Linda Gill, RN, MSN, MA, LPC - Founder
"I am a registered nurse and a licensed professional counselor specializing in grief and crisis. I have worked with grief and loss for over 40 years—as a critical care nurse, as a Clinical Nurse Specialist working with families of infants and children who died, and as a professional counselor. As a nurse, I had wondered where people could go to findhelp to deal with their losses. Though hospices provide help for those grieving the loss of someone with a terminal illness, many other kinds of sudden and unexpected losses also exist. I could not find any other organization in South Carolina dedicated solely to providing programs and support services for those who were trying to navigate the complexities of grief and loss. In 2002, a small group of volunteers and I founded the Joy in the Mourning® Center for Life Losses. We are dedicated to helping people who are grieving to mourn in healthy ways and return to the joy of living. It is the joy of my life to see people work through their grief and return to joy."
Linda Gill would like to share the story of Amelia McLane and her family—because they were the first ones to catch the vision of the Joy in the Mourning Center.
Read the story
Nancy Pilat-Renner, MA, LPC, CACP - Board Chair
"It was God. God lead me to Joy in the Mourning® Center for Life Losses As part of my Graduate School requirements, I needed to complete a 50-hour practicum. I had seen an advertisement in a local newspaper about the Pet Support Group, “Waiting at the Rainbow Bridge,” and cut it out. I googled, Joy in the Mourning, and the more I learned about this organization and the outstanding reputation of Linda Gill, I knew this was where I wanted earn those hours. I called Linda and we had lunch. I guess you can say, “The rest is history.” I have been a part of this amazing organization and the board ever since. As a licensed professional counselor intern and a clinical counselor at a substance abusefacility, I am looking forward to the work God has planned for me at Joy in the Mourning® Center."
Bob Woodwyk, CPA -Treasurer
"I joined the board after learning from a mutual acquaintance that Linda Gill was in need of a CPA to serve on the board. I have always felt that it was important not just to donate money to support organizations that I believe in but also, when I can, to donate my time and services to faith based, life-affirming organizations such as Joy in the Mourning® Center for Life Losses. I know that this organization is committed to those principles. In the past eight years, I have seen multiple examples of how Joy in the Mourning® Center has proved, through its work, that 'Life can’t be sealed in a tomb.'”
Mother of three, new grandmother and Administrative Director for Joy in the Mourning Center.
"Grief and loss affects everyone, yet there are so few places to turn to for help. After learning how the programs and support groups make a difference in the lives of those who are grieving, I wanted to help with the mission of Joy in the Mourning Center for Life Losses. I have a deep appreciation for the counselors who work with people who are learning to live with loss and I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve others by working with this skilled and talented team of counselors and board members. It's an honor to be part of a nonprofit organization that helps so many people in our community in such a meaningful way."
June Scruggs, MSW, LMSW
"I have been a social worker for 32 years with most of my career being in adoptions and foster care where grief and loss is not an uncommon theme. Child and Family Care Social Workers are often left to attempt to pick up the pieces of shattered hearts for so many various losses. Now, as a hospice social worker and bereavement coordinator and having endured the loss of both of my parents, among other losses, I know the importance of emotional support through the storm of grief that ensues after the death of a loved one. I now understand, that though one is never the same after the death of someone who is indelibly engraved on one's heart, there can be joy, light and hope in the mourning. I have watched others begin to heal as they progress through their grief journeys while participating in the support groups offered by Joy in the Mourning® Center for Life Losses. I am honored to now assist with and co-lead some of the groups and to help in the other operations of JIMC. I hope anyone who may read this who is burdened with grief or knows someone who feels alone in their sorrow, will reach out for the help that is available. I hope I can personally assist others on the road to find joy in their mourning and a healing light at the end of the dark tunnel that is grief."
My mom passed away unexpectedly. I was lost, confused and in a tremendous amount of pain. I did not know where to turn.
I knew I had to find something, somebody, somewhere. I knew this because mom had lived her life believing in counseling.
She would want me to move forward and find help. This began my journey to Joy In The Mourning Center.
I have been with and a part of the Joy In The Mourning family for 2 and half years. I still participate In the support groups and I also
have been honored to be on the Board of Directors for this last year. I have lived In Columbia my entire life and have built a home and life here. I graduated from Richland Northeast high school and later from Winthrop University. I work and live In the Forest Acres area. I am an account services manager for a regionally based company. I volunteer throughout my community because I believe in a good life shared. Life is better being a part of, giving of one's self, and finding joy In the journey.
Robert Clark is a professional photographer located in the Midlands of South Carolina. Robert is a current client of Joy in the Mourning Center and joined the board in January, 2016.