Pierce starts Grief Group at First Baptist

Joyce Pierce, Teri Pierce, Lisa Johnson and Sandra Mullins met Monday at First Baptist Church to talk about their loss of loved ones at a Women's Grief Group. The group meets every Monday at 10:30 p.m. to share stories, memories and encourage each other in dealing with loss.
Staff Writer

After the loss of her son, Michael, and her husband Clyde, Joyce Pierce was in search of people to talk to who understood. She decided to create a women's group to share and discuss the grieving process. The group is open to everyone to wants to come to First Baptist Church Mondays at 10:30 a.m. and share with people who understand.

"I wanted to start this group to be with people who understand loss," Pierce said. "The hurt and the loss will always be with us, just like the memories of them. I ask God every day to tell them how much I love them and miss them."

Pierce said she visits "Babydoll's" grave everyday. Her son Michael is there close by and she talks and visits with them. It comforts her.

"I've been told It's not good for me to go every day," Pierce said. "But right now, it's something I want to do. The members of the group said as long as it feels right for me, I should continue to go."

Like Pierce, those who have never lost a child have no idea what that pain is like.

Also, those who have never lost a spouse have no comparison to make about what coping with that loss does to a person. But groups like this one are geared toward bringing people together who experienced loss and understand the emotions that come with it

"We've been meeting now for about a month," Teri Pierce, Joyce's daughter-in-law said. "We began every other Monday, but now we decided to be here every Monday. We are also trying to come up with a way to offer a meeting at night for women who are working and can't come during the day."

Teri Pierce said the purpose is to encourage each other. She lost her father when she was only six years old and never fully processed the feelings of abandonment and anger. She finds understanding within the Grief Group.

"We are told to deal with our grief within a six week time frame," Lisa Johnson, said. "We should be ready to move on with our lives as though nothing happened. No one wants to see us cry, it's uncomfortable for others to deal with. Grief takes as long as it takes. It's different for everyone. But no one has the right to tell you to get over it."

Johnson's daughter Caitlyn died a month before she would have turned 21. She left behind a daughter who the Johnson's are raising.

"She doesn't remember her mother," Johnson said. "So I tell her what Caitlyn's favorite color was, what sort of things she liked to do, everything I can think of to give her a sense of who she was. I answer her questions. She's nine. She feels an emptiness without her mother. So do we. We do what we can to fill that space."

Sandra Mullins lost her husband in 2016. After his death, she didn't want to leave the house or see anyone. She wanted to stay inside with her grief.

"The hardest thing I've ever done was to come here," Mullins said. "I just wanted to stay at home and not leave unless I had to."

Mullins and the group visited his grave for his birthday last week. They released balloons in his memory.

"It is such a blessing to have a group of people who understand what it's like to lose someone," Mullins said. "We all have experienced different types of grief. We listen to one another and cry together. It makes me feel better."

The Women's Grief Group is open to everyone to has suffered the loss of a loved one. The group meets each Monday at 10:30 a.m. at First Baptist Church.