The loss of a loved one is always devastating. A new grief support group at Coffey Health System offers help for anyone who has lost family or friends. While not limited to COVID, the group will address some of the unique aspects of grief brought about by the pandemic.
CHS Social Worker Amy Osner will lead the group. She welcomes anyone needing help in their grieving process and encourages connection with individuals who have shared feelings and experiences.
As the hospital’s social worker, Osner sees first-hand the overwhelming grief of families who lose a loved one—often without being able to truly say goodbye.
“When COVID hit us big in 2020, my role changed – as did everyone’s in healthcare. But specifically, for me, I became sort of a middleman for communication between the family and the patient since they weren’t allowed visitors. When it was time to have end-of-life discussions or when the patient would unexpectedly pass, I had the privilege of being with the family and offer any sort of comfort that I can.”
While caring for families, Osner recognized the common ground they share.
“I kept hearing something along the lines of, ‘I just wish I didn’t feel so alone’ or ‘No one knows what this feels like.’ It got me thinking that—while the grief process is unique to each person—the feeling of loss is the same for everyone,” she said. “It just felt like our community, especially right now, could benefit from a feeling of togetherness when so many people are feeling loss.”
The eight-week grief support group is limited to ten participants; however, more groups will be added based upon community interest. Participants will meet from 5:30-7 p.m. each Thursday from Oct. 7 through Nov. 23 in Coffey County Hospital’s conference room. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the last session will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 23. Light snacks and drinks are available.
Osner is a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor.