When Georgia Rackley lost her son in May 2020 she needed a way to connect with others and cope with her cumulative grief. “I have heard it said that ‘a broken heart is an open heart,’” shared Georgia. “I could not run away from my grief or it would eventually catch up with me.” She researched her options. In Cumberland County where she is from, she found a support group being offered outdoors. Georgia attended the group, but it was not what she needed to help her on her grief journey. She continued her research–learning about the Pathways Center for Grief & Loss, a program of Hospice & Community Care.
“I read the information online about the Pathways Center and everything sounded great,” shared Georgia. “I called and spoke with Bereavement Counselor, Elaine, and during our 15-minute phone call she understood what I needed. I thought, ‘she gets it,’ which was so comforting and a relief.”
Some people have apprehension about participating in virtual support groups. They are unsure of what to expect and afraid that the groups will lose that sense of intimate connection between participants and moderators. “My son’s funeral service was held virtually,” shared Georgia. “It appeared that our family and friends felt more comfortable sharing memories from the comfort and privacy of their homes.” Georgia felt that same sense of safety and, as she put it, “coziness” during her first virtual group offered by the Pathways Center.
“I attended the Loss of a Child support group,” shared Georgia. “There were two other women in the group. Seeing the familiar faces each week made me comfortable sharing my story. There was a collective sense that we were all in this together.”
Georgia later attended the Coping with the Holidays series and started the New Year attending Pathways’ Coping with a Loss due to Overdose support group. “All of the support groups that I have attended have conveyed a sacredness,” shared Georgia. “There is a personal and intimate experience and vulnerability that comes from attending the groups.”
The Pathways Center for Grief & Loss is a free resource to the entire community, regardless of whether your loved one is or was a hospice patient. Its mission is to support and encourage peoples’ inherent ability to heal and discern new paths on one’s journey through grief. Everyone experiences grief when they lose something they care about. Grief is comprised of all the thoughts and feelings one experiences related to a loss. The Pathways Center for Grief & Loss specializes in helping people cope with serious illness or loss after death. To learn how the Pathways Center can help you, please CLICK HERE.