GriefShare helps when you’ve lost a loved one

Aug 27, 2023 | Education

A GriefShare widows group including Dovett, Laura, Gayle, Debi, Ginger (front), Diane and Mary enjoying an evening campfire.

By Dr. Ginger Gabriel – Special to the Alpine Mountaineer

The new 13-week GriefShare support group begins on Sept. 7 and continues on Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.  GriefShare meets at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, 27415 School Road in Lake Arrowhead.

This is a support group for both men and women. It hurts to lose someone who is important to your life. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone.

GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. Diane said, “Grief is a journey none of us sign up for. It really hurts. The widows in my group all say, ‘You have to have experienced first-hand what the death of a loved one is like in order to be able to say,‘I know what you’re going through.’”

Whether the loss of an important person in your life is sudden or happens after a long extended illness or hospitalization, it still hurts.  Diane has said, “It hurts less when a companion who has already been on this journey walks through it with you.”

While on a grief journey, someone who has not been on this journey can totally understand what you feel. GriefShare offers companionship and a way to navigate this new path you have suddenly found yourself on.

Claude, a GriefShare participant said, “I am thankful to find a group that knows how I feel.”

Laurinda, first a participant, now this group’s GriefShare facilitator, said, “I’m so glad I went through this program when my mother died. I really wish I’d known about it before, back when my father passed.”

This year the workbook has been rewritten. The good stuff is still there, such as “Is This Normal?”  When you have just lost someone you care about, you often ask yourself, “Am I going crazy?”

The rest of the workbook, with some new additions, describes the journey, such as how to handle loneliness, sadness, fears, being overwhelmed, anger and regrets.  The ending chapters deal with how to help your children and friends and what to do if your find yourself stuck.  There is even a chapter on a relationship with God and finding new purpose in life.

It’s OK to bring a friend or family member with you. The friend or family member also has lost someone they cared about and the two of you can encourage and comfort one another.  Everyone will be grieving and no one benefits when one member gets stuck in the grieving process. I recently read, “Don’t get stuck in a place you were meant to pass through.”  It’s painful to go through the grieving process; it’s more painful to be stuck there. I am grateful for GriefShare and what it has meant in my life.

There is no cost to attend; however, there is a workbook available for a $20 donation.  Call ahead to reserve your spot at (909) 337-1412.  Remember this class is for both men and women.


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