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Good Grief Gathering in Lee's Summit helps families who've lost children

'Everyone here has in common they are grieving someone they love, they are grieving the loss of a child'
Posted at 8:02 PM, Sep 25, 2022

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. — Nonprofit My Angel Lives works to help families all over the Kansas City metro.

Sunday, Sept. 25, the group held a "good grief gathering." From afar, it looked like a party at Lowenstein Park in Lee’s Summit.

“Photography, balloons, food, fantastic face painters, bounce house, playground, we have some goats,” said AshleyMarie Marie.

But looking closer, Marie with My Angel Lives says it was grief lived out loud.

“Everyone here has in common they are grieving someone they love, they are grieving the loss of a child,” she said.

After Marie lost her daughter, she was done with quiet, somber grieving.

“In grief, you often feel like you have to hide it, go in the corner, put it in your pocket,” Marie said.

Others in attendance say they understand precisely where Marie is coming from.

“It’s a club I would not invite anyone else to, but it’s an unspoken bond,” said attendee Jessica Dighero. “We just feel comfortable, and we don’t have to worry about other people, hurting their feelings. We can be sad if we want to.”

Marie says anyone should feel free to cry, laugh, maybe even both at once. My Angel Lives calls it audacious grieving, even celebratory grieving.

“I was able to feel less heavy,” Marie said.

Those in attendance say being present and celebrating grief out loud is the best way to find peace — don’t keep loved ones' memories a secret, show rememberance by marking important dates.

Sunday's event is merely one of many ways My Angel Lives hopes to help in addition to art therapy, brunch club, a Mother’s Day event and speaking engagements.

Marie says the bottom line is to keep talking about loss while being together.

“People don’t want their children to be forgotten, whether my child was a baby or an adult,” she said.