Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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‘I thought I was going crazy’

As if it’s not bad enough to lose someone you love, imagine losing them and then, on top of it, worrying  something is wrong with you because you aren’t grieving in the way you think you should.

Bereavement community educator Gloria Lloyd said she’s often heard people say, ‘I thought I was going crazy,’ when their grieving process was actually quite normal.

Because of confusion and misinformation about  what ‘normal’ grieving is, Lloyd—of Mary Washington Hospice—is launching a series of workshops called Grief 101.

The meetings will be held the first Saturday of each month from 3-4 p.m., at Joseph-Beth Booksellers at the Spotsylvania Towne Centre. The first workshop will be Nov. 6.

Lloyd said the meeting location is intentionally neutral and non-clinical—a place associated with learning, not suffering. And she said the gatherings will differ from those of support groups because  “not everyone benefits or wants to be in an ongoing support group.”

Here’s a little more insight into purpose of the workshops, from an e-mail from Lloyd:

“In being with grieving people, I have discovered there is  prevalent misinformation about healthy grieving. People believe, for example, there are predictable stages and wonder why they have not experienced a predictable stage like anger.”

Lloyd went on: “Myths about grief can add to the suffering [after] the death of a loved one. I cannot tell you how many times people have said, ‘I thought I was going crazy,’ when their grief was well within the normal experience.”

For more information about the free workshops, contact Lloyd at 540/741-7850 or at Or, contact Diane Ebenal, also of Mary Washington Hospice, at 540/741-2377 or at