Each of us has experienced grief. People can grieve many different things in life — homesickness, side effects of advanced aging or illness, and even general disappointments. And we have all experienced grief due to loss of life, whether for a stranger (9/11, Columbine, etc.), a friend, family members, or possibly spouses. Is there help for people dealing with grief?
Introducing GriefShare, a 13-week, Christ-centered support group seminar for people who have lost a spouse, child, family member, or friend through death. Each session features a video presentation on topics like comfort, answers and hope. The videos feature experts, ministers and Christian counselors discussing grief and recovery subjects helpful to people experiencing grief. Everyday people who have gone through the grieving process also share their stories of what has helped them deal with the pain of losing a loved one through death. In addition, attendees have an opportunity to discuss their own grief with one another and may study a daily Bible devotional with practical exercises to help them move through the grieving process.
One local attendee, “Emma,” has many good things to say about GriefShare. Since her group is comprised of only senior adults who are grieving the loss of their individual spouses, the videos are helping her see that all types of people grieve all types of loss in many different ways. Says Emma, everyone grieves differently and that there’s no wrong way to grieve. Though, GriefShare says it is harmful to purposely avoid grieving or even to try to postpone it. According to Emma, the program is a good mix of learning and support, and she’s thankful that she has been able to attend. In fact, she says she is probably going to go through the program a second time to continue to help her deal with her grief.
Organizations across the country offer GriefShare groups throughout the year. Those taking part in the program that are away from home for a time are encouraged to seek a group in their temporary area to continue their support. The Village Church in Dowling Park, Florida, is one such organization. Whether you are local or just visiting, feel free to attend. While it is possible to join any local GriefShare group at any point, a new 13-week session will begin on Thursday, Jan. 12, at The Village Church. If you think GriefShare would be helpful to you, please call the church office at (386) 658-5344 and they will be happy to provide you with more information.
GriefShare is not a cure or a prescription for a cure. The program is designed to provide people who each grieve differently with helpful tools that will strengthen them for their own grief journeys, and to foster healthy relationships among those who are grieving together, in an effort to create a Christian support system built of individuals who understand the pain.