The Bucks County G.R.A.S.P. (Grief Recovery After Substance Passing) meeting is approaching its one-year anniversary occurring on June 21st.
This grief support group is for those who lost a loved one due to drugs. It is one of the few (if not the only) grief groups in the area that focuses on offering support to those suffering a loss from drugs. Its current success not only highlights the need for such a group, it highlights the devastation of drug use.
The Bucks County GRASP meeting was started by Yardley residents Barbara and Dave Hentosh, after losing their 34-year-old daughter to a drug overdose in May, 2010. Barbara searched the Internet for help in coping with the loss and found several available grief support groups.
After attending many such group meetings, she discovered that death due to drugs came with a stigma that often made her feel uncomfortable in some of those meetings. Barbara finally found GRASP and discovered the comfort of sharing with those who understand and pass no judgment.
She quickly realized there were others who needed that comfort.
Barbara emphasizes to all that she is not a professional. She is just a mother who lost her child to drugs and now wants to help others experiencing the same grief. Spreading the word about GRASP has not been easy. She spent months traveling throughout Bucks County visiting politicians, rehabs, counselors, hospitals, funeral homes and recovery houses in an effort to reach those who could benefit from her GRASP meetings.
Today, GRASP is becoming a recognized community resource in Bucks County and the word is spreading. Barbara often receives calls from counselors and rehabs located outside Bucks County expressing interest in providing GRASP meetings in their areas and some who attend meetings travel over an hour to do so. Attendance has grown steadily from only a handful in the beginning to as many as 35 core members today. Over 100 people have attended at least one meeting during the past year.
Some come back regularly and some return only when the need arises, but all have found that they are not alone.
For Barbara and Dave, the one-year anniversary of GRASP in Bucks County follows closely on the heels of the two-year anniversary of the loss of their daughter, Jennifer. The pain of that loss will never go away, but the success of the GRASP support group is providing something positive for them and others.
Awareness and healing begins when you reach out and touch someone.
If you know of someone who could benefit from GRASP, please pass the word. There is no need to register or call beforehand, although Barbara will certainly accept calls for more information – or just to talk. She is a good listener, she understands, and she knows that the comfort of GRASP can be received over the phone as well as through meetings.
Save the date: On June 21st, Barbara will be hosting a special anniversary meeting with guest speakers and activities.
The first and third Thursdays of each month find Barbara and Dave, along with others willing to listen and share the pain at 7:00pm, hosted by PRO-ACT, at the Southern Bucks Recovery Center located at 1286 Veterans Highway, Bristol.
Barbara can be reached at 215-264-6768 or firstname.lastname@example.org.