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Review for Jeff's Place, Framingham, MA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Jeff’s Place, is a place where families can come and support eachother as they find a way at their most vulnerable time to cope with the grief that comes with a significant death loss. I see Jeff’s Place as an opportunity to express all the feelings that go with a terrible loss, to be with people who understand and “get it” and a place where people can renew their commitment to keep on keeping on. This is a journey, with good days and heart breaking days but Jeff’s Place is here to help and to let people in their darkest times know they are not alone.

I have been a co-facilitator since Jeff’s Place began 10 years ago, first working with teens and now with a group for parents who have had the unthinkable happen. They have experience the death of their child. But here’s what I experience every time we all meet. For sure there’s sadness and a whole host of other emotions but I also see that in the midst of sometimes overwhelming fragility, there emerges incredible strength and resilience and kindness. I see families support eachother as they begin to find their way to a different life. I see parents reaching out to eachother in group as they tell their stories and share the challenges of putting their lives and their family’s lives back together again.

It’s really the kids and the parents who are the teachers for eachother. Jeff’s Place provides a safe space, a space safe to cry, safe to be angry, safe to grapple with grief and know that everyone else there is going through it with them. They all understand in a way most others can’t and they are there for eachother to support, and empathize and catch eachother when they feel like they might break. It’s a place where they can talk about what it’s like as they go about their lives while trying to hold overwhelming feelings of emptiness, and longing, and loss at bay as they deal with the day to day responsibilities of the world.

So when people ask about Jeff’s Place and what it’s like to volunteer there, I say for me it’s a chance to be part of this rebuilding process and see people who at their most vulnerable reach out for eachother, reach out to eachother and begin to begin again. It is an honor to be part of this journey.

The motto at Jeff’s Place is “Hope grows here,” and after 10 years and many, many families, I truly believe that indeed hope, and strength, and reliance, and love all grow here.

Role:  Volunteer