I no longer felt alone in my grief. Unless we have walked a similar walk, we don’t know what to say or do to ease the pain of the bereaved. The group was led by a social worker and, as in all support groups, members were encouraged to talk about what was happening in their grief journey. After attending this group for a number of months, I was asked to become a co-facilitator. Evidently my ability to talk about my feelings openly gave others courage to do the same. I realized that I needed to learn more about the grief journey if I was to in some way assist others in healing such a terrible wound – the death of a loved one. I entered college and began studying with a renowned grief expert, Dr. Alan Wolfelt at his Center for Loss in Colorado.
After a few months of co-facilitating, I was asked to assist in forming another bereavement support group sponsored by Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana. Subsequently I was asked to combine the two support groups and to be the facilitator. Thus a weekly bereavement support group co-sponsored by these two wonderful organizations, offered to the general public, free of charge, began.
I am now a practicing grief and loss counselor, continuing to facilitate the support groups after 25 years. Public awareness of the need to process grief has grown to the point that classes are offered at our local colleges on grief and loss. I have the privilege of guest-lecturing in these classes, teaching students how to help the bereaved.
And now a grief center. For those of us who have taken part in bereavement groups and experienced our own healing as well as witnessing the healing of other group members, this is, indeed, a dream come true. Thank you Visiting Nurse & Hospice Home and all who have benefited from your service to the community and all those who support your work.