Serving the Lehigh Valley Allentown-Bethlehem and Easton Region of Pennsylvania
For more information contact Bill Arnold at 610-217-1070 or email@example.com
“Faith Aware NOT faith based”
Nearly fifty years ago, as a young hospital chaplain, I met grief and loss face to face for the first time through the losses of parents, siblings, friends, family, and staff at the Children’s Hospital of Dayton, Ohio. Many years later, I continue to be privileged to walk with the dying in their final breaths as well as with those tasked with grieving and mourning their losses.
As I look back on those first encounters, I am aware of how impacting and formative the events of a nontypical Monday have been to my life and my awareness of grief and grieving. It was on the Monday after Easter 1976, that I met Melissa, her parents, and my own struggles with grief and loss. I had been awakened at around 4:45 a.m. to the startling sound of the old rotary telephone next to my bed. I answered the phone in a fog; it was the ER nurse from the Children’s Hospital calling. She was with the parents of a beautiful six-year-old girl, Melissa who had just been admitted with a high fever, dizziness, and disorientation. Her parents were alone, fearful, and bewildered by what for many parents of a sick child can appear as a dark, unwelcoming, and frightening place.
In the predawn traffic, the normally 20-minute ride took me only about 12 minutes to negotiate. As I walked through the ER doors, I was met by staff who said, “We are so glad you made it here quickly!” Immediately I sensed that their gladness would not become my joy but something far more gripping. I knew in my soul that something intense was lurking. It was that morning, that grief bit me deeply, wounding me, and began tugging at me for the first of many times.
As a result of the events of that day, I have become an advocate for those touched by death – ceasing to see death for those in the midst of their loss, as a normal and natural fact, instead recognizing it as an unwelcomed, foreign, unnatural, fearsome, and twisted event that can overwhelm and capture those touched by loss.
As a Certified Advanced Grief Counseling Specialist (CAGCS) I have invested myself in evidence-based counseling strategies that can help struggling clients find solace and perhaps meaning after a loss. I am committed to walking with you through the sting of death and hope you will join those like yourself who come searching for safe passage through this thing called grief.
“Grief requires us to be on a journey. After a loss, unless we walk through the Valley of Shadows; we shall fear the darkness and the uncertainties that can surround and overwhelm us.” Bill Arnold
Typical Meeting Agenda Online Grief Support Group
6:30 p.m. Gathering and Announcements
6:35 p.m. Mindfulness Exercise or Brief Guided Meditation
6:40 p.m. Brief introductions
6:50 p.m. Naming and the Sharing of our Losses: A Round Robin or Popcorn style sharing by group members of what brought them to this session(Universal “I PASS” granted as requested)
7:10 pm. Presentation and Open Discussion
Sample Presentation would include these and others:
Kinds of Loss
Myths of loss versus the realities of grieving
Understanding your loss
Stages of Change
Rebuilding and Resilience
The music and songs that make us cry or smile
Surviving the Holidays
7:55 p.m. Session Closing