After a significant loss in our life, grief can sometimes feel overwhelming. We don’t always know what to do with this grief cascading over us like waves seemingly coming from nowhere. Some of us grieve privately, others with close family members or friends. Sometimes, we don’t even know how to grieve. We may have heard of grief support groups but we don’t know what to expect. Opening up with strangers might seem intimidating and a little scary. But amazingly, the benefit of a grief support group is actually being with others grieving too. Group members participate at their own comfort level and pace and as they feel able. Gentle openings are welcomed with compassion and tenderness. With a support group, it is not so much a set curriculum that is followed, but a gathering of people who will find their way, guided by love, acceptance, and trust.
Two common styles of grief support groups are drop-in groups and time-limited closed groups. Whether seasoned in our grief, or new to the grief journey, both types of groups at different times in our grief, serve us well.
The drop-in groups provide a supportive and encouraging space we sometimes need in our grief journey – a much needed boost. Some folks come once and share what’s on their mind – very powerful and healing in the moment. Others come over the course of months. Both are welcome options and uniquely serve the person. There are no on-going commitments for the drop-in groups.
In time-limited closed groups the members develop a deep rhythm and flow, truly a journey of the individual and of the group during the course of the sessions together. Folks are asked to make a commitment to attending the series.
Regardless of the group chosen, the sessions are always confidential. No one is required to speak and holding our own grief and others’ grief in silence is welcomed and healing.
Editor’s Note: Monthly drop-in and time-limited closed groups are offered in both Colfax and Pullman throughout the year by Friends of Hospice. For details on times and dates please visit: http://friendsofhospice.net/grief-support-2/