AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — “Death is a hard subject and it’s hard to find people to console you during those times,” said Laurie Howard, Hope & Healing Place Development Director.
When it comes to dealing with the tragic loss of a loved one, Howard knows exactly just how hard it can be, as she lost her dad several years ago to a massive heart attack.
“A lot of times with the death of a loved one, people want to console you and they want to console you and they want to say comforting things and in reality they may not know truly how you feel in that loss,” said Howard.
After participating in their annual half marathon, Howard and her family discovered the Hope & Healing Place.
“It drastically changed my outlook on grief and my children’s outlook and it’s not really just grief, I think it’s how to deal with life when life gets hard because if you don’t have the tools to pull yourself up when life gets hard and you’re kind of just stuck there,” said Howard.
Hope and Healing Place is a free support-group based non-profit that helps people of all ages deal with the tough subject of losing someone they love and doing it in a healthy manner.
“Maybe they’re so lost in their grief that they lose their jobs or they seclude themselves from their friends. They turn to addictive behaviors with drugs and alcohol. There are just those negative behaviors that you can fall into and here we like to show them that there are ways that you can healthily cope with their grief,” said Howard.
They start this by putting you in one of the several types of groups that’s offered at their facility.
“We have a generations group, which is for everybody in their family. School age children up to adults, which could be parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and they come together and they share a family meal. Then they divide up into age appropriate groups to work through our grief curriculum that’s lead by a facilitator,” said Howard.
For example, teenagers are asked to paint masks. On the outside they paint them how they want the world to see them.
On the inside of it, how they feel on the inside.
“I want them to know that this isn’t just a place of tears, that we also have joy here and laughter here and we find that new way of being able to say, it’s ok to find that light, it’s ok to find that joy again,” said Howard.
Now a part of the Hope and Healing Place, Howard says she wants to spread the message of hope to everyone who comes through their doors.
“I just feel like this is where God has placed me to be. You can get in that hard place but you can also find the light at the end of the tunnel too,” said Howard.
For more information on their fundraiser, “The Big Cheese,” click here: