My name is April Paxton and I am the Family Services Coordinator at Michaelson Funeral Home serving Owatonna, Kenyon and West Concord, MN areas. My introduction to the Grief Recovery Method came about from a desire to offer grief support to the Owatonna community and surrounding areas. In researching various programs, the Grief Recovery Method stood out because of it's 'action oriented' approach to 'recovery' rather than the typical support group type program.
While I had always associated grief with death, during my Grief Recovery Method training, I learned that there are actually over 40 losses a person can experience in a lifetime. Several of which I have experienced, including multiple moves, death, divorce, change in job, change in friendships, empty nest, loss of pet, and the list goes on. The Grief Recovery Method program not only helped me identify and recognize losses that I've experienced thus far but it also showed me what was incomplete about each loss and then gave me very specific actions to follow in order to complete those losses.
Have you experienced a loss that you're struggling with?
Are you holding on to pain and/or resentment from a past or present relationship?
Is grief affecting your daily life?
Upcoming Class Information
"When Children Grieve"
To watch a child grieve and not know what to do is a profoundly difficult experience for parents, teachers,
and caregivers. Yet, there are guidelines for helping children develop a lifelong healthy response to loss.
This is a 6 week class that offers a cutting-edge approach to free children from the false idea of “not
feeling bad” and to empower them with positive, effective methods of dealing with loss.
6 Monday Nights: Jan 13 - Feb 17th, 6pm-8:00.
Trinity Lutheran Church
609 Lincoln Ave
Owatonna, MN 55060
Contact info is as follows: 507-451-7943 or [email protected]
Below are some testimonials from past class participants.
--Before I took the Grief Recovery class, I tried to distance myself from past grief as much as possible. I was always hopeful that it would fade away if enough time passed. April taught me that my feelings of grief were normal and valid. She also taught me how to look at each type of grief I’ve experienced, and take each one apart and process it. One of the most important things I learned from April was how to coexist with my grief. It was not an easy task to self-reflect at such a deep level and confront it, but she guided me through it and encouraged me every step of the way – especially when I had feelings of doubt. I feel as though I was reintroduced to myself after taking this class. I have extraordinarily high hopes for future grief I will experience in life. This class provided the valuable tools that will help me welcome it, process it, add it to my grief collection, and carry it with me in a healthy way. This personal shift from avoiding grief to embracing it shows how much impact this class and experience can have on one’s life. I cannot recommend it enough! - K.H.
-- Grief is not just feelings of sadness and loss. For me it was a feeling of guilt, anger and regret. My emotions surprise me because they are mild one day and painful the next. I started this class not to mourn the death of a love one but to find relief from a painful relationship. I was going between all levels of responsibility like “It’s all my fault” to "I did all I could, I am not to blame”. We all grieve in different ways but we all grieve. I found the class made me finally sit down and go through the process of identifying losses I have experienced and to learn steps I can follow that will help me work through past, existing and future losses I may experience. I'm happy to say, my situation does not interfere with my daily life anymore. Oh it’s still there but I have learned ways to think through the “bad” days and come out the other side a happier person. You have to do your homework! If you do, I am confident you will see results. D.E.
-- About a year ago I enrolled in a Grief Recovery class, not really knowing what to expect. No one close to me had passed away, but I was grieving the loss of a close relationship and I was told the class could help. It become clear in the first class that I was definitely going to have to make a committment to participate in the class and do my homework if I wanted to reap the benefits of the class and I'm so glad I decided to make that comittment. I no longer grieve the loss of what 'could and should' have been in that relationship but instead, have now been able to move forward and create a 'new' relationship with that person. I would highly recommend this class to anyone dealing with any kind of loss. C.L.
-- This course gave me confidence and understanding for how to dispel grief from my past or in the future. I now have a method to work through and be done with any grief in my own personal life. B.E.
--This class is a must for anyone who is grieving a loss/hurt of any kind, that has never been dealt with. You are guided through the necessary steps to bring to the surface underlying and repressed hurt, anger and grief that you perhaps never realized was keeping you from moving on in your life. The class is held in the deepest form of confidentiality and respect for those attending. I found that an issue which happened almost 50 years ago was buried deep down and was unconsciously keeping me from loving and appreciating a very important person in my life. I am using the process I learned, to work on other unresolved issues, so I can live the life I deserve. P.M.
--I wasn’t sure that a Grief Recovery Class was something I needed. I am a private person, and assumed that this would require more emotion and sharing of feelings from me than I wanted. April was an awesome moderator. She kept the class on track and never once did I feel uncomfortable with her guidance. I learned there are many, many forms of grief. The greatest lesson I took with me is that one of the hardest things I ever did, and was still doing, was grieving the loss of a relationship with someone who is still alive. It’s a class everyone can benefit from. J.D.
--When my husband of 58 years died two days before Christmas my whole world shattered. He had suffered a very long time, so it wasn’t a surprise when it happened. In fact I had a sense of relief that he was finally at peace. Yes, he was at peace, but I was shattered. I didn’t know who I was anymore. My grown-up children were wonderful, but they were grieving the loss of their dad and I had no right to increase their burden with all my neediness. We used the services of Michaelson Funeral Home for the entire process of closing out the life of my husband, the preplanning stage to the cremation and funeral. Everyone on staff there were friendly and ever so helpful. But now, after the funeral, when everyone had gone home, my life ahead of me looked so bleak, I felt I needed someone to talk to. I needed some grief counselling. That’s when my memory kicked in with a message that I had heard many times from the staff at Michaelson. “Don’t hesitate to call if there is anything we can help you with.” So I did it. I called. April Paxton answered my call with reassurance that she was in fact facilitating a Grief Recovery Class in February at a church just around the corner from where I live. It was a small class, so I didn’t need to worry about spilling my guts in front of a bunch of strangers. The text book and discussion period helped me discover some facts about myself and how poorly prepared I was to deal with loss, not just the loss of my husband, but any loss in the course of my life. I learned that I needed to apologize to my husband ( after the fact) for some attitudes I had toward him and his illness. And I had to forgive him and myself before I could feel completion of his life. Being allowed to talk about him, over and over, helped me immensely. I’m still grieving in many ways, but I’m not feeling as vulnerable as I was when I walked out of the funeral home the day of his funeral. Learning to be a widow is another whole dimension I’m still working on. I highly recommend that those of you who have recently suffered the loss of a beloved spouse or child or parent and are as lost as I was, that you give April Paxton at Michaelson's a call. She will listen to you. She will sit with you if you choose not to say a word. Just do not sit alone in your house and grieve. It’s too hard to do it alone. Sincerely, S.S.