According to Albany County Department of Aging spokeswoman Maureen Murphy, the hour-and-a-half meetings, which take place every fourth Wednesday of the month, are partially funded by the county. "The county gave the town $2,143 for the 12 Transitions support group meetings from April 1, 2007, to March 31, which includes administration costs and refreshments," she said.
While there is no age or gender criteria for those wishing to attend the group, Cary said that meetings are typically made up of both men and women " many of whom are over age 50.
While grief is typically associated with sadness, anger, fear, guilt and depression, for some people, the death of a significant other or close friend could create confusion and distress that crosses over the emotional realm into the physical.
As Cary pointed out, grief can be intensified based on situational circumstances.
"For example, sometimes women never really had to deal with paying household bills or taking care of maintaining a vehicle. Through peer support that is provided through this group, we try to work on some of those issues, as well as others," she said.
"Transitions only gathers at William K. Sanford Library once a month, but the support its members receive extend long past the conclusion of its meetings.
"When I see people leaving and talking and exchanging numbers," said Cary, "I know they're going to continue to support each other.""