Learn about our participants’ experiences with Michael’s Place.
Michael’s Place is blessed by those we help and by those who help us. By sharing, it is our hope that you will gain a fuller understanding of how Michael’s Place makes a positive difference in the lives of those who experience grief. You will note a resounding theme of finding hope on the journey of healing.
Rachelle talks about her experience at Michael’s Place following the death of her mother:
“I started attending the weekly Women’s group and from the very first meeting, I felt a sense of hope.” The women in the group were going through the same thing I was…they were facing the same challenges…the same fears…I remember thinking that I was looking in the mirror when I would listen to the other women speak about their loved ones. It didn’t matter if it was a spouse… a child…a friend…a parent-we were all there to help, learn and listen to each other.”
As part of a healing exercise, young Joey writes a letter to his late father as a way to express his feelings:
I really miss you so much. I miss your love. I miss the way you played with me.
Most of all I miss your kisses and hugs. You were the best dad ever. I know you miss me too and I wish you were here.
Thank you for helping me. I think about you every day.
I love you and I know you are in heaven.
Your son, Joey
Brian writes of how Michael’s Place helped his family cope with the death of his wife:
I began attending Michael’s Place meetings with my son, Jackson, shortly after 2009 started. We had lost his mother just before Thanksgiving to Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). She was only 44 and Jackson was 7 years old. Though we tried to make the best of the holidays, Lori’s death hung over everything. I could tell that Jackson, who usually has a great spirit, was struggling. He couldn’t really talk about his mother and he had trouble expressing what he was feeling. I had read about Michael’s Place and decided to check it out.
At Michael’s Place we found other people just like us who had lost a loved one. By sharing our experiences and talking about our losses, we began to realize that we were not alone in the way we were feeling.
Grief is a universal emotion, but it’s also mostly a private process. Letting it out helps with the letting go.
Jackson met other kids who had lost a parent and was able to talk with some of the great volunteers who connected with him in ways that I was unable to. He started to ask how long it was until Monday — our Michael’s Place night. It was something he looked forward to and I noticed that Jackson started to get his old spunk back after we had been going for a month.
I believe that my son made it through that terrible period of his life because of his innate strength and because Michael’s Place helped him tap into that strength. Michael’s Place is truly a valuable community resource.
I ask you to consider where you would turn if you lost one of those loved ones. For Jackson and myself, we were lucky that Michael’s Place was there for us. It’s there for you too.