GriefShare support group to start in March
By Dr. Ginger Gabriel
Special to The Alpine Mountaineer
I had received a note from an acquaintance that said, “Time heals all wounds.” As a licensed marriage and family therapist for 25 years, I said aloud, “No! It doesn’t. All time does is pass!” Sometimes hurts, losses and grief become festering wounds.
In third grade I had an infected boil on my arm that I had been hiding. When I was finally dragged to the doctor, he said, “Young lady, in three days, this could have killed you!” My Dad had died two years earlier and I had “stuffed” the hurt and pain I had felt then. I always said, “I’m fine.” Until I almost died.
I’m still not good at seeking help for my own grief and pain. I’m fortunate enough that, after my husband died two years ago, a friend kept reminding me when GriefShare (a grief processing program and support group) would begin and that I should go. And go I did.
I’ve been through the course four times. I’ve encouraged others to go and now those people who understand that grief is a process have become my support group.
The course is 13 weeks long. We learned that grief can be complicated. Both my mother and daughter died 10 years ago and, because I more or less just stuffed my sadness, that made my husband’s death more difficult to deal with. That and COVID made everything much more difficult.
GriefShare comes with a workbook that you can write in daily. There are 13 weeks of videos that have been so helpful. Yes, I watched the videos four times. (Normally, I don’t watch a movie twice.) I discovered there had been many losses in my life that I had not dealt with appropriately.
For me, I took my husband to ER one Sunday and he died of COVID the next Sunday. That is called unexpected shock and loss. My good friend’s husband died a few months after I lost my husband. They knew he would die sometime from the diagnosed disease he had. She had to watch him slowly leave her for many years. That’s called anticipatory grief.
Both are painful losses for the family and friends. We never “get over” the death of a spouse, child, family member or friend. We CAN find a way to “journey from mourning to joy.” It is work – hard, often painful work. The JOY that comes is good reward. For me it took two plus years; others take longer, some less.
GriefShare offers help and encouragement after the death of a loved one. It is a special weekly seminar and support group designed to help you rebuild your life. The GriefShare team says, “We know it hurts and we can help.”
Weather permitting, the next GriefShare group is scheduled to begin March 2, on Thursdays, from 3:30 to 5:30 or 6 p.m. at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, located at 27415 School Road, Lake Arrowhead.
For questions or to reserve your spot and order your book (cost $20), call (909) 337-1412. If you have someone you care about who has experienced the death of a loved one, I encourage you to cut out this article and share it with them.