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Healing After Tragedy

Image of Angie Crabtree and children

In January of 2014, Angie Crabtree, mother of two young boys, got a call she never expected to receive. Her sister, her son’s aunt, Cassie, was pronounced dead from an accidental overdose. “The words burned a hole in my heart, I couldn’t breathe, I was stunned, and my mind was reeling,” Angie said. Cassie was the mother of two boys, ages one-and-a-half and four, who now were without their mother.

Angie’s two sons became four as her sister’s boys blended into her family. Angie shared, “all my children were heavy with grief, Cassie was a huge positive part of all of our lives.” The family was dealing, coping and moving through each day but in Angie’s words, were not “thriving.”

Angie had already known of the grief work that Lory’s Place provided to the community, so she signed her boys up to start going to group nights at Lory’s Place. While the children participated in their group setting, their adult counterparts, including Angie, met in another area in a group of their own.

Angie said, “my sons were on a healing journey and I was determined to do anything in my power to get the help they needed.”

One group night, Angie loaded all the boys into the car to head to Lory’s Place and the car wouldn’t start. As she was panicking, her husband reassured her that the boys would be okay skipping one night, that it wasn’t a big deal. Angie burst out, “they may be ok, but I won’t be!” Angie said, “for the first time, I understood that to be the best for them I needed help with my own grief.” She continued, that “Lory’s Place is not just for kids, and it’s important the adults in our community know this.”

Today, Angie’s family is moving at a lightening pace. Some moments they continue their gut-wrenching mourning while others are filled with joy. Angie said, “our family has embraced our new normal and true healing is taking place.” Recently, Angie was trained as a Lory’s Place facilitator, a person who leads the support groups people attend at Lory’s Place. Angie said, “in my role as a facilitator, I aspire to work with the overdose loss support group so that some good can come from my family’s tragic loss.”

“Lory’s Place has helped my entire family through this tragic experience and actually helped me process my grief from previous deaths that I didn’t know I hadn’t handled yet.” Angie continued, “the fact that it’s free to the community is amazing."

To walk through the doors of Lory’s Place takes a lot of courage. Angie and nearly 40,000 other people who said, “I can’t do it alone,” asked for help. To ensure grief healing and education services remain available in our community you can help your grieving neighbors build a new normal with your donation today.

Donate online at

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For more information call
(269) 429-7100 or
(800) 717-3811


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