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2019 SOUTH TEXAS

REGIONAL CONFERENCE

DEEP IN THE HEART OF HOPE

Workshop

GRIEVING A STIGMATIZED LOSS: HOW PARENTS AND SIBLINGS HEAL, A PANEL

With Cathy Seehuetter, Steve Roberts, Jill Greczek, Carolyn Porter

A child’s death from any cause is devastating, but when their death is from suicide, homicide, disease of addiction, mental illness, or other stigmatized manner, the grief of the surviving loved ones is often complicated by stigma and shame. How does one cope with all the feelings of complicated grief such as anger, guilt, betrayal, and depression when often no one wants to talk openly about your loss? A panel of individuals with varied types of stigmatized loss will share their own grief experience and coping strategies useful in dealing with their loss to not only survive but to thrive. Attendees of this workshop should expect open discussions in a supportive environment.

Pecan – Saturday 10:30AM

 

FINDING A NEW PURPOSE TO LIFE

Presented by Ghislaine Thomsen

How can one thrive while going through the unimaginable? Finding a new purpose to life after the death of her daughter was a turning point in Ghislaine’s grief journey. A testimonial and a very interactive workshop on how finding a new purpose to life can, not only bring hope and healing, but bring a sense of accomplishment, a sense that the bereaved parent, grandparent or sibling is continuing to honor their loved one in the most loving way. All are welcome.

Elm – Saturday 10:30AM

 

RESILIENCY

Presented by Alan Pedersen

Are you further down the road in your grief journey? If so, you may be ready to change the way you feel. This interactive workshop is for those who are ready to transform their losses and find hope, healing, and joy again. You will learn 10 tools techniques for reducing bereavement stress and will develop skills for healing after loss. Participants have reported that they left this workshop feeling more hopeful and energized and learned techniques that could be used anywhere.

Magnolia – Saturday 10:30

 

WHEN GRANDPARENTS LOSE A GRANDCHILD: THE REALITIES OF OUT OF SEQUENCE LOSS

Created by Bradley and Bonita Vinson

When a child dies, the grandparents experience grief in a profound, indescribable way, so different from any other relationship to the child. Some describe the depth of pain and recovery as much more intense than other losses they have experienced. Compounding grief and the relationship with the child's parents, grandparents are tasked with processing their own grief while simultaneously assisting their own child with losing a child. This session will engage participants by highlighting differences ln grief for grandparents, exploring and expanding the grief stages model, and making suggestions for the grandparent grief journey as well as the journey of their children and others around them when a child has died. Presenters will engage participants in a lively discussion of tips and truths about grandparent grief that will aid in their recovery. This session will be helpful for anyone else desiring to understand the complexities of the grief journey of bereaved grandparents.

Pecan – Saturday 1:00

AM I STILL A PARENT? BECOMING CHILDLESS

Presented by Steve Roberts

This workshop covers not only the loss of a child (or all children) but the singular grief and additional questions that come with becoming suddenly childless. "Am I still a parent?", "How do I answer the question 'do you have children'?", "Who will care for me in my old age?" and many more. Becoming childless presents a unique set of challenges. In this workshop, we will attempt to touch on many of the issues "now childless" parents may be reluctant to discuss.

Elm – Saturday 1:00

MEN’S PANEL: MEN EXPLAINING MEN TO WOMEN

With Bill Mercer, Steve Roberts, Ronnie Plotkin, Mike Greczek

We all hear that men and women grieve "differently," but is that true? ls the grief experience so different for a Dad than it is for a Mom? This interactive question and answer format is designed to help women understand the grief experiences of male partners and if "gender grief" truly exists. The goal is honest conversation about the grieving male mindset, how male partners grieve, why they might be acting differently; to discuss openly how men communicate ( or not), and how to better support their wife, as well as fielding honest questions on how women can best support their husband.  No sincerely questioned topic is taboo! Each participant will be encouraged to anonymously write their concerns and placed in a "fishbowl" for open candid discussion. Direct questions from "the floor" will also be welcomed.

