ALLIE DOUGLASS | The Sun
Kerry Lambert, chaplain and certified grief recovery specialist at Murray Calloway County Hospital, flips through a prayer book on Tuesday morning in the hospital's chapel. MCCH's 12-week grief outreach program helps people to cope and heal after a traumatic loss or change.
A grief recovery outreach program at Murray-Calloway County Hospital will offer help this fall for people experiencing major life losses, such as divorce or death of a loved one. To help members heal, the program seeks to dispel myths associated with the grieving process.
“One of the myths about grief recovery is time heals all wounds,” MCHH chaplain and certified grief recovery specialist Kerry Lambert said. “Well, time’s not the issue. If time was the issue we’d just have to wait for a magic six or nine months to pass and we’d be all better.”
Lambert said group members range from people who have experienced loss within two days of entering the group to those who have waited several years before seeking help.
“I think it just got to a point where they didn’t want to stay in their same rut or hole any longer,” he said of those who waited for time to pass before entering the group.
Lambert said some stereotypes may prevent people from getting the help they need. Males in particular may buy into the idea that they should be a strong source of support for their loved ones, rather than going through the emotional process of grieving for themselves.
“Of the 40 to 50 people who come out (of the sessions), it’s 85 to 90 percent women,” Lambert said.
He adds that well-meaning cliches, such as “he’s in a better place now,” may not prove helpful to grieving people. “It very well may be true (that the loved one is in a better place), but that’s regarding the person that’s died. That’s not helping you ... with the reality of everyday circumstances,” he said.
The sessions held every spring and fall at MCCH take the grieving through a 12-week process that involves examining myths about grief, writing down losses that have been experienced over the course of one’s life, and choosing one particular loss to discuss in a small group setting. The program is affiliated with the Grief Recovery Institute, which offers its program nationwide.
Lambert has been heading the group for five years, and said he became involved when he realized his monthly support group sessions weren’t offering enough consistency for their members.
The program is open to people of all faiths and is not age- or gender-specific.
For more information, contact Lambert at 762-1274.
Call Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641.