Social Worker Nona Dawson Land, LSW, and certified grief counselor, has facilitated grief counseling sessions since she lost her own mother more than 20 years ago. As the facilitator for Samaritan’s Daughters Without Mothers grief support group, Nona helps women of all ages process the death of their own mothers.
“It’s my heart and my life’s ministry,” says Nona.
Each eight-week session consists of 6-12 women who share the common bond of loss. Meeting once a week, the group spends the first two weeks sharing memories and processing feelings about their mothers. In weeks three to six, they work together to learn more about themselves and move through the grieving process. Finally, they determine how to rebuild a life without mom, and celebrate by sharing favorite family recipes.
Members of the group support one another at every step, and adhere to a strict confidentiality policy.“Group work is trust work,” says Nona. “These women need to feel they are in a safe place to go deep.”
Nona says that some women miss the love and support of their mothers, especially those who are at a milestone such as a pregnancy, while others have guilt over difficulties in the relationship.
“Women need to understand that grieving is normal, and that there are no shortcuts,” says Nona. “Sometimes they need permission to get off of life’s treadmill and feel the pain so they can move on.”
Daughters Without Mothers gives women the focused time to do just that – whether the loss of their mother happened last month or years ago.