LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Grief is something many people don’t think too much about until they’re going through it after losing a loved one. Comanche County Memorial Hospital Hospice has a grief group open to everyone in the community who has lost someone.
Ted Edwards, a chaplain at Comanche County Memorial Hospital Hospice, said there's always someone in the community grieving, which is why he and another chaplain decided to start this group. They want to give people tools to help them navigate through it because it can be difficult.
“It's almost as if someone is dropped off in the middle of a mountainside or the middle of the wilderness, and they're not exactly sure how to work their way through it,” Edwards said. “We help them make it through their journey as they go through that."
Suzy Salas recently went through the ten-week course after losing her husband of 31 years.
"I needed all the help I could get in the grieving process,” Salas said. “The closer you are to a person, the more you're going to be torn up, and grief and I needed all the support I could get."
She said she had a lot of support from family, friends, and her church, but she needed something more, which is why she decided to go through the group.
"It helped me by giving me the insight, the coping tools, the structure, the knowing what to expect, what not to expect," Salas said. "At one point, I thought with all my mourning and crying, I thought I was losing my mind. It explains why these things happen, and you're not losing your mind. You're not really crazy."
During the course, they meet weekly and talk about a book they're reading about grief and share their own stories. Those in the group are encouraged to share, but they don't have to if they don't feel comfortable doing so.
"Some come in the first week or two and are very quiet," Edwards said. "They're just checking it all out, but within a couple of weeks, usually, most people feel comfortable enough to join into a conversation or dialog or speak to each other and one another."
Carleen Coffin also went through the course. She said she was worried that she had lost her husband, of almost 57 years, too long ago to attend, but the chaplains leading the course told her that anybody can come and it doesn't matter how long ago you lost someone.
"In the beginning, I thought I can do this, and I got stuck," Coffin said. "Coming and hearing other people share and see what they're going through, I realized I wasn't the only one, and so it helped."
While this group is free and open to everybody, it becomes a closed group after it starts.
"We usually don't allow others to come in because everything that the group members share amongst each other is very confidential," Edwards said. "And we keep that within the group."
They hold the ten-week grief group twice a year. The next one starts on March 16th. They meet on Monday's at four in the afternoon at CCMH.
If you’d like more information or to sign up, call the hospital at 580-355-8620 and ask to talk to the chaplain.