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After sudden loss of son, couple develops grief support program to help others

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Dr. J.C. Wade, Jr. (right) and wife Ella Wade (left)

The loss of a loved one can be difficult but the impact seems to heighten during the holiday season. After dealing with the sudden loss of their son in 2015, Rev. Dr. J.C. Wade, Jr. and wife Ella Wade decided to turn their pain into purpose through the creation of a ministry called G.R.I.E.F. (God’s Relief in Every Family). The couple is presenting weekly classes on the campuses of Ivy Tech Community College in East Chicago and Gary.

“The loss of our son was something I didn’t want to believe was true,” said Mrs. Ella Wade. “I thought they had made a mistake, but once it was confirmed, the grief we both experienced seemed unbearable.”

Wade went on to describe how constant prayer and leaning on her husband, who was also grieving, helped them to grow even closer to one another while embracimg and understanding the various stages of grief. From there, they discovered that their experience  and lessons learned during their grief could be helpful and lifechanging for others.

“We knew we were doing God’s work by taking one of the most difficult times in our lives and using it as an opportunity to help others,” added Rev. Dr.  Wade. “Ministers especially benefit from our ministry because we are always called on to comfort families in the time of bereavement and loss.”

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The Wade’s late son (center) pictured with his sisters.

About G.R.I.E.F.

Complete with a workbook and curriculum, the G.R.I.E.F. program provides grief support to individuals and families in the community. Grief due to death, loss of health, homes, employment and possessions are supported through individual and group counseling and aftercare. The grief workshops introduce participants to healthy strategies for coping with the stages of grief. In addition, Bi-annual community grief conferences are held, children and teen grief support are offered through classes, events and activities. The Wades also present radio broadcast sessions, community seminars and training provided by the couple as well as healthcare professionals.

The partnership with Ivy Tech Community College has allowed the Wades to reach broader audiences. The classes are full, and attendees are referring others to take advantage of the resources that the Wades are offering.

“We feel truly blessed to be a vessel that enables others to not only cope with but conquer their fears of grief,” said Rev. Wade. “Grieving is a normal process with no expiration date. We grieve in different ways. Our courses help identify the stages and offer effective strategies to use throughout immediately and long-term.”

For more information about G.R.I.E.F., contact the Wades at 219-682-8402 or via email at [email protected]. Connect with the Wades on Facebook at

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