by Jehan Seals
“One of the hardest trials in any form of human suffering is when the sufferer feels it is unjust, added to the particular distress, nagging questions often torment the sufferer. Why? What did I do wrong? Why, after consciously fulfilling every duty to its limit, should God allow this suffering to come to me?” -Dana Booth
Dana Booth, a licensed counselor with Grief Recovery Center, understands the need for grief counseling and considers it an honor to walk alongside someone’s personal grief journey. “With the tragic death of my 15-year-old daughter, God’s words provided peace. I asked God how could I have one foot on Earth and the other in heaven? How could I choose between my two children?”
Romans 8:25 says, “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” “It made sense to me,” Dana says. “God wasn’t surprised by what happened he was simply aligning my life according to his perfect will.” Dana explains how God’s divine order led her to help those experiencing complicated grief, cope, after a great loss.
“I learned we suffer so we may comfort others as we have been comforted. So I suspected one day I would be doing grief work, but I could not see how it would come about or when I would ever have the strength,” she says. Her experiences came full circle when she accepted a position at GRC. Dana has been with the organization for four years now and believes seeking counsel during a loss can be a major part of the healing process.
The healing process is a journey and there is no time limit involved, Dana explained. “Everyone grieves at their on pace and the stages of grief are unique for every person, but every step taken brings you a little closer to healing,” Dana says. Taking the first step sometimes means reaching out and getting support.
Often, those who are grieving become a mere afterthought following a loss, resulting in a lack of comfort and understanding. With the support of the GRC, that harsh reality can be eliminated. A support group, as well counseling, can provide comfort and effective strategies to aid during the grieving process. The GRC provides several free support groups for children, teens and adults who have experienced a loss.
Adult support groups are offered on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at various locations throughout Baton Rouge and surrounding areas typically between 6-7:30 p.m. An eight-week program for children is also available in the spring and fall and is focused on developing healthy coping strategies during the grieving process.
Much of the work done through GRC and many of the free support groups it offers would not be possible without the support of generous individuals and organizations from our community. Grief Recovery Center’s signature fundraiser, Culinary Arts for Healing Hearts, is in its eighth year and the GRC staff invites you to join them for a night of celebration and healing at Crowne Plaza (4728 Constitution Ave.) on April 28, 2016.
Guests will enjoy dishes prepared by local restaurants and chefs, a silent auction and music by the Nick Abraham Band. Attendees, sponsors, restaurants/chefs and in-kind donors will all be taking part in helping heal hearts and lives by keeping the doors of the GRC open, as it depends on this event to provide the funding necessary for its work in the 11-parish Greater Baton Rouge area. Tickets are $60 per person or $500 for a reserved table of 10. Sponsorship opportunities are also available — to learn more visit http://www.grcbr.org/#!sponsorship-levels/c1lyp or call 225-924-6621.
“We all go through seasons of life where we are either on the giving end or receiving end of help. If you have pneumonia, one would go to a doctor to receive help. If you find yourself in place where intense emotions or life circumstances have overcome you, seek help from a Licensed Professional Social Worker or Licensed Professional Counselor. It can make the difference between finding your way back to the land of the living or giving up all hope!” Dana says. For more information about GRC’s programs visit www.grcbr.org, contact them via email at: email@example.com, or call: 225-924-6621.