Susan Cowsill and Stefa Zawerucha, facilitators of the Moving Forward Peer Support Group for Widows, Widowers and Significant Others, connected through their mutual loss and that they are both New York natives.

Susan has been widowed for three years. Her husband of 32 years, Richard, was a Vietnam Vet. She has a special place in her heart for anyone in the service of our country…. all heroes. Always missing her husband, she says she feels him with her all the time. Being a facilitator at the Grief Resource Center has allowed her to deepen her friendship with Stefa and think beyond her own pain. She and Stefa encourage attendees of their support group to reach out to one another. There is laughter as well as tears in the group, and a strength that comes from being with others who understand.

Stefa has also been widowed for three years. She and her husband, David, were married 38 years and worked as dancers and choreographers. She said they had a loving and joyful marriage, and that he was her best friend. Since his death, David is now her best ‘spiritual’ friend. After his death, her world was turned completely upside down. Through working with Dr. Phelps at the Grief Resource Center, she and Susan developed a deep and lasting friendship.  They wanted to duplicate the support they found in each other and model it after a program started by Dr. Phelps called Moving Forward. Stefa said the Grief Resource Center has offered them an opportunity to give back by facilitating a support group where no matter where someone is in the grief journey, they can bear witness to someone’s pain. Finding one’s way through grief takes a community. Moving Forward meets monthly on the 3rd Wednesday from 10:30 am to 12:00 Noon.  After the meeting, attendees are invited to join Susan and Stefa for lunch at local restaurants.