CORINTH — Sally Scranton was the bank teller with the beautiful smile.
It didn’t take long for Otis to fall in love with the bubbly lady in the bank window.
“That’s wife material right there,” Otis remembers saying to himself.
“She was lovely. She was always happy, and always trying to help other people and always positive,” Otis Scranton said. “She was always at peace. She always had a smile, an awesome smile.”
The couple was married only two years when in February 2018, Sally suffered a sudden and massive heart attack.
Sally died three weeks later.
Scranton, upset and confused, knew he needed help.
“Your world just crashed,” Scranton said.
He found peace and comfort through a GriefShare group, and after attending for a while, he decided to start his own GriefShare in his hometown of Corinth. The group meets from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Sundays for 13 weeks at the First Presbyterian Church, 199 Palmer Ave.
GriefShare is a network of more than 15,000 churches worldwide that are equipped to offer grief support groups. The program is nondemoninational and features biblical concepts for healing from grief.
“There’s nothing like hearing from a wounded healer,” said The Rev. Dr. Stuart Bond, the transitional pastor at the First Presbyterian Church. “If they’ve been through it, then they get it.”
Scranton said the group is based on faith, but it’s not “preachy” or a Bible study.
“To be honest with you, without the Lord, I don’t know how I’d gotten through it,” he said. “I really don’t.”
Bond said he was excited for Otis to bring GriefShare to Corinth. The first group started in October. Otis serves as the facilitator. The lessons come from a video the group watches together during the meeting. Then there is time for open discussion.
And sometimes, the group just sits in silent tears.
“Everybody understood,” Bond said, “because everybody was in a similar kind of place.”
Otis is now on his fourth group session.
Berta Towers has attended all four of those sessions, and continues to meet with the group. Towers lost her husband, Donald, of almost 62 years in September of 2017.
“It’s not like you hear everything the first time,” Towers aid. “I’m on my fourth time around, and I always find something through one of the sessions that I didn’t hear before.”
People are often afraid to try something new or walk into an unfamiliar setting, Bond said.
“It’s great to come to the first session, but you can come in at session 10,” Bond said. “You’ll gain something from it.”
About 30 people have attended the GriefShare since it started in Corinth. Bond wants to continue to bring this service to the community and get the word out that it’s available.
Nobody grieves in the same way, Towers said. She has even encouraged her children to attend.
“It’s not an easy thing to go through,” she said. “I think I’ve got strong faith, but maybe if it was stronger, it wouldn’t be quite so hard. I just don’t know.”
Towers said the GriefShare is a good program. She can’t understand why more people don’t participate.
“It gives you hope,” she said. “A little more hope.”