I married my best friend/soul mate in 1984 and I thought my "happily ever after" was just beginning. My husband had a chronic illness and every day of our marriage was a medical challenge. As a result of our medical issues, we struggled with infertility. In 1986, my perfect world, as I knew it, came tumbling down around me. My mom, my best friend, passed away rather suddenly. This was my very first experience with grieving the loss of someone close to me. I didn't know much about grief, but, being a lifelong learner, I knew I needed to educate myself. I became involved with HOPE for Bereaved, Inc., Syracuse. I attended a support group and it helped tremendously! I am still involved with this fine organization, 34 years later
So, my "formal" grief education journey started in 1986. I learned about anticipatory grief with my husband's illness. Imagine what a relief when we discovered that the mirage of feelings we were experiencing due to our inability to have children was perfectly normal and grief-related. I was working in the Department of Corrections, at the time, and realized that my students, the inmates, were suffering from several "varieties" of grief: disenfranchised (ambiguous), delayed, cumulative, to name a few. I initiated a Bereavement Program at the correctional facility and trained inmates to be peer counselors. I facilitated a weekly grief support group.
After my husband's passing in 2010, I enrolled in a Bereavement Studies Program at Maria College, Albany. As a result of my coursework, I began to facilitate a pet loss support group through my veterinary clinic and an anticipatory grief support group for caregivers through the Office of the Aging.
At that point, I was looking to re-enter the workforce in some capacity. I was led to the perfect position at our local newspaper as an Obituary Clerk. I love working with the funeral directors and especially helping family members writing/editing obituaries for their loved ones.
It is my goal to assist/accompany others in their grief journeys.
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Contact at margkershaw (at) aol.com