Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Kroenke.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
The journey to the creation of The Grief Club of Minnesota began for Cara and me when we were children as we both experienced the deaths of significant family members, Cara’s dad and my mom died when we were teenagers. Given the untimely deaths of our parents and other important people in our life we recognized and understood the multifaceted emotions that are felt when a family member dies. Our grief journey’s inspired our professional careers of becoming licensed social workers in the field of end of life care and bereavement with a special emphasis on supporting grieving children and teens. I am proud to share that we have dedicated our combined 45+ years in our professional careers as hospice social workers, school grief counselors, mental health crisis and trauma responders, authors, local and national speakers on childhood bereavement, co-owners of a private grief therapy practice and co-founders of The Grief Club. Throughout our extensive careers we have witnessed the need for whole family grief care so that families can process their pain and heal together all in the same location. Cara and I have had a shared passion to provide a safe place of support, compassion, education and hope to grieving kids and their families weeks, months, and even years after their loved one’s death. For many years we have wanted a place in Minnesota where we could bring together families with shared experiences to help them feel less alone in their pain. Because of this passion we have visited dozens of grief centers throughout the country and developed wonderful working relationships with them. During our visits and follow-up communications with nationwide executive directors we often received feedback that they were surprised that Minnesota did not have a grief center with our mission and philosophy of care, especially given the number of respected healthcare organizations, large corporations and the philanthropic status of our state. Although we officially became a nonprofit in 2020 we have been actively working on the necessary steps to become a respected grief center in Minnesota for many years. It was important to us to be strategic in our planning to ensure that The Grief Club would be sustainable for many years to come.