Magnolia – Saturday 1:00

 

JOURNALING/WRITING A MEMOIR/MEMORIALIZING

Presented by Annette Mennen Baldwin and Nada Scanlan

The death of a child is the worst thing that can happen. You lose a big part of your future. It is well known that keeping your child’s memory alive, saying your child’s name, and telling your child’s story are important to the grieving process and to the new life you did not choose. Annette Mennen Baldwin, an accomplished published author, will show you valuable tips and techniques on capturing precious memories, and penning them to paper. Nada Scanlan will focus on the many other ways parents and families can keep their loved one’s memory alive.       Live Oak – Saturday 2:15 PM

 

COPING WITH TRAUMATIC GRIEF

Presented by Dr. Lynn Hagan

Grief is the emotional reaction to loss – any loss. Painful as an experience might be, many people are able to cope. But when we talk about traumatic grief, we speak of a life-altering experience that brings horror, helplessness, shock, pain, and a feeling of “losing it”. The ongoing effects of this type of event can be devastating. We will explore ways to handle traumatic grief and provide strategies for managing these intense effects of trauma.                      Elm – Saturday 2:15PM

 

HEALING GUILT AND REGRET

Presented by Alan Pedersen

Participants will gain an understanding of guilt and regret the bereaved may face in relation to both the life and the death of their loved one. They will be given many examples of how the bereaved may try to cope with guilt and regret. Alan will share his personal story of guilt and regret and give examples of some of the common regrets of others, The participants will be given effective tools to offer the bereaved to help them work through guilt and regret including owning their guilt, accepting their guilt, sharing their guilt and releasing their guilt. With this workshop, they will have an understanding of some of the common denominators at work in the lives of the bereaved who successfully move away from their guilt, The 5 H's (hurt, hope, help, honor, and healing) will be shared in detail and practical examples given of each.                                                                                                                                                                                               Magnolia – Saturday 2:15


UNDERSTANDING WHY PEOPLE COPE DIFFERENTLY & LEARNING TO LIVE TOGETHER

Created by Allie Sims Franklin

Every person grieves in a unique way. This can become very complicated in families where the grieving styles of each member seem to clash. Come spend some time exploring the ways in which children, adolescents and adults grieve differently. We will discuss how the factors of personality, temperament and character traits affect grieving styles. This is a fun workshop for all ages to come and learn about ways to honor your own coping style, while learning to cherish the different styles within a family. When families, couples, people, learn to support one another in the way that best suits their unique perspective, healing can begin.                                                                                                       Live Oak – Saturday 3:30


BEYOND LOSING A LOVED ONE TO A SUBSTANCE ABUSE RELATED CAUSE

Created by Barbara Allen

A child, grandchild or sibling's death from any cause is a profound loss. When substances such as alcohol and/or drugs are involved, grief is often complicated by stigma and shame. Any indication of substances as a contributor to death complicates our grief journey beyond the loss itself. Substance related deaths continue to skyrocket in every area of our country with opioids (prescription drugs) and heroin the leading causes today. Moving from the outdated moral model of ignorance to the medical model of disease, combining science with compassion, we find hope. Understanding the complexity of substance related issues, we erase stigma and discover a future. Together we learn to cope with anger, guilt and depression finding a new purpose beyond loss. No Shame or Blame ~ Just Love'.Elm – Saturday 3:30

 

GOOD  GRIEF: LEARN TOOLS TO NAVIGATE THROUGH GRIEF AND LOSS

Presented by Dr. Lynn Hagan

A death not only affects families but also friends, peers, teachers, co-workers, community members and even strangers to the situation. The onset ofbeing faced with grief and loss can affect one's ability to engage with others. Many people of all ages continue to live with untold hardships and hidden traumas tucked away in their backpacks. The goals of this no-nonsense presentation are to educate and provide some much-needed honesty and candor about a topic that everyone else is afraid to discuss or bring out into the open. This session will offer effective methods for dealing with loss and sadness. Attendees will learn the right things to say and the wrong things not to say when dealing with grief or loss. Attendees will be learning how they can positively navigate life after loss and help others deal with changes in their lives in a positive way. This session will educate parents, siblings, and grandparents by providing "Good Grief" educational guidelines that can help them acquire lifelong healthy responses for coping with situations if they arise.

Magnolia – Saturday 3:30