Our Story

The Christi Center helps build wellbeing by offering people who have experienced the death of a loved one the opportunity to connect with others. When grief is not endured in isolation or ignored, our community is stronger, and helps our clients weather all of life’s storms. We offer support groups where people connect and find a safe space to explore the emotions that are part of the grief process, activities to help maintain a healthy relationship with the deceased, and community education so that we are all better equipped to help the grieving people in our lives. Understanding that grief does not have a cure, but requires ongoing maintenance, our services are available for however long they are needed and are always free of charge. We serve children, teens, and adults, supporting people at all stages of the life cycle, in order to build a healthier culture around death and grief.

Our vision is that no one should have to grieve alone.

 Our Story

The Christi Center is named after Christi Lanahan, a UT Junior and Westlake High alumna who was tragically killed by a drunk driver in 1985. For her mom and stepdad, Susan and Don Cox, life was permanently altered in an instant. In a state of shock and consumed with grief, they found few community resources to support grieving families. Drowning in grief and facing great personal and marital challenges, the Coxes and Christi’s brother, Sean Lanahan decided to reach out to others instead of retreating. On the two-year anniversary of Christi’s death, they founded the nonprofit “For the Love of Christi”, with a mission to provide free, ongoing grief support to Central Texans who have experienced a loss of a loved one.

At the heart of the organization is the Center’s peer-based grief support group model, which “normalizes” the grief experience by connecting the bereaved with others who have experienced losses of a similar nature, showing them that hope is possible after loss.  The Center serves children, teens, and adults. Now called The Christi Center, the organization provides support groups throughout the life cycle to build well-being and help our community members reach their full potential. Other services include:

  • Community education so that we are all better equipped to help the grieving people in our lives
  • Activities designed to build lasting memories and increase the toolkit for coping with life without a loved one
  • An innovative schools-based program that connects our community’s youngest grievers with trained volunteers for individual counseling

We have over 30 years of experience providing love, hope, comfort and support to people of all ages in a warm and welcoming environment. All of us need a sturdy foundation to weather life’s storms and layers of support in our lives to truly thrive.

How Our Services Work

Peer support means connecting people with other people that have had similar experiences.  At The Christi Center, it means you will attend groups with others who have experienced similarities in their losses.  Groups are facilitated by trained facilitators and supervised by a licensed professional counselor.  Always advocates for the needs of grieving people, we provide outreach and education on grief and issues facing the bereaved for schools, businesses, churches, community organizations and allied professionals.

Peer support can be very effective in the healing process because group members not only empathize with and validate individual experiences, but also share experiential knowledge and support.

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