For 20 years I was privileged to serve as Pastor for a small rural congregation near Lethbridge Alberta. In 2007 I was faced with some significant personal loss. I moved to a new career in funeral service and became a licensed funeral director in 2011.
Part of my motivation to enter funeral service was a desire to find better solutions for the pain of loss than those I had been using. In addition to my personal need, I had a strong desire to provide truly meaningful resources to other grievers. My search led me to an amazing little book called The Grief Recovery Handbook, by John W. James and Russell Friedman. This was the beginning of a life-changing journey for me.
In 2009, with the support and encouragement of my funeral home management, I was trained by John James and became a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist. The program was tranformational for me. I felt confident I had found the better way I had been seeking. Since then I have led multiple Grief Recovery groups through the sponsorship of the funeral home. In addition, I give talks on various aspects of grief, primarily in faith and health care settings. I have also led the Helping Children with Loss program, using the book "When Children Grieve," also by John W. James and Russell Friedman. I have recently received advanced training from the Institiute in order to provide some of our programs online.
It was through the Helping Children with Loss program that a partnership with a funeral service colleague, Lorri Penner developed. Lorri is a Registered Social Worker in Lethbridge and is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist. In addition to the varied list of amazing things she does as Member Support Coordinator at the Nordbridge Seniors Centre, Lorri leads group and one-on-one grief recovery programs. Lorri partners with me leading group programs at Martin Bros Funeral Chapels.
Between us, Lorri and I normally offer up to 6 group recovery programs annually as well as one-on-one an other program options.
Please check the program calendar on this page for upcoming dates.
Helped me to be able to cope with the loss of my husband and deal with previous childhood traumas. Lorri Penner and Brian Magee were extremely helpful in teaching me how to release past baggage. Exceptional coordinators.Support GroupsParticipant in Lethbridge, Alberta11/17/2020
I began the program shortly after my husbands death. I thought it was too soon, that I should still stay home and away from people.On the very first group session, I learned that I was exactly where I needed to be. Each time we met, I thought I'll try one more night, but each session taught me something valuable, so I kept going. I believe that because of Brian and Lorri, their empathy, knowledge, support and love they have for how this program really works, I have successfully completed my loss with my husband, his death, our history together. I am okay. I will be sad for a long time, but I can think of memories we shared and smile, and laugh! The ugly memories and trauma are no longer at the fore front of my mind. I will forever be grateful for the program and the support I received.Support GroupsParticipant in Lethbridge, AB07/30/2020
This program is amazing and I would highly recommend it for any type of grief and loss. The faciliators were genuine in showing our group members kindness and compassion. I went to the group for one reason and ended up working on something totally different. I found the group to be so beneficial as I learned so much about grief and loss, forgiveness, and how we can better navigate this process. Thank you for providing this very helpful group!!Support GroupsParticipant in Lethbridge, AB03/10/2020
It has helped me understand why my grief was so overwhelming and I feel like I am emerging from a fog that was taking over my lifeSupport GroupsParticipant in Lethbridge , Ab11/26/2019
The GRM gave me a whole new way to approach grief. There are so many losses that someone can go through in their lives and I feel we were never properly educated or taught how to deal with these types of things. This program showed me many things I and many others have been doing wrong all these years, and even better a way to deal with them properly so they don't keep recurring and preventing forward movement and progress into feeling more complete in the future. I have already recommended this program and book to friends and family and just finished the course a week or so ago!!Support Groups07/02/2019
It has helped me deal with my unresolved feelings of pain and loss. It has helped me feel at peace with the loss and be able to move on.Support Groups06/25/2019