Solace House and what it means to me: Finding peace and helping others through their grief

By:  guest blogger Amy Pollack, Solace House volunteer
Published:  October 26, 2023

I was pregnant and had a wonderful pregnancy. All of our friends were due at the same time; it was so exciting. I had no indication anything was wrong with my baby. But right when she was born, they discovered issues and she passed away three days later.

I was devastated and couldn’t breathe, feeling such a loss. I was thinking no one would understand and, after all, my friends were all due with their first child very soon. I thought they wouldn’t want to know this could happen to them and they wouldn’t know how to help me cope.

There was nowhere for me to turn for help. I felt all alone. Luckily, I had a wonderful husband, a very supportive family and friends. I was lucky they helped me in different ways and tried hard to help me with my grief. But, it still took time for me to work through, and I had to do it on my own. I don’t know how others who didn’t have that much support could possibly get through this.

I always knew I wanted to find a way to support others who were going through the grieving process. I just didn’t know where to put my energy so I could make a difference.

One night, several years later, while I was at a Kansas City Hospice fundraising dinner, a video was shown introducing their Solace House center for grief and healing. By the end of the film, I had a lump in my throat. I just knew this was a place for me to help others. I was so excited to finally, after so many years, find a place to put my energy.

I got started the right way and went through Solace House volunteer training.

Ten years later, I’m still working as a facilitator and an ambassador. It’s one of the most fulfilling places I could volunteer. It’s my greatest honor to watch people grow, share, and learn and become settled with their grief.

I’ve watched participants come into Solace House support groups angry, frustrated, sad, and lost. Sometimes they’re not able to speak at all and sometimes they’re speaking so much as it’s the first place they feel like others understand. But always, they leave knowing grief isn’t just going away – but it gets easier. They learn to live with their loss. They leave with tools to help them cope and so their pain is lessened. They learn that by sharing their grief with others close to their situation, it can help you feel calm and give you support like nowhere else. Some people even find it hard to leave this special place and continue at Solace House for a long time.

I realized early on, as a support group facilitator, just how much I personally was getting from these groups. About a year after I started as a facilitator, I suddenly lost my father with no warning. The session I was leading was a group of teenagers. I continued with my group the next week and never said a word about my loss. I listened intently to the coping advice they were giving to each other. Even though they were young, they understood how much it meant to help one another. They didn’t realize it, but actually helped me get through my loss along with theirs! They helped me cope in ways I had never thought about. They made a difference in my life. At the end of the group sessions, Solace House helped me with my own mother who was grieving such a great loss on her own. It taught me how to help her.

I am forever grateful to Kansas City Hospice for allowing me to give to others and learn along the way. Each time I facilitate at Solace House I see and learn so much. I see how an organization like Kansas City Hospice makes such a difference in the lives of others. People can breathe again and Solace House helps them begin a new journey.

There is nowhere else in Kansas City that helps grieving families and individuals in the way Solace House does. It is a true gem of Kansas City.

I came to help others but they have helped me!

October is Pregnancy, Infant and Child Loss Awareness Month. If you or someone you know has experienced a loss, of any kind, and is needing support, please reach out to KCH Solace House at 816.363.2600 or visit

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