Grief support group meets twice a month

A free, monthly grief support group that started last year is now meeting twice a month in the Comox Valley.

The group — Beyond the Stigma, Silence and Sorrow — is designed for those who have lost someone to overdose.

“Very quickly, participants made it clear they would appreciate two groups a month, realizing the support and care they received from being around others who understand,” said Paula Purcell, a therapist and support group volunteer. “Some groups we have 10 people, some groups two people. It’s drop-in, so there is no expectation of attendance.”

The moniker, Beyond the Stigma, Silence and Sorrow, came from a mother in the group.

“She is why this group began,” Purcell said. “She was looking for a grief group specific for those who have lost someone they love to overdose.”

Another member is Jennifer Hedican, who lost her son Ryan to a fentanyl overdose in 2017. That year, she and family members organized a local event during International Overdose Awareness Day, held each year on Aug. 31.

“There are so many people in our Valley and outlying areas that have loss and might not know that this is available,” Hedican said. “It’s really nice to know you are not alone. It’s a safe place to release your grief in a way that maybe you haven’t before.”

Meetings run from 2-3:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at Nourish Wellness, Unit C at 1822 Comox Ave., and from 5:30-7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month, upstairs at Quality Foods in Courtenay.

FMI: call Purcell at (250) 650-7282.

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