Testimonials – Programs & Support

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   What people are saying about…


    ABJ Grief RecoveryPrograms & Support


     “When I first saw the photo gallery on the ABJ website, I immediately connected on a personal level with the strength,courage, love and loss of the people in the photos. Having gone through the loss of two of my three children I had been searching for help in dealing with my grief. I met Barbara Hopkinson through the local chapter of The Compassionate Friends, which she runs, and learned about (her nonprofit) A Butterfly’s Journey, with it’s valuable resources.
I then took the Grief Recovery Class,with Barbara. It was instrumental in helping me work through some very deep emotional blocks in the ‘grieving process’ and allowed me to move forward and continue to heal.
     I did the photo shoot with my remaining child, Michael. It is such a unique way to allow us to express our pain and love. It is so powerful, cathartic and healing. My son Justin died 20 years ago, my daughter Kimberly died 2 1/2 years ago. Up until this photo shoot, I don’t think Michael had ever truly expressed his loss.  He felt it was creative, and was proud to wear his siblings names on his arms, and of course, it meant so much to me.
Thank you Barbara and photographer Patti Rae (both bereaved mothers) and for the money donated for this gift of healing. I am truly grateful.”

Cathy Bryant, bereaved mother, Epping, NH

“I had read countless books and looked everywhere for exactly this. GRM gave me a profound awareness of how I’ve dealt with loss over my lifetime. Barbara held a space of quiet compassion for me to express my feelings without judgment as I learned how to complete and release unresolved feelings. I feel so grateful that Barbara offers GRM.” 

Socorro Ortega, bereaved mother, El Paso, TX

“So many methods, ideas and self-help books for my grief left me with a good understanding – but very little hope of recovery after loosing my youngest son.  Working with Barbara Hopkinson and the Grief Recovery Method in conjunction with the ABJ, was the single most important step I took toward healing. Barbara works with individuals to identify personal points of understanding and adapts the GRM to each individual. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in this endeavor. The caring, encouragement and support I received through her and ABJ is indescribable. What I appreciate most about working with Barbara and GRM is her ability to connect with love and understanding beyond what anyone can learn in a class…she is a natural at helping others!”

                                      Janice Littrell, bereaved mother, Kentucky

“I’ve read the book “Grief Recovery Handbook” before and did some of the exercises on my own, but not finding complete resolution.  After taking the (ABJ) class, however, I’ve felt more at peace since the death of my son than I have in quite some time.  The class was very straight forward and easy to follow.  Although there was homework, they were activities that were helpful and emotional.  I was able to learn to let go of past pain, forgive people that I needed to forgive, and ultimately become a better person for it.  I left this class with tools to be able to assist me in whatever the future brings my way.”

Jen Souvannasing, bereaved mother, NH

“I first met Barbara in the early days following the death of my beloved daughter, Nicole. She became one of a small handful of individuals who actually ‘got it’ regarding this unbelievable loss. Through her I found others who shared a history similar to my own. I can hardly imagine what my crumbling world would have looked like without this supportive group.

Barbara has been incredibly generous with her time and energy. She long ago founded a local, accessible chapter of The Compassionate Friends, and has kept a loving hand at the helm of this vessel ever since. This life saving group has helped scores of bereaved parents find their way through the darkest days that they’ll ever see. Even now, some 10 years after the death of her son, Brent, she ceaselessly continues her output of calls, letters, meetings, ceremonies, and even home visits for we who struggle along. Her offering of love, empathy, hugs, and periodic yummy snacks at her home is like a well that never runs dry.”

–Louis Irwin, Ipswich, MA (bereaved father of Nicole, 24
& retired anethesiologist)

“We first met Barbara at a Compassionate Friends’ meeting when we lost our youngest son Tyler. She provided a safe place for parents of all ages to share their pain together. Barbara’s journey is born out of the eternal love we all have for our children. Her gentle, kind words and welcoming spirit offered us hope out of the paralyzing tunnel of despair that had engulfed us in our grief. In this common ground of bereavement over the untimely loss of our children, her unwavering support allowed our hearts to heal as she guided us through this intensely life altering trauma. Barbara’s compassion transformed the tragic loss we felt and allowed us to fully rejoin life once again.”

–Jeff and Heather Smith, Durham, NH (bereaved parents of Tyler)

“After losing a child I looked towards finding someone that I could reach out to, a person who would somehow understand the pain I was feeling. Barbara was that person. She helped me find a way to grieve but also celebrate my son’s life. She continues to make herself available for me to talk and always encourages me to share stores about my son as a way to keep his spirit alive. I am now able to see him in all the beautiful things around me and feel his energy surround me the way she is able to help others, including myself along the path of grief. I admire her strength and spirituality—which I thought I had lost, but Barbara was able to help me retrieve those qualities.”

–Maria Cuoto, Peabody, MA (bereaved mother of Paul)

“Thanks Barb. Cannot believe this date will be our 11th Year Angel Anniversary of our daughter. Think of you always & the group and hope everyone has a peaceful Holiday Season.”

- Mary Zinck, Newburyport, MA (mother of Trisha

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