My initial intention in attending the seminar was to gain some insight into what clients and families of the clients I served dealt with on a daily basis with the grief over the loss of a loved one. Not once in the days leading up to the seminar did I think, “How would this seminar relate to my personal life?” Today hit home for me. Gloria and Heidi Horsley, the mother and daughter team who lost their beloved son and brother, Scott, to a tragic car accident made me question the entire grieving process, not only for my customers and clients, but for those who I interact with on a daily basis, my own family, ten years after the violent gun death of my brother, Michael.
Many situations were covered during the course of the seminar, which involved two workshop group sessions. The seminar focused on Pregnancy Loss, Spouse Loss, Sibling Loss, Trauma, Treatment and Life Reconstruction.
The purpose for my attendance, dealing with customers and clients who are experiencing or have experienced a loss, was discussed. I learned many things within one small group workshop led by Alice MacDonald, MSW, CACII. First, as a person who has experienced the loss of a spouse, she provided the participants of the workshop chance to speak about their experience; what helped them in their process of grieving, what didn’t, and participants offered to each other encouragement in the process. I learned there are different levels to the grievance process and that not everyone reacts the same way.
One part of the discussion focused on myths that complicate mourning. Another, on the different ways a spouse might be traumatized when experiencing the loss of a loved one. One thing Clinician MacDonald taught us is that there CAN be healing through positive efforts, sharing, surrounding yourself with positive people and keeping your life at a balance; sometimes gently re-writing some inter-workings of your life to fill the void.
I want to sincerely thank Gloria and Heidi Horsley for sharing Scott with all of us in attendance. I want to thank Alice MacDonald for having the courage to address her intimate story of loss and reconstruction. I also thank Speaker WYFF News 4 Anchor Nigel Robertson for closing this wonderful day with his story about his father’s battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). I would like to thank them all for allowing God to use them.
Sonita M. Leak,
A Notary Public
The Holiday Grief Seminar was held in the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Greenville, 847 Cleveland St., Greenville, SC 29601. Presented by Interim Healthcare Hospice, Mackey Mortuary, Woodlawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park, Dillard Funeral Home, Hillcrest Memorial Park, Greenville Memorial Gardens, Oconee Memorial Park and Palmetto Cremation Service.
*Photo courtesy of Open to Hope