New Midland Group Helping Men Cope With Their Loss

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Dealing with the death of a loved one is hard, especially if you have to go through it alone. For many men, it's can be hard to work through it. Hospice of Midland is trying to change that by giving these men a place to go where they can share their burdens with others like them and help each other through their tough times.

"Its easier for guys to go on a coffee break then to go to a support group," Hospice Volunteer Ed McElrath, said.

That's why the new support group in Midland is called "Coffee Break." The assortment of men gather to help one another cope with the loss of a friend, family member or even a spouse.

"Learning to do things that for maybe for 40-60 years you always had to do it with your wife and now they don't have that anymore," McElrath said.

It's not their first time around trying to start up a support group like this.

"We tried this but it just doesn't work for women to lead a men's group," Jan Reed, Director of Spiritual Care, said.

So they came across a great volunteer that could head the group, Ed McElrath.

"Men do things differently than ladies do," McElrath said.

McElrath is retired, so he has the time and is a licensed counselor and social worker. He also knows the in's and out's of men dealing with their emotions.

"Men especially in West Texas just have to be tough, that's the cultural way," McElrath said.

The new group of men hope the process will help them get through their grieving.

"It's sharing what you are going through and giving permission to feel and have emotions," McElrath said.

Although Wednesday marked the inauguration of the group meeting, they are optimistic and know this process is for the best.

"We are starting small but we are going to grow pretty rapidly," McElrath said.

"Coffee Break for Men" gets together the first Monday of each month at the Hospice of Midland.