Talbot Hospice, the county’s premier nonprofit provider of hospice and other end-of-life services, and the Child Loss Support Group, a separate 501c3, have reached an agreement to transition all duties and functions of this long-standing support group to Talbot Hospice as of December 2019.
The Child Loss Support Group was founded in 1986 by Talbot Hospice volunteers Betts Guthrie, Millie Parrott, Rhonda Higginbottom, and community members Rob and Lynn Sanchez who had just lost their son, Rion, at the age of 8. Higginbottom, who served as the group’s facilitator for more than 30 years, retired in January 2017. “It seemed like a natural fit for Talbot Hospice to take on the Child Loss Support Group,” Dr. Rob Sanchez said. “In fact, the group started at Talbot Hospice, and it has now come full circle going back there.”
According to Vivian Dodge, Executive Director of Talbot Hospice, its affiliation with the Child Loss Support Group began in June 2017 when Talbot Hospice became involved in the Celebration of Life Memorials and provided the child loss support group activities. The affiliation allowed both organizations to work collaboratively. “We are always looking for opportunities to partner with like-minded organizations. Together, we felt this was the appropriate time to allow Talbot Hospice to fully incorporate this work under our bereavement program, which will increase and expand access to quality grief support for a greater numbers of individuals in our communities,” said Dodge. “The death of a child is a particularly difficult loss. The Child Loss Support Group and their founding board members have dedicated themselves lovingly to this group for many years, and we are honored to bring the child loss group to our program.”
Child Loss Support Group members established the Healing Garden at the entrance of The Easton Club in 1998 as a memorial to their children and a place to remember, meditate, and pray. Butterflies are released at an annual Celebration of Life ceremony as a symbol of hope and new life. The spring Celebration of Life is held at the garden to commemorate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, while the December Light a Candle Remembrance Ceremony has historically been held at Trinity Cathedral.
The Child Loss Support Group is for anyone dealing with the death of a child of any age. It meets every 3rd Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. at 586 Cynwood Drive and is free of charge and open to the public.
For more information on the Child Loss Support Group or any Talbot Hospice bereavement session, contact Talbot Hospice at 410-822-6681 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A complete list of grief support groups can be found at TalbotHospice.org/programs/bereavement.
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