-August Newsletter-
Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life's search for love and wisdom.

Welcome to August! We choose this photo with a beautiful garden because, through the pain of grief, can come great transformation even when it's not visible at first.
Jan D'Atri
Melinda Vail
URL to watch the fundraiser will follow soon! Be on the lookout for that email.
If you would like to donate an item valued at $100 or more, to be in our raffle, please contact patty@ericshouse.org.

-Thank You
A Message From Our Director of Programs & Services: Jean Nictakis
Hello EricsHouse Community:

I have both good and bad news to share with you today, and the news is the same.  We are growing!  This is only bad news because we wish with all our hearts that there was no need for an EricsHouse. Sadly, suicide and substance abuse, especially in light of this Covid-19 crisis, is reaching epidemic rates, and more and more people are calling EricsHouse for support after the sudden loss of their loved ones. The good news is that we are here to help everyone who calls receive one-on-one and group support throughout their healing journey.

The idea for EricsHouse grew out of our founder’s pain after her beloved son died by suicide. Her devastation led her to pursue many avenues for healing, and the support search was exhausting. During this time, I met Marianne and witnessed first-hand how difficult it was for her to get into professional counseling, navigate beneficial holistic services, and struggle with a spiritual crisis. I was inspired by her vision to develop a better way for others to heal.

Marianne knew that an Integrative Care Plan approach would best serve the Members of EricsHouse. To help a griever heal from these sudden and traumatic losses, we must offer support for the mind, body, and soul. Over the past two years, we have carefully vetted providers from each of these areas. We have built strong relationships in our community with partners in prevention and postvention, and we have standardized our protocol for care. This standardization ensures that each new caller receives the best possible care and allows us to grow with greater meaning and purpose.

Every new call to EricsHouse is answered by a carefully selected and trained Grief Companion. An in-depth Intake Appointment is scheduled with the Grief Companion that results in a highly customized Healing Support Plan. Each Support Plan is tailored to the specific needs of the EricsHouse Member, offering a variety of services from our mind, body, and spirit providers. Our Grief Companions have been called “the Guardian Angels for Grievers” because they ensure that their Member receives all the help and support necessary to navigate their grief journey – no matter how long it takes.  

We have established a training program for new Grief Companions and Support Group Facilitators. As the need for our services increases, our need for these trained companions increases as well. Our first training will take place in August in a 4-hour virtual session. We invite you to join us if you feel called to do so! Please email jean@ericshouse.org for more information and to sign up.

Personally, being a part of this remarkable vision has enriched my life. Serving others in their time of great need has given me both a place and a purpose for my gifts and desires to help others. The camaraderie we share as an EricsHouse team is surprisingly joyful. Yes, almost every Member of EricsHouse remarks upon the ability we share to find purpose, meaning, and joy in light of devastating losses. I personally want to invite each of you to join our growing team.

With much love,
Jean Nictakis, Director of Programs and Services
The Power of Touch
Article by:
Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt
Because touch is physical, it has bodily effects. When we are touched in comforting ways, our brains are flooded with dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. These feel-good hormones help regulate our mood and make us feel calmer and happier. When we aren’t touched, on the other hand, our brains suffer from the lack of these chemicals. We may feel depressed, anxious and stressed. We might also have more trouble sleeping. 

Suicide Prevention
Talk To Someone Now
If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States.
Virtual Grief Support Groups for both Men & Women
You don't have to grieve alone.
The EricsHouse Men’s Group is a group of men who meet biweekly virtually, on Thursday evenings from 7:00 pm- 8:30 pm.

We share our grief journeys, day-to-day struggles, and our stories. Mostly we talk, listen, and support each other. 

If you’d like more information please call Greg Eckerman at 480-734-3423, or by email at greg@ericshouse.org.
The EricsHouse Women's Group, will meet biweekly virtually, on Thursday evenings from 7:00 pm-8:30 pm.

If you are experiencing the sudden loss of someone you love especially to addiction or suicide, this group is designed to support your very unique needs. Throughout the session, you will talk with peers who are loss survivors who understand how difficult it is to navigate family and friends after experiencing a sudden, traumatic loss.

If you'd like more information about this group or would like to register for it, please email marisela@ericshouse.org.
Events for August
Appointments are limited. Melinda will share messages from your loved ones so that you have the opportunity to know and understand that he or she is alive and well on the other side of the veil.

Melinda is an “evidential” medium, meaning that she will provide information about your loved one that she could not possibly have known.
Greg Eckerman
Co-Founder of Ericshouse &
Facilitator for the Men's Group

Greg can be reached at: greg@ericshouse.org
Grief as a Journey

People often talk about grief as a journey.
On one level, I get that. Everyone has a unique path... journeys embody change. And journeys all have a starting point . . . I know exactly when this one started for me. I will never forget that instant when I knew nothing would ever be the same again.
On another level, it makes no sense to me. Journeys end . . . I don’t see any end to this. Or maybe it’s because, for me, the word journey implies some degree of choice. I did not choose this.
Grief is transformative, though it takes us to places we’ve never been. It leads us to become someone new, to develop a new identity.
I’m pretty sure I’ll never be the guy I was before our losses again. But that’s not all bad. In some very real ways, I think I am a better person in the aftermath of my son, Eric’s death. I know with certainty that my time with my wife’s sister, Ann Marie (Reesie to all who loved her), before her death raised me up to the best I’ve ever been.
Richard Rohr, a Franciscan teacher, discusses grief and its aftermath at length and eloquently. He said: 

“If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.”
If we choose to transform our pain, what will it become? Who will we become?
 I believe the pain of grief inevitably transforms us as it is transformed. What will my pain transform into – what actions will I take as a result?
How we are transformed is, to some degree, a matter of choice.
As is what we choose to transmit. 
I’d like to think that, when I meet with Eric and Reesie again, I’ll have a story of my transformation journey worth telling.                                                 
I’m going to try to envision that story and then live it.
Grief Companioning
EricsHouse is looking for more Grief Companions.
If you are someone who would like to make a difference in someone's life, then reach out to Jean Nictakis to become a Grief Companion with EricsHouse.

These are FREE Virtual Trainings. Please see dates below and email jean@ericshouse.org for more information.

  1. August 14, 2020, 1:00pm-3:00pm "Taking Calls for EricsHouse"
  2. September 11, 2020, 1:00-5:00 pm "Facilitating an Intake Appointment"
  3. October 16, 2020, 1:00-5:00 pm "Planning, Reviewing, and Facilitating Grief Companioning Sessions".
Inspiration for August
In addition to providing grief support after a loss and holistic support as part of our Integrative Grief Care model, we offer several alternative therapies to support emotional, physical, and spiritual healing. We work with individuals who have lost someone they love unexpectedly with a specialization in suicide and substance losses.