Media Contact: Cindy Ballaro, 704-763-8846, cindy@TheRespite.org
November 11, 2013
Death Café encourages talk about end of life by Karen Garlock
I’d never heard of a “Death Café” until I got the notice about Charlotte’s first such event Wednesday.
It’s just like it sounds: People sitting around, eating cake, drinking coffee and discussing death.
That may sound a little creepy to some. But for me, it was intriguing. It comes at a time when talking about the end of life seems more natural than it used to.
November 8, 2013
UNC Charlotte researchers to hold Death Cafe on Nov. 13 by Lisa Moore
Even though it’s a natural part of the cycle of life, in American culture the subject of death typically brings up fear, uncertainty, sadness, regret and a host of other feelings.
So where do the people who long to share their thoughts about the afterlife, their grief for departed loved ones and their opinions on mortality go to converse with others? To a Death Cafe, of course.
I Lost My Baby. Here's How I Coped.
My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, and so the second time I was expecting I was filled with relief after a healthy nine-month pregnancy. I looked forward to the moment when I would hold my son in my arms. However, what should have been my greatest joy turned into one of my greatest nightmares.
Dating after losing a spouse can come with a world of complications. And if you’re a parent, it can be especially hard to explain new relationships to children. Two moms who lost their husbands share how they ventured back into dating and how their children reacted.
Meet The QC: Elizabeth Berrien Talks About Loss, Life, And Perserverance
The Queen City is comprised of many interesting and extraordinary people who often have a tremendous impact on our city — and Elizabeth Berrien is definitely one of those people. Berrien has endured several hardships and losses in her life, but it was during those struggles that Berrien became motivated to help others who were also grieving.
January 4, 2013
Respite helps people cope with loss By Marty Minchin
Mandy Eppley knew early in her career as a professional counselor that she wanted to change the way people grieved.
She didn’t like the way people felt pressured to “get over” tremendous pain and resume normal life. She saw that too often people grieved in isolation and struggled to find hope amid tragedy.
One year ago, Eppley co-founded The Respite, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people navigate suffering in what she describes as a “productive, life-giving, and life-affirming way.”
She works with co-founders Elizabeth Berrien and Director of Awareness and Outreach Cindy Ballaro in an office on Monroe Road.
Eppley’s long-term goal is to change the way American culture approaches grief, although she acknowledges shifts in consciousness can take centuries.
Honoring Lost Loved Ones During the Holidays by Lisa Moore
My mother went out of her way to make the holiday season extra special for our family. She thoroughly enjoyed shopping, decorating, cooking and spoiling her children and grandchildren. I have fond memories of our Christmas rituals and raucous gatherings. I lost mom to Alzheimer’s few a months ago and even though she spent the last four years of her life in a memory care facility, I faithfully brought our time-tested traditions to her so we could still share in the joys of days gone by.
Since saying goodbye to Mom I have been exploring the many facets of grief that come with such tremendous loss. There will be a void without her strong and bright presence this year, but I am determined to honor her spirit in meaningful ways this month.
For those that have suffered loss through death, divorce, separation, illness, or job loss, making it through the holidays can be challenging. Holiday cheer can be difficult to express if you’re facing intense emotional pain.
Psychotherapist and grief expert Mandy Eppley says grief is amplified during the holiday season because those who have suffered loss not only have societal norms to contend with, but also the pain and isolation of mourning what used to be a joyous time.
“During the holidays all the images and messages we see are about family, relationships, partnership, togetherness, children laughing, warmth and closeness – and for so many of us humans, that is not the case. There is a cultural pressure to keep a lid on it and not bring anyone down.
Additionally, it triggers our deep sadness around what was, or what could have been or what will never be. This is real and naturally appropriate to experience. It is a normal part of the grief journey to be triggered around our grief and deeply feel our sorrow during the holidays,” says Eppley, co-founder of The Respite: A Centre for Grief and Hope.
November 26, 2012
The Respite Celebrates First Year of Providing Creative Approach to a Critical Need
Charlotte, N.C. – December 2012 will mark the 1-year anniversary of The Respite: A Centre for Grief & Hope offering their unique programs and services. The Respite’s mission is to help people who have suffered a significant loss in any form to reclaim healthy and productive lives. “We know for a fact that untreated grief leads to depression and despair which can lead to addiction, suicide and abuse, which costs our country billions of dollars each year. Our holistic services treat the root of the problem and provide practical tools which help individuals to become whole and healthy, and once again able to give back to the world” stated Mandy Eppley, lead therapist and Director of Programs & Services at The Respite.
November 9, 2012
Conference aims to help Caregivers by Marty Minchin
Whether it’s looking after a child, a parent or someone who’s sick, almost everyone will be involved in caregiving as some point.
That’s one reason The Respite, a new nonprofit in Charlotte dedicated to helping people confront grief and loss, is hosting its first Wind Beneath Your Wings conference in early November.
November 2, 2012
Healing with the help of grief massage
Aimee Joy Taylor, a 31-year-old south Charlotte resident, knows about grief.
