Grieving Men Show Strength in Vulnerability By David Swindell, Guest Contributor I am a volunteer co-facilitator of a peer grief support group for men bereaved by a death from substance use, and this article explains why I hope men will consider attending support groups. Here is more information about our group. Having played team sports …

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Peer Helper Profile: Deb Dowd-Foley By Kerry J. Bickford, VOICES Editor Deb Dowd-Foley is a licensed social worker who has devoted her professional career to helping people as a Caregiver Specialist for the elderly. She has talked to many bereaved spouses in her work over the years, but it was not until she experienced personal …

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word cloud


Volunteer Testifies to the Power of Peers By Gordon Bullard, Guest Contributor  Whether you are just starting on the rocky, painful road of your grief journey or have been traveling it for years, and you have never considered attending a peer grief support group, I hope you will reconsider. I was once a non-believer and …

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Sketch of Caleb


Two Brothers: A Story of Loss and Recovery By Kerry J. Bickford, VOICES Editor This is a story about the opioid crisis and how it impacted two brothers who grew up in a small community by the sea. They spent their childhood years swimming in the vast ocean, playing hockey on the frozen bogs, and …

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starfish & hope cup


Bring Your Loved One with You By Kerry J. Bickford, VOICES Editor Once upon a time, when we were innocent, there was an almost magical quality to the coming year’s celebration. New Year’s resolutions were originally a way to review mistakes and resolve to do better the next year. Ringing out the old and ringing …

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Bereaved Ask, Could It Have Been Prevented? Three key questions can affect people’s grief in the wake of a death caused by drugs or alcohol. Two of those questions — “Why did my person die from substance use?” and “Did my person intend to die?” — were covered in previous issues of VOICES. The third …

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Sarah Morse


“It is their voices I hear … each day” By Sarah Morse, Guest Contributor “Did you hear about Ben?”  I had been both expecting and praying I would never hear those five little words for 14 years. That one tiny sentence was enough to bring me to my knees. You see, nothing can ever prepare …

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Tristan and Kathryn


Peer Grief Helper Profile: Kathryn Stygles Peirce By Kerry J. Bickford, VOICES Editor In 2017, Kathryn Peirce was approached by Natick 180, “a community coalition that brings together a wide range of people and resources from around Natick to address the factors that contribute to addiction.” They asked if she would be interested in sponsoring …

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David Kessler Sr and Jr


Kessler’s “Finding Meaning” Follows Loss of Son David Kessler has spent thousands of hours with people all over the world studying, witnessing, teaching, and writing about grief, and he is the co-author of On Grief and Grieving with Elisabeth Kubler Ross, whose On Death and Dying has been studied and critiqued perhaps more than any …

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Love Ceramic Display


Meaning Is Found in Acts of Love By Kerry J. Bickford, VOICES Editor Back in 1975 when I was a psychology major in college, I took a class, “On Death and Dying,” where I was introduced to the five stages of grief identified by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her groundbreaking book by the same name. It …

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