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St. Alphonsus Grief Recovery Center

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My Grief Support Group Experience

I always thought of myself as an independent soul, that I wouldn’t need help no matter what the crisis. After all I had made it through losing our daughter and three years later losing our son.

But this was different, very difficult, when I lost Linda. I realized then I did have help when we lost our children. It came from Linda. But now she was gone and I had to seek help outside what was left of my family to get me through the unyielding emotional pain that I was going through.

I sought help in what was for me then the unknown path of grief counseling to get me through this crisis. After all, this was a whole new world I had entered when Linda left me here alone, lost, and hurting.

I entered into one on one counseling and it was helping me cope, but my counselor realized I could benefit from support from others who were or had been in the same empty world as I was now experiencing. She suggested a grief support group.

I resisted at first, saying no to the idea on more than one occasion. With continued gentle persuasion I finally went to a meeting. I was not impressed. Here I was sitting with others who had lost loved ones just like me. Why? To see how miserable they were? I didn’t talk that night.

I told my counselor at our next meeting I wasn’t going back. It wasn’t for me. She asked me to give it one more chance and I reluctantly agreed.

I went to a second meeting. This time it seemed different. I listened closer to the other’s stories. There was a common thread and bonds stronger than I could have imagined. In the group was a lady who had lost her husband. As she told her story I realized I had worked with her husband many years earlier. That was the first of many threads and connections I would discover.

The real turning point in my second outing to the support group came when I was asked to speak of my losses. I talked about how I lost my wife, Linda. I talked about losing our daughter, Kelly and our son, Patrick. I cried and I found out it was OK to cry in the group. They cried with me.

Now a small miracle occurred. Through the pain of telling my story, the hurtful crying, the group listening with empathy until I had expended the last words, came a feeling of a great weight being lifted off of me. I felt I was in a more peaceful place in my existence for having verbalized my losses. I did feel better, if only for a little while at first.

With time I come to realize the support group is a safe place to share, to know everyone in the group suffers that common “pain of loss”, and to see as they share their loss that there is some small healing of those most raw emotional wounds we all have in common.

A measure of progress for me is to see someone new come into the group and realize I was just like that person when I first ventured into the grief support group.

You may be thinking a grief support group is not for me. This is a gentle push for you or somebody you know to give it a try.

A new grief support group under the guidance of The Grief Recovery center will be meeting weekly on Tuesday evenings beginning March 20, 2012 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm in the Daily Mass Chapel/Cry Room inside St. Alphonsus Church. The meetings are open to everyone in the community who have suffered a loss and their family and friends that provide support for these individuals.

You will never know if a grief support group will help unless you take the first step and attend a meeting.

 

Glenn Jarreau

 

 

Grief Recovery Center invites you to participate in our Tuesday Evening Bereavement Support Group at St. Alphonsus Church at 6:30 p.m. in the Daily Mass Chapel/Cry Room of the sanctuary.  This group is free and open to anyone who has lost a loved one. For further information call 924-6621.

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