When a death happens in the family it is devastating. There are details to take care of and often, the grieving that needs to happen is put on the back burner and then sneaks up on you at the oddest moments. It can be when you are making dinner or watching your favorite television show or driving your car. As adults, we have coping mechanisms that help us navigate those moments, but navigating those moments is not the same as healing and when their are children in the family that has the loss, they often don’t understand what is happening and need an anchor that during this time the parent might not be able to provide. This is why Bo’s Place is the ultimate resource, as they help the whole family heal and find a new normal within that family unit.
Bo’s Place was founded in in 1990 as a grief support Information & Referral Line, providing callers with free grief resources and support contacts in the greater Houston area. In 1995, Bo’s Place located to the Museum District and expanded its services to include grief support groups for children and their families thereby fulfilling the critical need for a program dedicated to meeting needs of grieving children. Today, Bo’s Place is the largest free-standing bereavement center providing grief support for children, families and adults free of charge in Houston. Bo’s Place is a community and when a family comes to Bo’s Place, they are embraced by the community.
When a new family comes to Bo’s Place, the first step is to come up with a family plan that best suits the needs for that specific family, depending on their loss and their struggle. Each family is different and it is important to realize that communication within that family might vary from another family. Another thing that Bo’s Place does is recognize that everyone within each family grieves differently, and they allow each person to grieve the way they need to grieve.
When you go to Bo’s Place, you join groups to grieve and share your grief. The groups are held on site, off site and even some in schools on a limited basis. There are also Spanish speaking groups available as needed. Each group is overseen by a licensed mental health professional and trained volunteers run the groups. For children, the groups are separated into age appropriate groups. What the groups do is provide a safe environment to grieve and discuss feelings, a curriculum to promote healing, prompt conversation and encourage everyone who is in attendance to help each other. This is effective, because when you are in the midst of grieving and healing, there are no wrong emotions, and anything goes. The average stay at Bo’s Place for a family is about 14 months.
Mary Beth Staine
When Mary Beth Staine had two deaths in her family within the same year, her nephew took her to Bo’s Place to heal. At the time, Mary Beth was a trained lawyer who had become a stay at home mom dabbling in the non-profit world through the Junior League. She fell in love with Bo’s Place and non-profit and after three years working for another non-profit, an opening was available at Bo’s Place and she put her hat in the ring and applied. She was thrilled when she got the job.
Mary Beth is a warm and nurturing soul who belongs in a place where she can help those survive and thrive. Her heart is full of love to give and she takes her work home with her every single night. When she sees the children who have been through a death come in and she can hear them laughing it brings tears to her eyes. She loves that she is able to bring them that sense of community of family and that she can help them still experience joy of fun. Nothing makes her happier than when the building is full of laughter and yes, even tears, because sometimes those aren’t tears of sadness, but tears of healing.
Mary Beth knows that when a family leaves the program, it’s because the program was a success and she knows the possibilities of what their new lives will be. Bo’s place is a place that is filled with life and hope for the future, which is what Mary Beth imparts to each family that walks through those doors.
No family needs to grieve alone. There is a place you go for help and in Houston that place is Bo’s Place.
Bo’s Place and Mary Beth Staine are offering a #JustVibing service to our community that is immeasurable, and for that we thank you!