By Kevin Gaddie, Team Eglin Public Affairs
/ Published July 15, 2021
An Airman and Family Readiness Center grief and loss support group offers eligible Eglin personnel avenues to cope with their issues.
Participants gather virtually in the confidential forum every second Tuesday of the month, according to Renata Chambers, group facilitator.
“Many people here have grief and loss-related issues,” she said. “We want them to know they are not alone. We’re giving them a safe place to express their feelings and to hear how others are dealing with their feelings, without fear of consequence or repercussion.”
Chambers and base military family and life counselors open the sessions with various discussion topics, followed by time for participants to share.
There are no rules or standards to follow in the sessions. Participants can join the group anonymously. They are not required to have their computer cameras on and can mute their phones if they wish.
Chambers said the group is not just for those grieving over a death. People going through a divorce; had their lives impacted by COVID-19, or have experienced any type of sudden change in their lives, are encouraged to join the group.
Chambers said the group, which began in November 2020, offers strength in numbers.
She recalled a breakthrough in a recent session. An individual struggling to find closure after a recent death opened up to the group. The person hadn’t been able to express those feelings with her spouse. The counselors gave her tools to help, which gave her hope and changed her outlook.
“Once she spoke about it, she had a sense of relief,” Chambers said. “We all left the session with a feeling of accomplishment.”
For more information, call 882-9060.