GrieveWell seeks to build a community that promotes healthy grieving and healing so that adults can grieve well and lead a full life after loss. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, GrieveWell provides resources and support to adults in grief, as well as those who surround them. Together, we can surround those in grief with hope, healing, and healthy practices so that they can lead a full life after loss.
Grief is universal and a natural part of life. Yet our society has lost many of the customs and traditions that once surrounded and supported those in grief.
The bereaved continue to experience grief long after the funeral, as others return to the “real world,” leaving them feeling isolated and confused. Such unresolved grief has significant negative physical and emotional impacts, yet the vast majority (80%) do not seek outside help but rely on their friends, family, colleagues, and/or faith community.
In 2000, Doug and Julie Stotlar’s 6-year-old daughter, Lauren, was killed in a tragic school bus accident. They looked for grief support, but found that what was available in the community — primarily support groups and individual therapy — didn’t match their needs. Along the way, the Stotlars found that the most meaningful support was connecting individually with other families who had been through a similar loss.
In 2010 — in an effort to help others and build hope out of their own tragedy — Doug and Julie founded a nonprofit 501(c)(3) to support others whose lives have also been darkened by grief. The launch was made possible with the help of a licensed grief professional and a host of dedicated family and friends.
This organization became GrieveWell in 2017 featuring a cadre of trained peer counselors, all of whom experienced a loss in their own lives, and a broader mission that includes educational workshops, community engagement, a range of online resources, and qualified referrals. The goal is to build a more compassionate community with a greater capacity to support individuals in grief.