Grand Lake postmaster organizes grief forum |

Grand Lake postmaster organizes grief forum

Tonya Bina
Grand Lake, CO Colorado

A series of losses in the Grand Lake area has moved the town’s postmaster to organize a grief forum.

From the death of the town’s former mayor longer than a year ago, to a series of deaths and serious hardships of other longtime locals since, Postmaster Diane Mahoney recognized the need for help in the community about feelings of grief and loss, she said.

She contacted therapist Andy Thomasson of Grand Lake, who with wife Carolina have a private practice in Granby called Luna Counseling.

Now assembled are several Grand County therapists who will be conducting a Grief and Loss Forum from 5-6:30 p.m., on Sunday March 11, at the Grand Lake Community House, town square. The session is open to anyone who struggles with feelings of loss, not just Grand Lake residents, according to Thomasson.

Dr. Lisa VonderHaar, a Granby therapist, Angie Ochsner, who practices in Fraser, and Mary Entrican, who practices in Kremmling and Granby, will be in attendance.

“We’re all private practitioners. We see the value in helping our community understand the struggles we all go through,” Thomasson said.

“We’ve noticed a lot of people struggling with the idea of grief and loss and what that means.”

Because of the “tight-knit nature of the community” of Grand Lake, Thomasson said, feelings of loss have “seemed to resonate farther out than it would in a larger community.”

Grief and loss is different from person to person, according to one’s own personal experiences, he said. With the forum, counselors will aim to help people understand what grief is, the stages of it, how to get support and how to overcome it.

There will be a group presentation, then participants will break into various groups.

Forum attendees can also expect to receive an extensive bibliography of research on grief and loss. Food and refreshments for the forum are being provided by local businesses.

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