Counseling Helps Survivor Grieve, Move Forward

“I hope it’s not someone I know,” Rita said, referring to her mother’s killer. However, it was someone Rita knew that stabbed her 92-year-old mother or “Granny,” as her close friends called her, Memorial weekend 2004 in Highland Twp.

The police detectives on her mother’s case referred Rita to Common Ground for support, specifically the Victim Assistance Program’s Homicide Survivors Support Group. Desperate for relief from her heartache, Rita contacted Margo Eby, Victim Assistance Program Coordinator a month after her mother’s funeral.

Rita, along with her close friends, Nancy and Doris, attended two 10-week support groups for homicide survivors, led by Eby, to aid in the healing after Granny’s death. During the sessions, which provide both grief and informational counseling, the trio learned to “put the sorrow to bed.” “Everyone was encouraged to laugh and cry,” Rita said. “The laughter helped us heal.”

Throughout and following their participation in the groups, Margo regularly called to check on Rita and attended court hearings with her, allowing Rita to find the strength she needed to handle the situation. “I can’t pinpoint what Common Ground has done for me but the friendliness and compassion has helped,” Rita said. “I don’t know what I would have done without it.”

Rita, Nancy and Doris remember Granny as a happy-go-lucky lady who enjoyed “Find a Word” puzzles, knitting and reading.