Hike for Healing set for Saturday
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Friday, October 12, 2012
10/12/12 at 4:42 AM
Sam Wood was one of those fortunate folks with two moms who loved him - still love him.
"He was a lovely, wonderful person, and he had a huge circle of friends," recalled Deborah J. Hunter, the partner of Donna Wood, Sam's mother. Sam died in August 2011. He was 27.
A gifted musician, Sam also enjoyed being outdoors, Hunter said, and he loved to hike - which helped make the Tristesse Grief Center's first Hike for Healing event in 2011 so special for Sam's family and friends.
"It was a perfect fit," Hunter said. "When you're dealing with grief of that magnitude, it's a profoundly physical thing - wrestling with being anxious, upset and incredibly tired."
So to be outside with others who are also grieving loved ones, "it seems like good medicine," Hunter said.
The Hike for Healing returns for a second year Saturday, with registration at 7 a.m. in the Turkey Mountain parking lot of the River Parks Trails.
Participants can choose to walk a paved 5k, stroll through a sea of luminaries and light a candle on the Memorial Mile, or venture out and hike to the top of Turkey Mountain and back - and pause from time to time for a memory moment, based on personal reflection.
"They are wonderful people," Hunter said of the center.
She remembered many people showing up for Sam, as well as others connected by grief.
"It was a positive memorial," Hunter said.
About 150 people attended last year's event, said Susan Bramsch, executive director of the Tristesse Grief Center, 3930 E. 31st St.
"Hike for Healing is a perfect opportunity for individuals who are, perhaps, feeling stuck and don't know if their grief is normal or abnormal," she said. "It gives them the opportunity to meet other people who are in the same situation."
Bramsch referred to the event as a "community of sharing, which is step one to healing after the death of a loved one."
Along the Memorial Mile stretch of the event, participants can stop at any of about 10 stations staffed by grief center volunteers, Bramsch said. Stations focus on self-care, with each offering "little nuggets" of information to use throughout life to cope with grief or other difficult situations.
For example, one station will hand out journals, as keeping one can aid in the journey through grief, Bramsch said. Pause at another station for some vitamin D, and learn how 15 minutes of sunshine each day can help ward off depression.
The weather's supposed to be nice, too, said Bramsch, who joked she'd been seeking assurances from meteorologists.
Cost for the event is $20, which benefits the grief center's scholarship programs, Bramsch said. The center accepts payment on a sliding scale, and the majority of those who use its services are on some form of scholarship. Hike for Healing will help defray that.
Those who can't attend can make a monetary donation, which will aid the center's children's grief programs, Bramsch said.
"We're still dealing with this," Hunter said of her and her partner's grief. "We have days and weeks where we don't have as much energy."
People who lose someone don't want to stop talking about their lost loved one, she continued. "They want everyone to remember that person."
That's the wonderful part of Hike for Healing, Hunter said - how it puts you together with others who want to remember their loved ones.
Register in advance to reserve a "goodie bag" and T-shirt, Bramsch said, or simply sign up Saturday morning.
For more, call the Tristesse Grief Center at 918-587-1200, or visit tulsaworld.com/tristesse
HIKE FOR HEALING
When: registration at 7 a.m.
Where: Turkey Mountain parking
lot of the River Parks Trails
Cost: $20, includes T-shirt and
For more: tulsaworld.com/tristesse
Original Print Headline: Hike for Healing set
Jason Ashley Wright 918-581-8483
Participants gather for the Tristesse Grief Center's inaugural Hike for Healing last year. The event returns Saturday, with registration starting at 7 a.m. at the Turkey Mountain parking lot. Courtesy