Rev. Courtney Bacon-Latina

The Malvern Rotary Club invited Rev. Courtney Bacon-Latina to speak at their monthly meeting last Wednesday at the Malvern Country Club.

Bacon-Latina is lead pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Malvern but came to speak in her capacity as a professional counselor and licensed marriage & family therapist. She was there to present information about the nature and challenges of living with grief and share some important mental health statistics, as well as some good news about a free local support group she is leading for people in the HSC community who are struggling with grief of one form or another in their own lives.

“Grief—it’s one of those topics that no one really wants to talk about,” Bacon-Latina said. She shared that she was so averse to the whole subject and matter of death when she was younger, that by the time she reached high school, her father started suggesting that maybe she should attend upcoming visitations and funerals with him, to alleviate her feelings on the subject.

“And I would balk. That was well before any religious enlightenment happened in my life, and I just did not want anything to do with death,” she said.

Bacon-Latina said that a succession of deaths and tragic news impacted her life in 2013 while she was attending college in California. For one, she’d begun entertaining the idea of ministerial work when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Bacon-Latina noted that her mother is still alive to this day, which is a rare blessing for Alzheimer’s patients to live so long after diagnosis, but the circumstances of such a disease often compound the scale of grief a person will face.

Read the full story in Tuesday's May 9 newspaper edition.

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