2019 Seminar Information

goodbye“No one told me that losing a child would bring such lasting grief and sorrow. I didn’t know that I would feel so alone or so changed.” Parents Left Behind helps bring bereaved parents together with others who share this same journey — working together to survive the storm of grief and move forward with their lives.

Riding Your River of Grief

Is the theme of the 2019 Parents Left Behind
5th Annual Interactive Seminar

Saturday August 24th, 2019
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Check-in begins at 9:00 AM, Keynote begins at 9:30 AM
Central United Methodist Church ~ Student Ministries Building
19 Lafayette Street, Fayetteville, Arkansas

All are welcome — seating is limited and reservations are strongly suggested.  There is no charge to attend.  

Click here to register for the 2019 seminar.

The seminar will open with a keynote address by Dr. Susan Averitt, Founder of Parents Left Behind and Bereaved Mother, followed by a brief introductory video of the breakout presenters who are bereaved parents or grandparents.

Participants may attend TWO of the following breakout sessions: 

    • Staying Afloat: Navigating Grief and Your New Normal 
    • Pushing Forward: Struggling with Remorse, Guilt, and Forgiveness 
    • Setting Your Anchor: Holding on to your Faith
    • Letting Others in Your Boat: A Joint Session for Grieving Parents & Their Support People
    • Treading Water: Losing  an Only Child
    • Developing Your Helping Skills: A Session for Community Members & Professionals
    • Further Down the River: Resilience, Gratitude, and Finding Joy

Each session will include a grief professional, a bereaved parent or grandparent and a moderator. Counselors will be available, as needed.

Complimentary lunch will be provided by Einstein Bros. Bagels.

Childcare will be provided free of charge by Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville. Attendees must be registered by August 8th if they would like to utilize childcare. 

We thank our sponsors for their generosity, which allows this seminar to be offered at no charge to participants.


2019 PARENTS LEFT BEHIND Steering Committee Members

 Dr. Susan Averitt is an independent owner-physician at Best Start Pediatric Clinic in Johnson, located in the Collier Drug Store Building on the campus of Willow Creek Women’s Hospital. She is the mother of four beautiful daughters. Her husband, Derrick, is a stay at home dad, who volunteers his time at school and as a coach.

John Redwine is a retired family physician, hospital administrator, and state senator who moved to NW Arkansas with his wife Barbara from Sioux City, IA in 2004, having been transferred to the VA Medical Center in Fayetteville. In December 2011 the Redwine’s lost their oldest son, John II, in a climbing accident near Beirut, Lebanon where he lived with his wife and ten week old son. They have two other sons and three grandsons.

Steve Sheely is the pastor of Rolling Hills Baptist Church in Fayetteville.  Rolling Hills has hosted a candlelight service for grieving parents on the second Sunday evening in December since 2007.  Since 2009 Steve has facilitated a monthly Grieving Parents Support Group (GPS) on the second Monday of each month.

Biff (Louis) and Ann Averitt are the parents of Dr. Susan Averitt.  They are the bereaved grandparents of Cameron Averitt Bobbitt.  They have two other children and seven other grandchildren.  “Biff” was a pastor in the United Methodist Church, Arkansas Conference for 40 years.  He served churches throughout the state.  In 2008 he retired as pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Rogers.  During those 40 years Ann taught in many of the cities and towns where “Biff” was pastor. She also retired in 2008, most recently having served as teacher of Reading Recovery/Early Literacy at Bonnie Grimes Elementary School in Rogers.

Michelle Sell 

Melissa McCraw-Hummer is the Parents Left Behind 2018 Event Coordinator.  Melissa is a special education teacher at Kirksey Middle School. She lives in Rogers with her husband Wade and new baby Everleigh Mae. Melissa and Wade lost their first child, Maisy Lane Hummer, due to abuse from her babysitter when she was 8 months old.  


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