After her meltdown, Kate talked to her doctor about what she should do. He had suggested that she try this life changes group to be with others who have experienced a life changing event in their lives. Her doctor hoped it would help Kate accept the change and to get some practical advice from others on how they were found a way to move forward.
Trying not to be so stubborn, she was beginning to see a weakness in herself, it was pride. It was hard to admit that she had to start over and learn something new. She had worked her way to the top before, but she wasn’t sure she could be a champion again. Brandon kept telling her it wasn’t about being a champion, but Kate couldn’t see it that way.
She pulled her bike up to the Manor City Community Center, locked it up to the bike rack, and went inside. Walking down the hallway, she saw that some other seminars were going on. Towards the end of the hallway, Kate saw an orange sign with yellow letters which read,
Dealing with Loss: A life changing event
Sponsored by Life Changes Support Group (LCSG)
She walked up to an older lady, sitting behind a laptop at the check in table. Her name tag said Shirley.
“I’m here for the seminar,” Kate said.
“And you are?” Shirley asked.
“I’m Kate Connors.”
“I see your name right here on the list,” Shirley said as she made a couple of keystrokes, “here’s a folder with all of the course materials. Please feel free to take a seat anywhere you’ll feel comfortable.”
Kate smiled and took the folder into the room with her. This whole idea of seeking help was making her feel really weird inside. She saw that the room was about half full and took a seat in the middle. As she sat there looking out the window, more and more people came in until the entire room was full. It was making Kate feel better that she wasn’t the only one dealing with a change.
A younger woman walked to the front of the room and set a folder on the desk. She wrote the name Ellen Turner on the white board. Then she turned on a power point projector and put up the first screen of her presentation. It was a statement which looked like it had been written with white chalk on a chalkboard.
“You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one. Hello,” Ellen turned towards the group, “my name is Ellen Turner and I’m one of the police counselors at the Brooklyn Police Department. Life Changes Support Group (LCSG) started as just a group of mothers of police officers lost in the line of duty. When one of our founding members passed away, our new leader decided that our group could be of a bigger help to the community if we opened it up to other people who were also going through major life changes. Since we did, many of the people that come to our meetings are referred by doctors of athletes who have had career ending injuries.”
Kate sat up in her seat. There were going to be people that she could relate to in this group after all.
“With this being the first meeting, I plan on doing most of the talking. You’re not expected to say anything, the choice is yours. But talking about your pain will help to ease it, trust me.”
Ellen walked over to the projector and moved her presentation to the next screen
“Most of you are here because you have suffered a loss, whether by death, accident or bad decision making. Loss is painful however it comes and can have very definite impacts on people’s lives, to the point of being life changing. By looking around this room, you’ll see that you aren’t the only ones feeling the pain of a loss. It’s a part of life that things will leave us, and we’ll have to make changes because of it.”
Shirley came into the room and shut the door to the hallway.
“By opening up our group to many types of loss, we’ve been able to see that people going through the process of starting over is universal to many, details of what they are dealing with may be different. But everyone in this room has something to offer and can benefit from what others have been through. Please open your folders and take out the yellow packet.”