scott also served as the sibling representative to the Metro Atlanta TCF Steering Committee. A board member of the Village Writers Group, his current book is entitled "Surviving a Sibling" 

    Email Scott

     The Bereaved Parent(s) and Family– Growing Through Grief:

    A walk through the grief journey experienced when a parent loses a child, no matter what age.   How do we begin the grief journey, do we really want to begin the journey, do we have a choice,  and how can I grow through grief (you’ve got to be kidding)?  Explore the dynamics of  grieving parent(s) and family to include sibling grief,  grandparent grief,  spirituality, humor in grief and how support groups help.   Explore what helps and what is a hindrance and how we grieve differently, yet similarly.  Explore ways to positively approach grief and use it for personal growth.   As you can see, the presentation touches on most aspects of grief.  This is a broad presentation, however it can be changed to reflect the group being addressed and specific needs within the group. 

    Growing through Losses in our Lives:

    This presentation addresses the grief process in relation to any/all types of losses we have in our lives.  We begin having losses pretty much from the day we are born until we die, but with each loss, is a new beginning.  Explore the different types of losses such as relocation/moving, divorce and/or relationship loss,  material losses due to acts of nature and/or fire, loss of health,  childhood losses never grieved, losses from death, unfulfilled dreams,  etc.   Will explore the dynamics surrounding the above types of losses and discuss ways to adapt to these losses, learn from the process, and learn to dream again. 

    Speaker:   Barbara Parsons, a bereaved parent since November 1991 when son, Robert, died by suicide.  I did not know where to “start” in my grief or even if I did, what do you do with it.   As I began my grief journey, two support groups, one being TCF,  became my mainstay and helped me see that I could survive the death of my child and grow from it.  I live in the Sugar Hill community,  very active in my church  and very involved with the life of my other son, Kevin.    I have attended several national TCF conferences throughout the United States along with community workshops.   I have spoken to church groups about grief  and currently facilitate a workshop titled Recovering from  the Losses in Your Life. 

    Email Barbara

    Grief goes to Work: 

    This presentation will explore the effect of grief in the workplace. How does a grieving employee deal with their grief issues? How do co-workers interact with a grieving employee? How does management react to those situations? These and other questions regarding grief in the workplace will be explored and discussed. Then a series of positive strategies will be presented in order to return the workplace to its productive nature while compassionately assisting a grieving employee with their grief journey. 

    Speaker:  Patrick Malone is a senior partner with an international Atlanta-based consulting and training firm. His third born son Scott died shortly after birth in 1971 and his second born son Lance was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1995. 

    Email Pat

    If you are interested in becoming part of the TCF Atlanta Speakers Bureau and meet the above mentioned qualifications please submit a similar presentation summary and speaker profile to: 

If you represent a civic, community or school organization or a metro Atlanta business interested in booking our speakers you may contact the speakers directly by email at: 
All of our speakers are volunteers so there is no formal charge for this service. However a donation to the Metro Atlanta Compassionate Friends in memory of the speaker's child would be greatly appreciated.

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