Welcome to GRASP. We are so very glad that you have found us. It is our sincere wish that we may provide comfort and healing in whichever way possible in your search. Feel free to contact us on a personal level or to make suggestions to improve our site. Sharing and caring for one another is why we offer Grief Recovery.
Now, about GRASP... Denise and Gary Cullen have a profound desire to provide an outlet to address those tragic deaths from alcohol and other drugs - to ease the pain in any way for those left to cope. Although Denise is a professional in the mental health/grief field, it was not until they experienced years of struggling with their son, Jeff’s, addiction and death did they truly understand the need for GRASP. When they finally found it, it was an incredible relief. DENISE & GARY Explain Why GRASP... When the ultimate tragedy of their son’s drug overdose death occurred, Denise and Gary began the search for a bereavement group that would guide them through their grief and pain. What they discovered were well-meaning and kind groups for a variety of deaths. There were/are those to comfort parents whose children have died as infants, miscarriage, suicide, from other illnesses, accident, even murder — but none of these addressed that special need for those children who pass on because of drugs. Common sense told the Cullens that their son could surely not be the only young person to die from drugs in their city, county or state? Apparently though, Jeff, who had always been a unique personality in life, was even so in death!
Some may ask: "What difference does it make? Help is help. Sympathy is sympathy." Those who know, will answer: "The difference is in the faces of other parents." The shifting to space themselves apart physically and emotionally. The silent response.... or even..... The spoken, "My child was good and didn't deserve to die!" Which implies that all those who succumb to drugs of varying kinds deserved to leave this earth? And family — especially parents — must be as bad (oh yes, imperfect parents) to have seen and allowed this death to happen. Using their steadfast love, Gary and Denise began the grieving and healing processes through their own research and reading. All the while they found themselves shaking their heads in disbelief at the non-response to the needs of themselves and others who must be searching also. It took some time for GRASP to be "conceived and born". A minister friend of the original founders, Pat and Russ Wittberger, had suggested that they reach out to others in this way. It is true that you need not be a professional counselor of any sort to do this work, but you DO need to have experienced the pain of struggling before this tragic, life changing event. First came a sharing of their and their daughter Jenny's story. To discover more about this, please visit: www.jennysjourney.org. Russ and Pat thank their daughter Jenny, as
Denise and Gary thank their son Jeff, for being a part of their lives because had they not been a part of their journey, then they would not be making a difference in the lives of others now. Through talking about Jeff to family, friends and strangers who soon became friends, healing began for all involved and Denise and Gary decided, when the opportunity arose, to request the torch be passed to them, to continue the work started by Russ and Pat Wittberger.
We thank you for visiting GRASP, however and whatever led you to this site.