Elaine Miller’s introduction to The Christi Center started back in 1999 when her husband died by suicide. With three children under 13, Elaine found her way to The Christi Center (then called For the Love of Christi) in spring of 1999. She spent 45 minutes on the phone with the person who answered it. “I was just blown away by the fact that they just listened to my story when I didn’t know where else to go”, says Elaine. She started attending the Loss of a Spouse group and brought her children to Kids Who Kare. Fast forward 13 years, and Elaine found herself at The Christi Center once again.
This time, she was a Christi Center intern for her counseling degree. She worked with the Kids Who Kare group in Georgetown, Austin Monday night groups, and Loss to Suicide groups. Staying on as a dedicated volunteer after her internship concluded, she now facilitates the Georgetown Loss to Suicide group.
For Elaine, volunteering has become an important part of coming full circle and finding healing in her own grief journey. “Listening to other people’s stories and telling your own repeatedly helps your brain catch up with your heart in understanding your reality. Suicide has such stigma and you feel bad that you can’t forgive this person – you’re so angry at them and other people don’t understand that. I finally came to total peace and forgiveness with all that. Knowing I can help people with that part of their journey – the healing and forgiveness to find peace – is why I do this.”