AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Compassion and support for those that have lost loved ones is what the Hope and Healing Place brings to those who are grieving.

“Whenever you feel supported a lot of the times people will tell you I understand or I’m here for you. But there’s nothing like a person who has actually walked in your shoes,” said Laurie Howard, Hope & Healing Place Community Relations Director.

That’s what Hope & Healing Place, a grief and loss support center here in Amarillo provides to those who are grieving and don’t know what to do by offering them several different kinds of support groups.

“Our main group is called generations and that’s a family group where people arrive and have dinner as a family unit. Then they break up in to age-appropriate groups and here at the Hope and Healing Place, we have a curriculum that we follow. Our other one is called survivors of suicide loss and that’s an adult program. We have one called heart prints and that’s for infant loss and miscarriage loss,” said Howard.

The semesterly programs are held every spring and fall but for those that can’t make that, there’s a new group open to anyone called “Coffee and Hope.”

“It’s the first Wednesday of every month. Anyone can come and enjoy some support with each other and just needing someone else to talk to about their grief and loss,” said Jennifer Miller, Hope & Healing Place Program Director.

“When you’re surrounded in this room like the one you and I are sitting in right now and the chairs are full of people that have walked and suffered a significant loss like yours. You feel empowered and comforted by the fact that they truly do understand and as you’re talking and sharing your story and listening to their story, it validates your grief,” said Howard.

Howard understands the impact these groups can have on those going through the grieving process, having gone through it with her family.

“It forever changed me and my kids’ lives by knowing how to put tools in my grief toolbox of how to navigate life and when life gets difficult and hard. So since I walked it and came through the program, it changed me and that’s what brought me to the Hope and Healing Place. It opens those doors to hope, which is what we want to get through, is the darkness to fade and the hope to start coming to light,” said Howard.

The Hope & Healing Place will hold it’s annual “Big Cheese” event at the Rex Baxter building on Friday, January 21st.

For more information on the event and the Hope and Healing Place’s mission, click here: