WZTV FOX 17 - Top Stories
Organizers say it's a great environment to build the trust and determination it takes to help them not to get over their loss, but to learn to live with it.
The 40-foot climbing wall is no match for the determination of 16-year-old Michael Ballew.
"It's a lot of fun," Ballew said. "It's really challenging."
Because it's not even close to being the hardest thing he's had to overcome.
He says on August 31st 2011, his father committed suicide and the 387 days since have been the hardest of his young life.
"Whenever you're out in the real world people are like 'I know how you feel,' but they really don't know how you feel," Ballew said. "It's just really hard to start again."
But helping grieving teens move on is exactly what the 4th-annual Alive Teen Retreat is all about.
Grief counselor Pam Quaintance says even if the teens don't realize it yet, the symbolism is everywhere, from the 40-foot wall...
The tower can symbolize that process of taking one step at a time and figuring out how to do it," Quaintance said. "When you look at it you think, 'I don't know how to do this, I don t know how to start,' well you start with one step.
To the belayers that making sure the teens don't fall.
"Again, symbolizing, you know your family, your support network, the people around you," Quaintance said. "They've got your back. They've got you and you can take that next step."
But no matter how many adults cheer them on, the biggest support they get is from other teens that are hurting and healing right alongside them.
I mean it helps you open up," said Gabrielle Johnson, 17, who lost her sister close to three years ago. "Meet new people who are like in the same area as you, like losing a family member or a friend."
This is the second time Ballew has been to this retreat. He's a little stronger than he was a year ago today and says even if these friends only see each other once a year, they form bonds that last a lifetime.
"It's fun to just support each other and help each other through everything," Ballew said. "That's why i wanted to come back this year is to help other people out."
Alive Hospice offers the grieving teen retreat every fall but the non-profit have other retreats for younger children as well as counseling for people of all ages that have lost loved ones.
You can find more information about these services by visiting the Fox Links section of this website.
Monday, September 24 2012, 02:24 AM CDT
Couple's bodies found in their Blount County home
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LOUISVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Blount (blunt) County sheriff's office says preliminary results of autopsies on the bodies of a couple found dead in their home in Louisville (LEW'-ihs-vil) show their deaths are consistent with murder-suicide.
Marian O'Briant said in an email that it appears 54-year-old Steven Adkins shot 53-year-old Rebecca Adkins, then shot himself.
O'Briant said a family member found the bodies Sunday night. It wasn't clear how long they had been dead.
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