Support Groups

Support Groups

Support Groups for the Journey of Grief

Exploring the transformative nature of grief and mourning.

Support Group MEETINGS (Group Session February - October)

    March 21, April 18, May 16, June 20, July 18, August 15, September 19, October 17
  • Milward Man O' War - 1509 Trent Boulevard

The 2016 Support Group will be led by Lori Casey.  Lori  is a registered nurse and  a former flight nurse during Operation Desert Storm.  She married a fighter pilot who now flies for Delta Airlines. They have two terrific adult children who reside in Atlanta near where their mother worked as a nurse until moving to Kentucky in 2004 to attend  Asbury Theological Seminary .  She is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and was an associate pastor at St. Matthews in Louisville for several years.  For the last five years, Lori has served as a  board certified chaplain on the Palliative Care Team at Baptist Health Lexington with a specialty board certification in hospice-palliative chaplaincy. 

"We found contact with others very helpful. It's so important not to isolate yourself.”

Every human being experiences the emotional feeling of loss after the death of a loved one. Each of us must work our way individually through a journey of grief, but we can use the help of others to guide and support us along the way.

"I was so pleased to realize that I was not alone . . . others were experiencing similar feelings and that my mourning was okay . . .  it could actually have a positive value in the healing process." – Carleen Ott

Milward Support Groups are based on “The Ten Essential Touchstones,”  developed by Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D., founder and director of the Center for Loss. As an author, educator, and grief counselor, he is known across North America for his inspirational teaching gifts. He serves as a faculty member of the University of Colorado Medical School’s Department of Family Medicine. Dr. Wolfelt and his wife, Susan, a family physician, are parents to three children, Megan, Christopher and Jaime.

Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.According to Dr. Wolfelt…
The death of someone loved changes our lives forever. Movement from the “before” to the “after” is almost always a long, painful journey. From my own experiences with loss as well as those of the thousands of grieving people I have worked with over the years, I have learned that if we are to heal we cannot skirt the outside edges of our grief. Instead, we must journey all through it, sometimes meandering the side roads, sometimes plowing directly into its raw center.

I have also learned that the journey requires mourning. There is an important difference, you see. Grief is what you think and feel on the inside after someone you love dies. Mourning is the outward expression of those thoughts and feelings. To mourn is to be an active participant in our grief journeys. We all grieve when someone we love dies, but if we are to heal, we must also mourn.

There are six “yield signs” you are likely to encounter on your journey through grief–what I call the “reconciliation needs of mourning.” For while your grief journey will be a intensely personal, unique experience, all mourners must yield to this set of basic human needs if they are to heal.

"I appreciate the willingness to listen to each other–the acceptance shown to all–the kindness and friendliness. This bond among the brokenhearted was unique. I wonder if succeeding groups will be as blessed by this experience as I was." – Nansara Baker

The Milward Support Group series of monthly workshops with handout materials will be helpful to anyone who is experiencing grief in their lives. Participants learn the important difference between grief and mourning; explore the need of every mourner to acknowledge death and embrace the pain of loss; discover many factors that make grief unique to each person and the range of normal thoughts and feelings. Questions of spirituality and religion are addressed and discussed. The rights of mourners to be compassionate with themselves, to lean on others for help, and to trust in their ability to heal are introduced. Learning to write a journal encourages mourners to articulate their unique thoughts and feelings.

If you and anyone you know may benefit from an opportunity to embrace hope and healing, tell them about this program at Milward Funeral Directors. Each session is conducted by a Certified Grief Counselor. Participants will leave with a wealth of knowledge and comfort as they explore the transformative nature of grief.

The support group will be led by Rev. Janet Ehrmantraut. She is an ordained minister and 1983 Master of Divinity graduate of Lexington Theological Seminary. Her ministry has been primarily within the Lexington area,as minister of Antioch Christian Church, regional staff of the Christian Church (Disciples of  Christ) in KY, and as minister of pastoral care at Central Christian Church. Jan and her husband Curt were raised in North Dakota, but have called Lexington home since 1968.

There is no cost or obligation. Reservations are requested, but not required. Following each session, light refreshments are served to encourage discussion by participants who get to know one another.

For more information and to make reservations, please phone 859.272.3414.