Greenville woman starts county’s first grief support group

Greenville woman starts county’s first grief support group
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 5:21 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - After experiencing the loss of a loved one, a Muhlenberg County woman is starting what may be the county’s first grief support group.

Carla Pendley has a lot of fond memories of her daughter, Ashlee.

”She was a cowgirl, she loved horses,” said Pendley. “She loved the rodeo, she high school rodeoed, she barrel raced, she goat tied. She was a lot of fun.”

Five years ago, Ashlee died from suicide. She was 35, and left behind not only Carla, but also a husband and four children.

Carla says the feeling of losing a child is something she wouldn’t wish on anyone, and her unresolved feelings didn’t go away as time passed.

”I found myself down the road, really going through the emotions because I stayed so busy trying to help everyone else that I didn’t take the time to grieve myself,” said Pendley.

Pendley says many people rallied around her, but she wanted to connect with others who had gone through something similar. She says the nearest grief support group was in Owensboro, and it wasn’t always easy to make the trip.

To make sure no one else in the area finds themselves in a similar situation, Pendley is starting her own grief support group. She says she knows how much of a difference it can make.

”Just to know that you aren’t the only one having the feelings that you have, and it’s okay to feel the way you feel,” said Pendley. “Because sometimes those feelings are not very nice.”

She says the group just had its first meeting, and she plans on having monthly meetings unless people need them more often.

Pendley’s holding them at Winds of Change Therapy in Central City, and a therapist is helping Carla lead the first few meetings. She says it’s completely free, and open to people suffering from all kinds of grief, not just those working to overcome the loss of a loved one from suicide.

Carla says there’s a lot of need in the area for this type of group, and she’s eager to see it grow.

”I’m not sure why nothing like this has ever been started, and maybe it was just meant for me to do it,” said Pendley.

For more information on the group, and if you’re interested in participating, their next meeting will be September 28th from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Winds of Change Marriage and Family Therapy at 600 W Everly Brothers Blvd, Central City, KY.