The Fox Journal

Student Newspaper

WFFH hosts grief seminar for mourners

By Richard Marthaler

Speaker Irene Cupit presents Death Complicated by Other Losses at the Sixth Annual Grief Symposium held at UW-Fox April 13.

photo by Richard Marthaler
Speaker Irene Cupit presents Death Complicated by Other
at the Sixth Annual Grief Symposium held
at UW-Fox April 13.

Wichmann-Fargo Funeral Homes (WFFH) sponsored the Sixth Annual Grief Support Symposium at UW-Fox April 13.

UW-Fox was not the funeral home's original choice for the event, but planners felt it was geographically sound to hold it on campus.

"After reviewing the evaluation forms from participants and also talking with the planning committee, we all agreed that UW-Fox Valley was a wonderful location to have the symposium and that we are interested in having it there again next year," Karen Salm, director of community outreach for WFFH, said.

The free event's mission was to support people who are grieving, or are companions to those in grief.

"The main goal of the symposium is to provide a free educational informative venue on grief related topics and also to provide grief resources to those that attend. Also, it is important to make the community aware that there are many wonderful resources available to those in need," Salm said.

Attendees checked in at 8:30 a.m. in the Emeritus room.

Barbara Rupel, author and bereavement consultant, began the four-hour meeting with a keynote address titled But I Didn't Say Goodbye.

"It's great to look around and see the reactions of the people. You see some people cry, and you see that their needs are being met. It makes me look forward to improving the event each and every year," Mellissa Hansen, a sponsor and co-planner for symposium, said.

Following the presentation were eight breakout sessions that dealt with many issues surrounding death and bereavement, like infant deaths and miscarriages, estranged relationships, loneliness, guilt and the healing power of laughter.

"Just seeing the number of attendees each year at the symposium and knowing that they will benefit from this experience makes us as a committee proud of the program we are offering," Salm said.

Sponsors planned to close the gathering with a dove release, but had to cancel due to poor weather.

Groups like Fox Valley Grief Network, Lighthouse Books, Camp Lloyd, Center for Grieving Children, Infant Death Center, Community for Hope Fox Valley & Oshkosh, Marian University and The Center for Suicide Awareness attended the event to help answer questions and provide resource materials for those in need.

WFFH offers other free educational programs for the community throughout the year like Forbidden Grief: A Glimpse at Men in Pain, Hospice Foundation of America Tele-Conference, Hope for the Holidays and more. For a full calendar of upcoming events, please visit


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