Shared Sorrow — grateful, yet grieving

Pam Luschei

(Photo: Unsplash)

The shared experience of loss is powerful. We each have our own unique grief journey; however, we are not alone. Authors, Patrick O’Malley and Tim Madigan from their book, “Getting Grief Right”, offer this: “Support groups offer a beautiful balance between the uniqueness of the individual’s grief narrative and the universal experience of loss that joins individual stories into one, the story of humanity.” In other words, we are better together, and we aren’t meant to walk alone.

If you do an online search for grief support groups, there will be multiples to choose from. Most hospitals offer support groups through hospice. Some churches have their own support groups for their local congregation. One program that many churches host is called GriefShare. “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.” (from the GriefShare website)

In 2019, a year after my husband suddenly died, I attended a GriefShare group at my church.

For 13 weeks I attended a meeting with other people who were wondering if we would make it after the loss of our loved one. I found three things in attending a GriefShare support group.

  1. There was an unspoken hope in sharing our stories. A box of Kleenex was strategically placed so we could have permission to cry. Our tears were accepted and honored.

  2. This was a place to put my grief. Going through the second year following the loss of my husband, I held on to the knowledge that I was going to go to a meeting that week; the meeting was a rope to hold on to.

  3. The GriefShare videos gave voices and words to the unspeakable experience of losing a loved one. There were professionals who shared insight and people who shared their stories of life in the aftermath of loss.

There will be many moments of grieving alone; however, we can discover others who have been where we are, who understand, and give us a look that says, “I know”.

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Used with permission from Pam Luschei.

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