St. Alban’s program helps with grief

Published 8:55 pm Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Change occurs after the loss of a loved one and living through the adjustment can be painful.

In an effort to meet the needs of those suffering, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Bovina will be offering an eight-week program entitled “Walking the Mourner’s Path: Transforming Grief Into Joyful Living.” 

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“‘Walking the Mourner’s Path’ is a ministry that offers a safe place and a quiet environment to explore grief with a small group,” the Rev. Billie Abraham said, “While allowing for each person’s individual pace and comfort level. It is also a ministry of listening that is grounded in prayer.”

Abraham said she learned about the grief program several years ago while at St. James Episcopal Church in Jackson where the program was initiated and was interested in offering it in Vicksburg.

“I went to St. James probably three years ago and talked to the priest in charge of it. It has been sitting here just wanting to germinate,” Abraham said, “And after I had two or three parishioners say they really wanted to work with grief, suddenly I had a team and the pieces fell into place.”

Abraham, said she along with church members Betsy Selby and Stacy Weaver attended training in Desoto, Texas and will serve as the leaders during the first offering, which will begin Tuesday, April 3, in the rectory of the church, 5930 Warriors.

Sessions will continue for seven consecutive Tuesdays and will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Abraham said she hesitates to call “Walking the Mourner’s Path” a program because that makes it feel “heady” she said, “But it is a program and it does have a workbook,” she said.

“When I took the workshop, the very first day the leader said ‘don’t deviate’ and I thought I would never not deviate, but then we went through the program and I would not dream of deviating, because I know it works. This is such a beautiful progression of opening up questions for people to ponder,” Abraham said, adding, “I left with a sense of peace and closeness to the person I took to talk about and that person has been dead for a very long time and I didn’t think I had that much to grieve because I thought I had done it.”

Abraham said “Walking the Mourner’s Path” is designed for anyone who has lost a loved one and there is no time limit to it.

“The person could have died 40 years ago or the person could have died a year ago,” she said.

St. Albans will continue this ongoing ministry Abraham said with two more sessions scheduled.

Groups are limited to eight and Abraham said there are a few openings left in the inaugural offering.

A second session will begin Tuesday, September 11 and will run through Tuesday, Oct. 30 and the third session is scheduled to begin Tuesday Jan. 15, 2019 and will run through March 5. The second and third session will begin at 2 p.m.

The cost for the eight-week program is $75, but scholarships are available.

Abraham said participating in “Walking the Mourner’s Path” helped her grow.

“Life will never go back to the way it was before the person died, never ever, so this is a means of moving into a new normal,” she said.

For more information, call 704-460-8041, 601-218-4916 or 601-594-0066.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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