Speaker offers help for grieving

Workshop set to focus of loss, compassion for others, continuity of life

This Mother’s Day weekend will offer several talks and workshops centering on grief and loss.

“Due to the extraordinary number of unexpected deaths in our community over the past several months, we felt that caregivers and community members could use some emotional support to address compassion fatigue,” said Jenny Traenor, a licensed professional counselor at Mercy Regional Medical Center.

Mirabai Starr, a certified bereavement counselor who assists in grieving, will host a talk and workshop Friday and Saturday at Mercy. Starr’s journey through grief began with the loss of her 14-year-old daughter in 2001 in a vehicle accident.

She is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and world religions at the University of New Mexico in Taos and the author of several books, including God of Love.

The workshop is set to take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday in conference rooms A and B on the garden level at Mercy. It will include readings, dialogue, guided meditation and writing.

“Her story and her mission is the encouragement through the deepest losses that life can deliver,” Mercy counselor Barbara Wolfe said.

Starr’s talk is slated for 7-8 p.m. Friday at the same location. It will be followed by a book signing and refreshments.

“This workshop began as an idea last January because we’ve had so many unexpected losses in our community,” Treanor said. “We realized it would be great to have a speaker come in to help supporters and those who are grieving.”

Among the unexpected deaths that occurred this year were Gena Rych, Tyler Black and Steve and Jan Measles, who died in December when the plane they were in crashed; and 5-year-old Kimber Brown who died suddenly in February. A coroner’s report concluded she had suffered an accidental overdose of cold medicine.

“The weekend comes with the intention to honor the losses that our community has suffered. We are a small community, and we still feel those losses,” Traenor said.

pblank@durangoherald.com

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