We recently wrapped up our latest GriefShare program, and I have to tell you, it was inspiring and impressive. The group connected so well and went on a journey together I won’t soon forget. Watching people go from cautious and reluctant to forging real bonds that last outside of the program is why we began hosting it in the first place. In the few years we’ve been participating in the program, it’s only grown more powerful, and I’m sure the next edition will be just as remarkable.
As I know from experience, talking about grief is hard. It can be difficult to find words to describe what you’re going through. We wanted to provide a safe, comfortable space for people to express their emotions regarding loss, a space where it’s okay to be sad, to be angry, and to be open. When I came across the GriefShare program, I knew it could be just the thing.
Let me tell you a little about the program. We host it in conjunction with GriefShare group leaders Cindy Lannon and Sue Budion at our White Bear Lake location. Cindy and Sue are wonderful, expert leaders with years of experience.
GriefShare is a nationwide faith-based program designed to help people who are dealing with grief and loss. It’s 13 sessions and consists of weekly meetings. We host two programs per year, and our next one will begin on August 12, 2017. (You can find more details about that at the bottom of this post.)
When most people show up for their first session, they don’t know what to expect; maybe they’re nervous or vulnerable (I know I was both). It seems to only take a few sessions, though for the atmosphere to transform. When the session ends, nobody is rushing for the door like high school kids after last period. Instead, people linger to discuss their lives, sports, or the latest popular TV show. In short, they become friends. Some people come alone and others in groups or pairs, but everyone is there for the same reason, and it provides a lot of common ground.
The structure of the program is essentially three-pronged: a workbook of exercises to be done individually (don’t call it homework), expertly produced videos guiding you through difficult issues, and open discussion. Each component offers perspective on loss and a forum to air whatever you’re going through.
Loss is one of the most challenging experiences most people will ever go through, and it is perfectly natural to feel adrift and in need of a little guidance. That’s where GriefShare comes in. It lets you know that you’re not alone, and that you have a support system in place when you need it.
I’ve gone through the program numerous times now, and I still take away new lessons from every session. I’m looking forward to the next one and to staying in touch with the amazing folks who have already gone through the program.
August 12th – November 11th 2017
8:30 – 10:30am
4738 Bald Eagle Ave.
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
One-time $20 workbook fee covers all 13 sessions
GriefShare is a faith-based support group that meets weekly. You find it a warm, caring environment and will come to see your group as an “oasis” on your long journey through grief. There are three key parts to your GriefShare experience:
- Encouraging, information-packed videos featuring leading grief recovery experts
- Small group discussion about the weekly video content
- Journaling and personal study exercises that reinforce the weekly session topics
August 12 Is This Normal?
August 19 Challenges Of Grief
August 26 The Journey Of Grief – Part 1
September 2 Labor Day Weekend –No GriefShare
September 9 The Journey Of Grief – Part 2
September 16 Grief And Your Relationships
September 23 Why?
September 30 Guilt And Anger
October 7 Complicating Factors
October 14 Stuck
October 21 Lessons Of Grief – Part 1
October 28 Lessons Of Grief – Part 2
November 4 Heaven
November 11 What Do I Live For Now?