As I sat with a group of teens the other day, I told them about the formation of a grief counseling group called Living with Loss, which acknowledges its members as individuals who have experienced loss in some form. I asked what they would hope to get from a group like that. The responses I received ranged from wanting to know why loss happened to desperately seeking ways to cope in a positive or productive manner.
Given the complexity of grief, I know that I will never be able to answer all of their questions. Wediko will not have the capacity to meet every need and heal every wound. What we can do, however, is offer a space where these deeply intricate emotions can be safely explored.
The emphasis of the group is creating a space where kids can be kids, teens can be teens, and adults can be adults. The expectation is that you be where you are emotionally; nothing more. When these individuals choose to share parts of themselves with the group, their stories are honored. While they explore their feelings, learn about their process, and find ways to support themselves and others, I show up and do my best to support them.
Embarking on this journey is not an easy task, and yet these families take a chance to move past their anxiety of the unknown and start a process that I believe will change their lives. And it does. I see it in their smiles, the loud conversations they have, and the laughter they share. I see it in the new connections, the questions, and their openness to learn.
And they aren’t the only ones. I love the work I do, the transformations I experience, and the opportunity I receive to learn from our courageous group members every day.
This work is amazing and I want to invite you to take the next step to get support for yourself or to share this opportunity with others who may benefit from it. While we cannot cure grief, we can make sure we don’t have to navigate it alone.
The Living with Loss Grief Support Program, which began serving families in 2011, starts a new cycle on October 21, 2014 at the Wediko office in Boston. Please contact Kate Tetuan with further questions or to register. She can be reached at 617-512-8681 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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