Author of books on grief to speak at Crosswell Baptist Church in Sumter on May 4


If you've lost a loved one recently and aren't sure how to cope, you may want to consider attending a speaking engagement hosted by Amedisys Hospice and Crosswell Baptist Church at 604 Mathis St. in Sumter.

The event will take place in the fellowship hall of the church on Saturday, May 4, from noon to 2 p.m. and will feature guest speaker Julie Yarbrough from Texas, author of "Beyond the Broken Heart," "Secure in the Storm," "Inside the Broken Heart" and "A Journey Through Grief."

Yarbrough will share her own experiences with death and grief, as well as discuss topics that include disappointment, finding the good in life, turning grief into joy and financial planning. She will answer questions after her presentation, and a reception will follow.

"We have a grief support group twice a year," Amedysis Hospice Bereavement Coordinator Debbie Sage said. "We started using her book ("Beyond the Broken Heart"), and I emailed her and asked her to come speak, and she said yes."

"Beyond the Broken Heart" stood out to Sage for several reasons.

"It's her honesty," Sage said. "She was being honest about losing her husband and father within months (and) about how it made her feel. There's a dilemma when you lose someone; it makes people uncomfortable when you're hurting. She didn't apologize about how she felt."

Sage was also impressed with how moving the book was.

"It will empower you to keep living and still miss your loved one," she said. "I encourage people to come and listen to what she has to say."

Sage and Yarbrough have a special message for those who are dealing with loss and don't know where to turn.

"Julie and I want people to know they are not alone," Sage said. "I would love for people to know that it's OK to grieve and not be made to feel that something is wrong with a person who does."

For more information about the event, call Amedysis Hospice at (803) 774-4036. To learn more about Yarbrough and her books, visit