Mandi Zucker: Imagine Center Offers Family Support

Mandi Zucker joins Dr. Gloria Horsley to talk about Imagine, a center for coping with loss located in New Jersey. They target children ages 3-18 as well as their families. Children living with an illness in the family, as well as those who’ve lost someone they love, need a special kind of support. For adults who are grieving themselves, balancing life, loss, and a little one who’s grieving can be a huge challenge. There are more women than men who seek out grief support, but Imagine is open to men and women alike. Still, there are more moms at the center than dads.

It’s a lot of work for women to suddenly take on the role of two genders. There are roles and responsibilities that someone takes on in each family. When someone dies, you need to quickly learn how to handle all the responsibilities. Find as much support as you can. There’s a lot of help out there, but it takes effort to find it. The most important thing is to look for opportunities to get support where you can.

Imagine That!

Zucker points out that many times, women take on the burden of being the overprotective caregiver as well as the head of the household right after a loss. While this is a noble goal, it’s unrealistic. Keep in mind that children watch adults to get cues on how to act and grieve. If adults are pretending everything is fine and not talking about the death, children may think that’s how they’re supposed to behave. One of the biggest mistakes adults make is not talking to kids.

However, children will grieve in their own way, and it’s not always with spoken words. Let them come to you, teach you how they want to grieve, and take the wheel.


Gloria Horsley

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Dr. Gloria Horsley is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She started "Open to Hope" to help the millions in the world with grief. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years. Dr. Horsley hosts the syndicated internet radio show, The Grief Blog which is one of the top ranked shows on Health Voice America. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and frequently serves as media spokesperson. Dr. Horsley is often called on to present seminars throughout the country. She has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including "The Today Show," "Montel Williams," and "Sallie Jessie Raphael." In addition, she has authored a number of articles and written several books including Teen Grief Relief with Dr. Heidi Horlsey, and The In-Law Survival Guide.

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