St. Mary’s resumes Life After Loss support group

June 30, 2021

The loss of a loved one can be an emotional roller coaster, filled with an intense and sometimes debilitating mix of emotions – especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. For adults grieving the loss of a loved one through death, St. Mary’s Hospital is resuming Life After Loss, a free bereavement and grief support group.


The group’s first meeting will be Thursday, Aug. 5, from 5:45-6:45 p.m. at St. Mary’s Hospital on Baxter Street. The group will then continue to meet at the same time on the first and third Thursdays of each month.


Life After Loss is designed to help those who are experiencing the loss of a loved one work through their experience, express their feelings, and find support among others facing a similar loss. People can attend as many sessions as they wish and no registration is required. At each meeting, facilitator Rev. Jessica Chicken will help pose thoughtful questions and guide discussion of healthy and meaningful ways to cope with grief.


Rev. Chicken, the manager of spiritual care at St. Mary’s, holds master’s degrees in divinity and thanatology, a field focused specifically on grief and loss. She has more than eight years of experience as a hospital chaplain, including extensive work with grieving families. Rev. Chicken is also a certified therapy dog handler who often works with her trained Schnauzer, Ollie.


“Before the pandemic struck, we were able to help many people cope with their grief through this group,” Rev. Chicken said. “Now that COVID transmission numbers have declined and many people are vaccinated, we are able to resume Life After Loss. It’s particularly needed now because so many people lost loved ones over the past year without the aid of normal means of coping. We are here to help any adult learn healthy and effective ways to cope with the loss of someone they love.”


Life After Loss is free and open to any adult who would like to attend. Meetings are held in the Lobby Conference Room of St. Mary’s Hospital, 1230 Baxter St., Athens. The meeting room is easily accessible from the hospital’s parking deck and Registration Entrance directly across from the parking deck’s lower access point. Participants will need to complete St. Mary’s COVID-19 screening process when they enter the building and wear a mask while in the facility.


For information, please call 706.389.3426. If Rev. Chicken is not at her desk, please leave a message and she will return your call as soon as possible.


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