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.
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 funeral service colleague, Lorri Penner developed. Lorri is a Registered Social Worker and metal health therapist in Lethbridge and is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist. Lorri leads group and one-on-one grief recovery programs. She now partners with fellow colleague, Trudie Slomp in leading the group programs at Martin Bros Funeral Chapels.
Please check the program calendar on this page for upcoming program schedules.
As a result of doing the simple but difficult work in the program, a giant burden was lifted from me. I could see my part in carrying the pain I've had, literally for DECADES. Brian Magee was the perfect facilitator. He listened carefully and answered questions fully. Always in a kind, gentle, caring manner. I've also learned how to deal with grief and other issues as things happen rather than letting them pile up. The Recovery Notes are also particularly helpful. THANK YOU ALL FOR THIS PROGRAM!!!One-on-One Online SupportParticipant in SILVER SPRING, MD06/09/2023
I can very much appreciate and see the value of the process. I did not get the completion I was looking for because I’m dealing with different kinds of grief and loss due to events of loss resulting in a loss of faith, not addressed in these 8 weeks.Support GroupsParticipant in Lethbridge, Alberta06/06/2023
I am a big fan of Brian! I would say the program was maybe a bit longer than what I needed. Just for where I was at with my own recovery when I started the program. I also didn't really feel like I had loose ends or needed to heal my relationship with my deceased family member, which was the major focus. I don't have anything negative to say at all about the whole thing, it seems like it has helped a lot of people immensely. It did help me as well to have a support group in general.Support GroupsParticipant in Lethbridge, Alberta06/06/2023
Overall very beneficial, I do think some of the material earlier in the book goes on for longer than necessary (myths, STERBS) and doesn't provide a ton of value. The later chapters (the loss history graph and on) are much more useful though, of course. Doing assignments, readings and meetings for all the earlier topics felt like a lot of effort for little payoff while waiting to get into the meatier stuff.Support GroupsParticipant in Calgary, Alberta03/21/2023
It helped me get through the worst thing that has ever happened to me in a healthy way and in just 8 weeks!Support GroupsParticipant in Lethbridge, Alberta03/21/2023
Self discovery Self awareness of emotions Emotional honesty and vulnerability Many losses and grief in life Parent's influence in life and death Transferable to minor loss and greater lossesSupport GroupsParticipant in Lethbridge, alberta11/29/2022