Every individual’s grief journey is unique. The journey is as unique as every individual facing the grief brought on by loss. However, I have found several important disciplines that I believe are transferrable to anyone who is facing loss. To one degree or another.
I found I needed time alone to process what had happened. In my times alone, I spent time in God’s Word, books and testimonials about grief and loss, and uplifting worshipful music. I prayed. Prayer was stunted at first. Another important aspect to my own recovery was being with people, some facing loss and others not facing loss. You need both to maintain perspective.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
And that’s where GriefShare, the ministry, comes into the picture. I joined a GriefShare group toward the final stages of my journey of loss. It doesn’t matter when or how often you join a group. What I needed was someone outside of my journey to help me make sure I had addressed all I needed to address. Their methodical approach to address grief and mourning from all directions provides a helpful guide to anyone seeking to face loss in a healthy manner.
“GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone.” GriefShare Homepage
GriefShare’s design is threefold: There is a workbook to guide personal study and reflection, a weekly video with experts on grief, and support groups with guided discussion.
The effectiveness of this format leads you to cover every grief-related aspect of your journey. Further, you get to join with other grievers to hear expert testimonials. Expert may mean counselors, or it may mean fellow travelers. Going through grief makes you an expert on at least one person’s grief journey. Yours. Finally, the discussion groups are filled with real-time mourners. This is not a hypothetical discussion. These groups are full of grief practitioners.
“GriefShare seminars and support groups are led by people who understand what you are going through and want to help. You’ll gain access to valuable GriefShare resources to help you recover from your loss and look forward to rebuilding your life.” GriefShare Homepage
GriefShare groups follow a thirteen-week cycle. I joined at the beginning of a cycle; however, the course is designed in such a manner that it doesn’t matter when you join. What matters is that you complete all thirteen weeks of material, video content, and discussion groups.
While grief emerges from many forms of loss, GriefShare is specifically designed to address the loss of a loved one or other significant relationships. A person grieving the loss of a job or the loss brought on by divorce would be out-of-place. GriefShare, again, is laser-focused on the loss of a significant relationship to death.
One of the key benefits of joining a GriefShare group is the instant sense that you are understood and validated. You escape the busy and chaotic world for an hour or so and dive into a grief subculture long enough to talk to other like-minded people. It’s healing. It’s validating. It’s permission to mourn. But to mourn well.
For more information, go to www.GriefShare.org. Here you can find a group, gain access to resources, and learn all you need to learn about GriefShare.
I commend the GriefShare ministry to you. Their vision is to move those of us who are thrust into grief from mourning to real joy. Joy is possible, even in the darkest of circumstances.
“Few of us get through life without having the winds of difficulty blow through our lives at some point—cold and unrelenting winds that threaten to knock us down for good.” Nancy Guthrie, Be Still My Soul