Discussion of rebuilding after loss comes to Millburn


MILLBURN, NJ – Many Millburn residents have suffered huge losses over the past year and a half – whether from the COVID-19 pandemic, or more recently from the devastation of Hurricane Ida .

As residents now emerge from a tragedy, a group of organizers decided to create an event where people can engage in a conversation focused on resilience and healing for the community.

The Traumatic Loss Coalition for Youth and Inner Harbor will host the event titled “Resilience: Moving Forward with Grief and Loss”. It will take place at Congregation B’nai Israel on Thursday, October 21 at 7 p.m. Led by grief and loss experts, the in-person event will cover ways to cope with overwhelming loss and equip students and adults with practical tools and information.

Naomi Panzer – one of the event organizers and founder of UPGirl – said she decided to create this event in response not only to the city facing the pandemic over the past 18 months, but also the transition students are now making to in-person learning.

“The stress levels of kids going back to school, and they are expected to be just ‘rah rah, we’re back to school’… It hasn’t been an easy transition , especially for high school students, and especially for older people who just need to go through their application process, ”Panzer said.

She mentioned that the community is also dealing with the death of a high school student at the start of the school year. But Panzer said the point of this event is not to dwell on the negative.

“It really won’t be this depressing program like telling everything everyone’s been through, but rather some kind of uplifting, positive and empowering program so that people can feel they have strategies for moving forward and deal with all of these tragedies, ”Panzer said.

The program will be divided into two distinct groups: one for high school students and one for parents / adults. Panzer said they organized it that way because she believed parents would be much more open and willing to share if their kids weren’t in the room, and vice versa.

Those who register for the event will be able to submit questions for discussion in advance via email, and everything will remain anonymous.

Panzer said the start of the program will be an overview of resilience strategies, how to overcome grief and understand that it is an ongoing process. There will also be opportunities for people to share their experiences, as this is an interactive event.

“When so many tragedies hit you at once, they can make you feel crippled, so we want to make sure our community is heard, seen and supported,” Panzer said.

Panzer added that she hopes this event is not a one-time thing and that they can continue to have these discussions to support the emotional well-being of the community.

Regardless of immunization status, anyone who attends the event must wear a mask. People can register through this connect.

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