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Personal Stories

Dubyak Story

What brought you to The Center to volunteer, and how long have you been involved?

I was solicited by Joe Long, who was a Board member at the time. I was in the dentist chair with drills going in and out of my mouth when Joe posed the question. As I say, if this was an IQ test moment, I figured out I better nod yes, which I did and shortly after this, I joined the board.

My heart connection was realizing that when I was 10 years old, my dad died and as they say, you don’t lose just the parent who died, but the other parent as well, who is dealing with their own emotional suffering. So I went deep inside and became a very serious little boy, because I had no forum to do the emotional work around losing my dad.

With age and maturity, I realized what a major impact this event had on my emotional well-being. Consequently, The Center became a resource I wish I had had available to me and by joining the Board and eventually co-chairing the Capital Campaign, I could help those in Maine deal with their emotional turmoil and readjustments.

What do you appreciate about The Center as an organization?

The Center's diverse programs help various children and adults to deal with loss in their lives. I also like the fact that over 100 people volunteer their time to help those dealing with loss, to come out the other side healthier and more whole.

What is it about The Center that you think is most helpful to the families that come here?

It represents a safe place to deal with major loss on their terms and timeline. It is such a resource and gift for the community.

What would you tell families who are thinking about coming to The Center?

I would talk about my experience and the lack of such a resource, and what impact I dealt with not having such a place to deal with the loss of a parent. I would emphasize that it is a safe place for a child or adult to deal with the emotional impacts of a major loss and come out the other side embracing the loss, with much better perspective, and emotional well-being.

If you had to pick three words to describe The Center, what would they be?

Compassionate, Heartfelt, Safe