Grief and Loss Facilitator
Rev. Kate Albert Dawn (ChIME 2014) is a facilitator of the Grief and Loss group at the Cancer Community Center (CCC). This eight-week group is for adults grieving the loss of a loved one from cancer, or complications related to cancer treatment.
In the Grief and Loss group at the CCC, individual mourners share their feelings and experiences in a safe, caring environment. Anger, fear, isolation, anxiety and stress are within the range of emotions commonly accompanying deep loss. Peer support is offered around changing family roles, forging ahead, and the question “what’s next?”
Group is a place for sharing and listening. Rev. Kate offers companionship as group members move through their journey of grief and loss. Rev. Kate says, “I come to group with an open heart to create and hold comfortable, safe, sacred space. I strive to be totally present, present to participants’ pain, a witness to their story.”
“Every group is different,” Kate continues. “Grief does not discriminate. Our group members can be spouses, grown children, parents, partners, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and friends.”
As Rev. Kate reflects upon her work, the words of another chaplain named Kate come to her. “Human beings are empathetic: We feel pain when others feel pain,” writes Maine State Warden Services Chaplain Kate Braestrup.
“Grief and mourning are the form love takes when it has slammed into loss,” Kate Braestrup says. “So yes,” says Rev. Kate Albert Dawn, “I feel the pain and heartbreak of group members.”
During the eight weeks through discussion, pictures, art, and writing, Rev. Kate gets to know the participants and is introduced to their loved one. “I am blessed to be a group facilitator,” she says. “I am honored that participants walk through the door and show courage in being vulnerable. I am honored to walk alongside them during their grief.”
In and through the pain of group members Rev. Kate experiences primarily love. “Oftentimes it is the love of the caregiver for the deceased,” she notes, “a never- ending love that is held, grasped, and bound in their hearts. Sometimes love gushes out as tears and the words spill out surrounding the deceased in love. The tears and words fill the room. The room is filled with love. I am surrounded by love.”
Contact Rev. Kate Albert Dawn at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the CCC contact:
Cancer Community Center, 778 Main Street, South Portland, ME 04106