To every season: Wellness Collaborative recognizes the time to mourn, the time to heal

By Beth Durban

The Wellness Collaborative will be offering a grief support program in September. As the Wellness Collaborative support groups coordinator, I will lead the group, which will help participants deal with the bundle of emotions that come with loss.

The program objectives include:
• To understand the emotional and physical dynamics of grief.
• To decrease the sense of isolation and increase a sense of normalcy through contact with others in similar situations.
• To develop healthy coping skills and activities.
• To provide a safe, caring and understanding environment where you can share as much or as little as you wish. Everyone’s journey is different. You will not be pressured to speak.

The program is not intended to tell you how to grieve. Each person grieves in his/her unique way and time frame. Understanding and sharing one’s feelings with others can help reduce the pain of grief by providing hope and support. It is an opportunity to express those thoughts and feelings that are often suppressed. The group will meet on four consecutive Wednesdays: Sept. 1, 8, 15 and 22. Meetings are 2-4 p.m. in the small meeting room at the Village Station next to The Chimneys. Attendance at all sessions is important and registration is required. There is no fee. A little about my background: I am a member of the Wellness Collaborative, a retired nurse with 16 years’ experience facilitating grief support groups. I was widowed at age 30 with three small children.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia asked me to start a group for young widows and widowers, which I facilitated for six years. After marrying my husband Tom Durban, we had two more children and moved to St. Louis. There, I was a parish nurse for 14 years, serving 3,000 parishioners and assorted school children to promote wellness in body, mind and spirit. At that time, I took numerous college courses on grief, conducted workshops and facilitated grief support groups three times a year. Being part of the Wellness Collaborative has been a great opportunity for me to be active in our community.

For more information or to register, please call or email me at 314-640-0247 or

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