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TheRespite's picture


United StatesCharlotte, NC, United States

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November 28, 2011

Elizabeth Berrien

About Me: 

By the age of 27, I had already experienced the loss of a child and life as a widow. The sudden and unexpected death of my late husband Brian occurred on August 14th, 2009. He was only thirty-one years old – a Special Forces soldier serving in Afghanistan. This brought me to create Soul Widows, a space for other women in a similar situation of heartache and upheaval.

My educational background includes a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 2004 and attended graduate school at the University of Missouri at St. Louis for Community Counseling in 2008. After the unexpected stillbirth of my son in December 2008, my focus took a turn as I sought healing resources to cope with that first loss. Following the death of my late husband, I founded the non-profit Soul Widows in March of 2010. I continue to devote time to this organization, as well as working on the development of The Respite: A Centre for Grief & Hope, which serves as a home base for Soul Widows. My vision is to reach as many lives as possible that are suffering grief and loss, and to help teach others that hope that lies within the healing process. We must not lie down in our grief, but travel a path surrounded by support from those who understand, and learn to once again live fully for ourselves and our community.

My Passions: 
Helping men, women, and children through their personal journeys of grief and loss.
My Challenges: 
Educating society on a new way to move through grief and loss by discovering the transformative gifts that come through the grieving process.
My Vision for the Future: 
To have several of The Respite healing centers established throughout the U.S., and to help and connect with widows overseas.
My Areas of Expertise: 
Anthropology, Grief Recovery

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