In December 2005, her 20-year-old brother was driving drunk and died in a car accident. On Mother’s Day 2009, her mother committed suicide because she couldn’t overcome the loss of her son.
“When everything is taken away from you, then you find your true strength,” Taylor said.
These traumatic experiences sent Taylor through an emotional upheaval, and the only thing that seemed to keep her grounded was her passion for massage.
October 4, 2012
The Respite Hosts Day of Nurturing for Family and Professional Caregivers
June 8, 2012
April 23, 2012
Though there are still times of laughter and joy despite her Alzheimer’s disease, my mother, Rose Beebe, 89, has solemn moments that obliterate my heart and leave me at a loss of how to respond.
...With Alzheimer’s these intense feelings can last for years, creating an array of health problems for a caregiver. A few months ago, I acknowledged I needed help to process my pain and have been attending support groups at The Respite: A Centre for Grief and Hope.
At a recent gathering I attended for Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers, we each lit a candle in honor of our loved one to bring their presence into the room. Though united in our sorrow, each of us was in a different place in coping with our responsibilities.
...The group leader, Dr. Lyndall Hare, a gerontologist, gave us a handout that outlined the many hats a caregiver wears: case manager, financial advisor, negotiator, care provider, legal advisor, health advocate, family mediator, housing coordinator.
When I looked at all these responsibilities that have now become second nature to me, there was a part of me that grieved for the spontaneity and freedom I had before I was on call 24/7.
My meetings have taught me grief is as important as joy when it comes to embracing our humanity, but we are under-equipped and under-developed in how to navigate our losses.
The Respite uses the Model of Heart-Centered Grief, developed by Mandy Eppley and Chris Saade, which is a seven-step program to learn how to grieve in a productive, life-giving, and life-affirming way.
Eppley says grief’s great gift to us is it teaches us who we are, what we are made of, and entices us to search deeper and broader for why we are here.
“When we refuse this journey by numbing, pretending, minimizing, we never learn fully and deeply who we truly are and what we are truly able to give back to others. It is only through experiencing and feeling our losses are we able to know our own spirits. And with great majestic, paradoxical power, grief takes us mysteriously to our greatest joys,” said Eppley, a licensed professional counselor.
February 15, 2012
The Respite, A Centre for Grief & Hope, providing holistic services for those suffering any kind of loss, will be holding their first fundraising gala on March 23, from 6:30-10pm at Grace on Brevard in Uptown Charlotte. The Hope & HeART Gala is being sponsored by Harris Development Group and Compass Asset Management. Tickets, at $50 each, include dinner, live music, inspirational speaking and a silent auction. Tickets can be purchased online at www.TheRespite.gala or by mail. All proceeds from the Gala will be used to provide services to all who need them.
February 5, 2012
As I think about social entrepreneurship projects and the opportunities that are out there for us, I am struck by the nature of the different issues nonprofits attempt to address.
Some problems social entrepreneurs attempt to address are very public, such as pollution and poverty.
Other problems are very private, such as grief and depression.
What a fascinating contrast there is between the very public and the very private problems in life. The public problems are right at our feet, observable to all who open their eyes. But the very private problems are hidden even to most who are intently looking.
I believe there is an added difficulty for those nonprofits that seek to help people with the private problems because if people seek to hide their private problems, they may be successful.
The featured nonprofit in this post, The Respite, is attempting to tackle the private issue of grief
February 1, 2012
Three is a powerful number.
December 14, 2011
The Respite: A Centre for Grief & Hope has opened a new healing center for Charlotte residents dealing with all types of grief.
The center, located at 4919 Monroe Road, uses a holistic approach and offers individual counseling, support groups, workshops, yoga, massage, personal training, nutrition counseling and art therapy.
Mandy Eppley, 44, and Elizabeth Woods Berrien, 30, two of the three co-founders of The Respite, first discussed the idea of a grief center after they met in 2009 and realized they shared a common dream.
December 14, 2011
...After three years of caregiving for my mother, Rose, 88, who has Alzheimer's, I acknowledge both the extreme love in my heart I feel for her and the intense grief that I have put in the back seat in order to keep this journey on track.
...United in our circumstances and the quest to find the gifts in it, Judy and I have joined a support group at The Respite: A Centre for Grief & Hope that offers tools, information and a safe place for those experiencing grief.
November 11, 2011
The Respite, A Centre for Grief & Hope offers programs for dealing with loss during the Holidays
For many, the Holidays are happy and joyful - but for those who are suffering with loss it can be a devastating time of the year. The Respite, A Centre for Grief & Hope will be providing several opportunities for honoring grief and loss during this time of year while also connecting with others and sharing stories of hope.
October 19, 2011
The Respite, A Centre for Grief & Hope offers new options for those suffering loss in Charlotte region
At some point in life, everyone deals with a loss of some kind – it is part of our human story. How grief is dealt with can be the difference between depression and transformation. The Respite, A Centre for Grief & Hope, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, has opened a new kind of healing center at 4919 Monroe Road in Charlotte, NC. The Respite holds a vision of shifting how grief is viewed in the world - moving from shame and isolation to unveiling grief's transformative gifts.