Helping hands after loss of partner


Common thread: Miranda Solace Association members including president Ken Sutherland and Patricia Wade (red) meet twice a month. Picture: Jane Dyson

PATRICIA Wade felt she had lost half of herself when her husband died from pancreatic cancer in 2005. Mrs Wade, 69, of Miranda, found it hard to move on and started looking at ways to fill the gap. After more than a year of counselling she started attending support group Solace Association at Miranda – a national group designed specifically for people who had lost their partner through death – to speak with others in similar situations. “It was comforting to speak with people who had been through the same grief as me,” Mrs Wade said. “At first you felt like you were in a room full of strangers but really everyone has a common thread that binds them together.” Solace Association support sessions are split into two groups. One is for people in the early stages of grief after their partner has died and the second is for those moving on and looking for ways to rebuild their life. When Mrs Wade first attended the sessions three years ago there were only eight members and now there are 30. NSW Solace Association president Ken Sutherland leads some of the groups at the Miranda sessions and said towards the end of each meeting he mixed the groups so people could see what stages other participants were at. “The program helps people share their experience and learn to resocialise,” Mr Sutherland said. Details: Ken Sutherland, 9519 2820.