New non-profit aims to help children process grief and loss

By: 
Lisa Ingebrand, LRnews@frontiernet.net

Erin Rossow of Morristown has founded the non-profit Together On Memories (TOM), which aims to help children who are dealing with grief due to the loss of a loved one by providing group grief support groups and helping youth attain individual therapy. Rossow is pictured by her father’s gravesite. (Submitted photo)

A Morristown woman is spearheading a new non-profit, Together On Memories (TOM), that will help children who are experiencing grief due to the loss of a loved one.

“The goal is to help in two ways: provide free grief group support at the high school level and also provide assistance finding and paying for licensed grief therapy in the area,” explained Erin Rossow of Morristown, who knows the pain of losing a parent to suicide.

Her 51-year-old father, Thomas Randall, died by suicide on December 22, 2010.

“Losing my dad to suicide was the hardest situation ever,” she stated. “I was a high school student at the time and needed help navigating the overwhelming grief. Thankfully, a school counselor invited me to a grief group that met once a month at the school. That became my safe space, my place to begin grieving and talking about everything… I needed it. All of us who were there needed it.”

Rossow also began speaking to her peers about the warning signs suicidal people often exhibit—some of the changes and behaviors she had noticed in her father.

“He had attempted suicide a year prior, but I found him and saved him… Then, he got help. He sought therapy and seemed to be in a better place,” she explained.

Her father called her at work on Dec. 21, 2010, to tell her how much he loved her. The next day, at 4:55 a.m., he died by suicide.

Rossow began seeing a therapist to help deal with her deep grief. She also found peace in sharing her own story with her classmates.

“I remember one girl, who was way in the back of the room, cried while I told my story and talked about the warning signs to watch for in your family,” Rossow said. “A few weeks later, I received a letter from that girl, thanking me. She had noticed changes—warning signs—in her own family member and had encouraged them to seek help.”

That letter helped ignite a passion in Rossow, a passion to....

To see more on this story pick up the January 26, 2023 print edition of the LifeEnterprise. 

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