Pastoral bereavement counselor Pamela Koch has published the inspiring account of one support group’s journey to facing their grief and finding answers in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. In “For Goodness’ Sake: The Story Behind the Saint James 9/11 Bereavement Support Group,” Koch chronicles the group’s humble beginnings in the downstairs of a local Catholic church in the small town of Basking Ridge, N.J., and the immense impact it had on the 76 families and 104 children who would cross the church’s threshold over the course of two years.
An important and timely resource for those affected by the trauma of a mass-casualty event, Koch’s book shares the heartwarming stories of the individuals who benefited from the Saint James 9/11 Bereavement Support Group and the volunteers who rallied together in outreach. “For Goodness’ Sake” also delves into the holistic approach Koch and others utilized to provide uplifting, creative counseling sessions to these families, enabling them to prevail through such immense tragedy.
Ultimately, Koch’s book offers a glimpse into the power and compassion that can be found through community. “For Goodness’ Sake” explores Koch’s own experiences coming to terms with her mortality after surviving breast cancer only to be diagnosed with leukemia many years later. And in Koch’s time of need, the same families she helped come to terms with their grief after traumatically losing their loved ones paid it forward and supported her through a T-cell transplant, providing her with an equal measure of faith, hope and unconditional love she once gave them.
“In telling my story about the Saint James 9/11 Bereavement Support Group, it is my hope that I can shed a positive light on a community that gave its all in the darkness,” Koch wrote in the introduction to “For Goodness’ Sake”. “It is in becoming the risk takers in life that we can make a difference for another. The people of goodness who bonded together after 9/11 became the catalyst for healing and transformation.”