Non-profit organization offers COVID-19 support group for anyone grieving the loss of a loved one

The Grief Center in Tulsa offers a COVID-19 support group for people who have lost loved ones during the pandemic.

The councilor leading the group said he wanted people to know they are not alone.

“Our grief is proportional to the love and relationship we had with the person,” said Grief Center Counselor Timothy Dearhamer.

Grieving is complicated, it’s messy, and it feels different for everyone.

“As Americans, we don’t talk about grief and even when we do, we don’t talk about it very well,” Dearhamer said.

Dearhamer said the lack of conversation about the realities of grief can make some people feel like they’re not healing fast enough, but the truth is, there’s no timeline.

“A lot of people come in and leave thankful they’re not crazy,” Dearhamer said.

The Grief Center is a non-profit organization that provides professional counseling for people dealing with all kinds of bereavement. You can attend individual consultations or group sessions.

“We have a spouse loss group, a child loss group, a suicide loss survivor group, a pregnancy and infant loss group and of course our COVID-19 loss group,” said Carolyn Yoder of the Grievance Center.

Dearhamer leads the COVID-19 Loss Group. He said he worked with families who couldn’t say goodbye, others who couldn’t have funerals; even families who feel their loss has been politicized throughout the pandemic.

“It’s the most public – not public – grief I’ve ever seen because we talk about it constantly, but there’s almost a sense of shame, I think it happened. There’s a lot of anger because it seems very preventable,” Dearhamer said.

It’s not just the families who have lost someone to COVID-19 who come into the group, it’s the frontline workers who have seen more than most of us could ever imagine.

“They’ve just never seen the death toll they’ve seen. It’s a wonder some of them are still running, to be honest,” Dearhamer said.

The Bereavement Center does not turn away people who cannot pay, so if your grief keeps you from functioning, you can always ask for help.

You can connect with The Grievance Center here.

Virginia S. Braud