Cathy Soeken understands if someone is uncertain about attending grief-support meetings but she has a couple of encouraging suggestions.
Soeken is a long-time social worker at Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice (GBHH&H), with an extensive background in caring for those who have lost loved ones.
GBHH&H is part of the St. Rose Health Center family.
“Our next series of meetings starts soon and I encourage people who are grieving to at least try the first session,” she said. “They can then make an informed decision.
“Also,” she continued, “feel free to ask a friend to join you for a session or two. The friend may want to know how to help; this could be an answer.”
The next weekly Monday night series of meetings begins Feb. 1 and runs through March 21. The group meets from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at GBHH&H, 3520 Lakin. Use the Lincoln Street entrance.
“Grief support can help mend your broken heart,” Soeken said. “You have grief because you loved someone so deeply that the heart doesn’t know how to handle this major loss. You can’t think of anything else and routine tasks become difficult.
“We do acknowledge that grief can be exhausting and it takes courage to attend a support group,” the social worker continued. “But it can be a first step in trying to heal. You can share with others who understand what you are going through.”
Soeken noted that newcomers often can’t even mention the name of a lost loved one.
“Sometimes the bereaved are just not ready for the group and we understand,” she said. “The process is different for everyone and we are here whenever you are ready.”
Soeken co-facilitates the group with GBHH&H Chaplain Larry Schumacher. Both help lead the group discussion.
Anyone with questions or who is interested in attending the sessions may contact Soeken or Schumacher by calling the GBHH&H office, 620-792-8171, between 8 a.m. and noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
St. Rose specializes in primary care, prevention and wellness. Services include St. Rose Family Medicine, Convenient Care Walk-in Clinic, Great Bend Internists, imaging, Special Nursing Services, one-day surgical procedures, Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice and a comprehensive Specialty Clinic. St. Rose is co-owned by Hays Medical Center and Centura Health.