On June 4, 2011, the Center for Grief Recovery celebrated its 25+ years of service by hosting a community fund raiser event. It turned out to be a wonderful success!
The goals of the Center's Walking Through Grief—Together were:
1. To provide a community ritual for those mourning significant losses.
2. To raise money for a grief recovery scholarship fund.
3. To raise awareness of grief and mourning.
4. To inform the community of the Center's therapeutic services.
It was a hot and breezy day along the lake for our first-ever community walk. Lots of bottled water was on hand! Sixty hearty walkers came to participate with a palpable sense of purpose to remember and ritualize their losses.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year approximately 2.5 million people die, affecting 8-10 family members for a total of 20-25 million new mourners each year.
Unfortunately, western society complicates grief and mourning. From our rapid pace of social change to family breakdown and feelings of personal powerlessness and isolation, to unemployment, poverty and violence, today's mourners are being undeniably negatively impacted by multiple forces.
Walking Through Grief—Together combined meaningful grief rituals to counteract these disturbing trends. As far back as 1912, Emile Durkheim, one of the founders of sociology, expressed that rituals teach people how to share with their neighbors the transitional experiences of life and loss. Through ritual, the community is able to share the most joyous and the most frightening moments of life. No one has to face these experiences alone.
The Center's mission is empower individuals to heal their own lives. As part of our undertaking, we intend to continue our outreach to raise awareness of grief and mourning, so as to expand the sense of communal belonging in and through profound experiences such as bereavement.
As one walker put it,
"This is the first time since my wife's death that I have been able to genuinely smile with another person."
"The walk was meaningful for my wife and I not only because of our long association with the Center, but also because we walked for our son's best friend, who passed away two weeks ago at the age of 46. He was a wonderful young man and we can't express how meaningful it was to have the walk sponsored by the Center as a way for us to honor him and be in touch with our deep grief for him and his family."
Many more photos from our Walk Through Grief can be seen on our
Facebook page here.