Everyone has different ways of coping.
For those who have lost a loved one, sometimes finding the right outlet to do can be difficult.
The cancer center at Vidant Medical Center started a group called “Living On After Loss” after realizing there were not any resources in the community for those experiencing grief.
The six-week program starts back up on October 15.
The free, closed group will meet once a week for six weeks.
It is designed to be a confidential space where around four to eight participants can share as much or as little as they want to.
9 On Your Side spoke with a former group participant about what the group did for her.
On July 4, 2017, the life Linda Dunn of Snow Hill once knew, was no longer.
“I had been a caregiver for my daughter, and my purpose was removed,” Dunn said.
Her daughter with disabilities, Shana, died unexpectedly that Fourth of July.
This came after years of uncontrolled diabetes, thyroid conditions and autoimmune issues.
Shana battled prescription drug addiction due to her medical issues.
Shana ultimately died from an undiagnosed heart condition.
“She died in her sleep, and I found her,” Dunn said.
The first few months following Shana’s death went okay.
“I got along quite well,” Linda said. “I had to be strong for everyone else.”
Angelina Brittle of Vidant said that feeling is normal.
“Between the funeral, and meals being delivered, and cards being delivered or received,” Brittle explained. “At that three-month to six-month time frame is when the reality hits.”
Around the six month mark, Linda realized she was not as far along in her grief as she should be.
“The overwhelming sense of no purpose in my life. Where do I go from here?”
That is when Brittle and Linda met, as Brittle is a lead facilitator for the group Living On After Loss.
The six-week program allows those who have lost a loved one to remember and share their stories.
Over the next six weeks, Linda connected with other group members also processing loss.
“It helped me realize that I was not alone,” Linda said. “I could say anything I wanted to say.
Linda felt she finally had the chance to express her grief freely.
“It was priceless,” Linda said. “I cannot imagine having gone through this experience without it.”
Living On After Loss helped Linda re-discover her purpose, as she is now the facilitator for her own grief support group in Greene County.
“I was a caregiver before my daughter died, and now I am helping other people get over their losses,” Linda said. “I have a purpose in life again.”
The Greene County Grief and Loss Support Group meets every second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m.
The location is in the parlor of Calvary United Memorial Methodist Church.
For more information, you can contact Linda Dunn at 252-560-1465.
For those interested in Living On After Loss, you can call 252-847-1236 to register.
Living On After Loss will meet from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. every Monday starting October 15 through November 19.
The location will be at the Sheppard Memorial Library.
While Living On After Loss only meets for six week periods, Vidant offers another program that is on-going.
That program is called Pathways to Hope, and meets every second Tuesday of the month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Vidant Wellness Center.
Another group helping those grieving is a new homicide support group in Pitt County.
It is for people who have lost a loved one to a homicide.
It is said to be the first and only of its kind in the East.
Loved ones of murder victims are encouraged to attend the monthly meetings.
Organizers said co-victims of homicide experience a unique set of stressors following the loss.
“There is a part of their family story that has just happened and has a lot of pain associated with it, then there are other people trying to tell the story as well,” ECU Family Clinic director Erin Roberts said. “Whether that is a lawyer, within the court system or media. That whole aspect too can be very disarming.”
The group is supported by the North Carolina Victim Assistance Network.
The meetings will also be at Sheppard Memorial Library on the second Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m.