MOUNT VERNON — A place of shelter, a place of comfort and a place to be heard — these are all ways to describe what participants would say of the Parent Group that meets monthly at Hospice of Knox County. Going through a time of grief after the loss of a child is an experience that nobody desires to endure, yet it is a harsh reality for some.
Formed in November 2012, the Parent Group is a safe haven where people can come and share their feelings with others who are going through a similar experience. Around 12 people currently attend the monthly meetings which take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m., the second Tuesday of each month at Hospice of Knox County. The meetings are open to the public, and there is no requirement to be involved in other Hospice programs.
Participants at the Parents Group are encouraged to open up with their feelings and are made to feel completely comfortable in talking about the emotions they are currently going through.
“In seeing other folks who have gone through a similar loss, they’re there for you,” said Brent Kaylor at a recent group meeting this December. “It helps to hear some of the things you think about. Hearing from other people who have had some of the same feelings has helped me personally.”
Facilitator for the group is bereavement coordinator and licensed social worker Kathy Wantland. “The purpose of the group is to have the opportunity to feel like you’re getting support, seeing others who have experienced the loss of a child. Our hope is to give those parents the coping skills to get through a day. We want them to be able to find some hope and some relief,” stating that parents often feel alone or lost after experiencing such a tragic loss.
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