St. Paul’s has started a new program designed to deal with grief and loss. This program is for anyone who is grieving the loss of a friend or family member. It will be a 13-week program held on Sunday evenings in the Youth Room from 7-8:30 pm. Each session begins with a video produced by experts on grief and recovery subjects. If interested, please click here to sign up for the current session beginning October 17th. For more information on GriefShare, please see below or click here to go to their website.
How GriefShare works
It may be hard for you to feel optimistic about the future right now. If you’ve lost a spouse, child, family member, or friend, you’ve probably found there are not many people who understand the deep hurt you feel.
This can be a confusing time when you feel isolated and have many questions about things you’ve never faced before.
“Going to GriefShare feels like having warm arms wrapped around you when you’re shivering.”
GriefShare groups meet weekly to help you face these challenges and move toward rebuilding your life. Each GriefShare session has three distinct elements:
Video seminar with experts
Each week your GriefShare group will watch a video seminar featuring top experts on grief and recovery subjects. These videos are produced in an interesting television magazine format featuring expert interviews, real-life case studies, dramatic reenactments, and on-location video.
Support group discussion with focus
After viewing the video, you and the other group members will spend time as a support group, discussing what was presented in that week’s video seminar and what is going on in your lives.
Personal study and reflection
During the week you will have the opportunity to use your workbook for further personal study of the grieving process and to help sort out your emotions through journaling. Your group will spend time discussing questions and comments from the workbook study.
Who should come … who should not
GriefShare is for people grieving the death of a family member or friend. We understand that there are other losses in life that create feelings of grief. You might be experiencing a job loss, a divorce, estrangement from a child, or the loss of friends because of a move. This grief is real, but it is not the kind of grief discussed in GriefShare sessions. We encourage you to ask a pastor, counselor, or church leader for help in finding resources that will be of specific help in your situation.
When to join a GriefShare group
You are welcome to begin attending the GriefShare group at any session. Each is “self-contained,” so you do not have to attend in sequence. You will find encouragement and help whenever you begin. You will be able to continue with GriefShare through the next 13-week cycle and view any of the videos you have not seen.
Being a part of a GriefShare grief recovery support group
“I’ve never been to a support group like this before. I don’t know what to expect.”
Most people quickly feel comfortable and accepted in their GriefShare group. They discover there are others who have the same kind of feelings they do and who understand the hurt they feel and the loss they have experienced. Here is an overview of the GriefShare experience:
You’ll probably feel a little nervous about going to GriefShare the first time. Those feelings go away quickly for most people, usually during the first session they attend. GriefShare is a warm, caring environment designed to help you.
You’ll discover there are people who understand your hurts, emotions, and painful experiences! When someone you love dies, it’s common to feel isolated. In GriefShare, you’ll find that you are not alone, that there are others who understand what you are going through.
You’ll learn helpful, practical information that will help you recover from the pain of grief and loss. The GriefShare DVD videos feature top experts on grief recovery subjects and case studies of people just like you, who have been through the grief experience.
You’ll have the chance to talk about your experiences. It can be very healing to tell others what you are going through. The support group sessions include a time to talk about what you’ve seen on the GriefShare videos and what is going on in your life. And while you have the opportunity to tell your story, there’s never pressure for you to do so if you don’t feel like it.
You’ll have a workbook for personal study and to write down things you’ve learned. The workbook provides opportunity for further study about the grief process and personal reflection about your grief. The weekly journaling questions help you sort through your emotions. You can tear out and carry with you the perforated “Care Cards” for words of encouragement during the lowest points of your day.
You’ll begin to gain closure in your loss. It’s sometimes hard to move on in life when you are still dealing with the grief and emptiness that happens after a loved one dies. You’ll learn how to go through a healthy season of grieving, then begin transitioning to emotional and spiritual wholeness. We call this “your journey from mourning to joy.”
You’ll become part of a “family.” GriefShare group members often tell us that they feel like their group has become a family, that they made new friends and are around people they can relate to.
You’ll discover hope for the future. While things may look bleak now, you’ll learn ways to restore your hope and rebuild your life. Many GriefShare alumni tell us the program helped them move from deep grief to peace and a sense of joy again.
The leadership team for GriefShare consists of people who understand how you feel and have a real concern for individuals experiencing the grief of loss. Most GriefShare leaders have experienced significant losses in their lives and are examples of the healing and restoration that can occur as an outgrowth of deep grief.