The pain of grief is something only the grieving understand. The purpose of a grief support group is to offer that understanding and make you feel less alone.
When my mother passed away and I was in deep shock and pain, the best healing gift I gave myself was a Grief group. Drowning in a turbulent maelstrom of emotions, I felt all alone. I was all alone. Neither my husband nor my daughter could touch the core of my grief.
So off I went, to a Grief group at a local church. It saved my sanity. At a time when I felt nobody understood the gravity of my pain, my fellow sufferers did. They had all lost a parent. Just like me.
A comment I often hear from the bereaved is, “I don’t want to go sit in one of those groups, listen to people tell sad stories and relive all my pain.” Unfortunately, the only way out is through. You may decide to shove the pain to a far corner of your heart and carry on. But it shows up in other ways. Feel it. Deal with it. Heal it. And a Grief group will hold you and support you and really “get” your pain in a way others won’t.
For one evening every week for nine weeks I could just be. I could cry. I could lament. I could tell story after story. I could be angry at God. And I was still okay with the group. When I went home, I was a better-functioning woman.
If you’re looking for a group, talk to your church or a hospice facility near you. Most of them have different categories of support: Loss of Spouse/ Loss of Parent/ Loss of Child/ Loss of Sibling etc. I cannot recommend this enough.
How can a Grief group help you?
- They validate your loss. You feel heard and understood.
- They don’t judge your emotions. It’s okay to be mad or sad or moody or guilty.
- They are strong enough to handle your tears. It is not considered weakness to pour your heart out.
- They hold hands with you and pray…if that is comforting to you.
- They ask questions about the loved one you’ve just lost. They don’t turn away, are not awkward, and encourage storytelling.
- They are sensitive in the small ways that count. Someone brought me a box of cookies because I’d had a hard week.
- They connect with you as one human being to another. All other differences fall away.
- They allow you to be your most naked, vulnerable self. There are no masks in a grief group.
The purpose of a grief support group is to share in your pain. If you’d like to read the complete story of my Grief group experience, click here.