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The Junction Grief Center offers hope, healing

The founders of the Junction Grief Center don’t just sympathize with people who have experienced a loss — they understand them deeply.

The center, located in Ocean Springs, opened after Katie Latch and Randi Page lost their husbands in 2021. Amber Carroll, the third member of the founding trio, learned that her son suffered from postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a chronic condition, around the same time.

“We quickly learned how lonely these roads are and knew that connection and community were key to healing,” Page says, “and we wanted to offer a place to do just that.”

A ribbon cutting in March marked the official opening of the J Grief Center, a Christ-centered nonprofit that, according to Page, “meets people in the margin, walks with the broken and creates support through connection.”

“The center has been a place of healing for us in so many ways,” she says. “It brings purpose to our pain, as we are able to provide a safe place for people to grieve — allowing the hurting to share their experience with people who ‘get’ it.”

Page says the grieving often are misunderstood, which causes feelings of isolation. The Center offers them a place to belong and connect.

“We know that loneliness is often like poison and can lead to all sorts of issues,” Page says, “so we hope to provide community to those who feel alone.”

To that end, the Center hosts support groups for those who have suffered a loss or have a chronically ill family member. Seven groups are now meeting monthly, and the founders want to expand these offerings to encompass every sort of grief someone may experience. Their plans also include hosting summer camps for kids who’ve lost parents, man camps for those who have lost fathers and women’s world camps for those who have lost mothers. Seminars and trainings for those helping others through their grief also are in the works.

“One of our goals is to partner with local churches and counselors to help meet the needs of the grieving community,” Page says. “Before COVID, there were support groups scattered around the Coast, but since then, there don’t seem to be many at all. There are a few churches offering Griefshare, and we’d like to partner with those places to connect and refer people to each other.”

The founders also hope to open the Center, which features a small coffee bar and library, during the week and weekends as a safe place for people to hang out. For those wanting to connect with other Christians, the Center hosts bible studies and other events throughout the year.

“The primary objective of what we do is to provide a safe place for those grieving to be able to say what they feel without any judgment or advice,” Page says. “(We allow them) to be seen and understood right where they are and offer them a community to walk with through the pain.”

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