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Support Group Helps People Cope with Loss

Hospital news | Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Contact: Mardi Ford

Have you lost a loved one through death, or are you trying to be supportive of someone who has? Or are you, perhaps, struggling through the grief process alone? Then “Growing through Grief” is meant for you.

Sponsored by Grande Ronde Hospital Home Care Services, “Growing through Grief” is a unique support group that provides information on the grieving experience, and presents skills that can help people move forward in the healing process. It also provides tools to those who want to learn how they can best help grieving friends and family members.

The next session of “Growing through Grief” will begin on September 25. During eight free Thursday evening sessions, participants will learn about the grieving and healing process through videos, group discussions and the sharing of personal experiences.

Teresa Smith-Dixon, L.C.S.W., says grief is a normal reaction to loss, and the loss of a loved one is an experience that can elicit many strong emotions. Smith-Dixon is a Home Health and Hospice Social Worker at Grande Ronde Hospital who has led this series for the past 10 years. The death of someone close to you can bring on such emotions as guilt, pain, sadness, anger, fear, emptiness and more, she says.

But through the years, Smith-Dixon says, she has seen many positive results come out of the support group.

“Participants find others who really understand—and together they affirm life,” she says.

What: Growing Through Grief Support Group

When: Thursday evenings, from Sept. 25 to Nov. 13

Time: 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: First Presbyterian Church – The Parlor Room

1308 Washington Ave., La Grande

The series is free. However, pre-registration is required. Please call Teresa Smith-Dixon at 541-963-1511 for more information and to enroll.