Spring Bay Pentecostal Church hosting grief support group

SPRING BAY—The death of a loved one can tear you apart—each of us knows that only too well—and as caring human beings we reach out to people we know who are suffering that most traumatic of life’s experiences. But once the last casserole has left the oven and the flower arrangements have been consigned to the dustbin, the bereaved often find themselves feeling adrift and alone. The Spring Bay Pentecostal Church wants to help and is hosting a weekly GriefShare grief support group.

“This is a new program to us,” said Pastor Dan Thompson. “It is a well-established program, but it is usually only offered in bigger cities.”

Pastor Thompson explained that the program is video-based, where the group watches a 45-minute video and then there is a discussion following and a workbook for people to fill out.

The people who present in the video are doctors, psychiatrists and ministers, but they all share an important thing in common. “They have all personally lost someone,” said Pastor Thompson, who has also lost a family member to an untimely death. “We lost a son,” he said. “He was a police officer.”

Although it is the Pentecostal Church and is a church-based program, it is interdenominational. “It is offered all over the US and Canada,” he said, and although it is “basically an adult program, it is open to anybody of all ages. Teenagers would likely benefit as well.”

There are so many questions and thoughts that come to those who have lost someone, he noted. “People think to themselves that ‘maybe I should have done more’ or ‘I should have told them that I loved them more’ or even ‘maybe I contributed to their death’.” For some youth for whom this is their first experience with death it could even be “I am not grieving enough, I should be grieving more.”

Often those around the grieving person want to help, but they simply don’t know how to help. “Our group is led by people who have experienced grief and have successfully rebuilt their lives,” notes the program brochure.

Some of the weekly seminar topics include ‘Is This Normal?,’ ‘Challenges of Grief,’ ‘The Journey of Grief’ parts one and two, ‘Grief and Your Relationships,’ ‘Why?,’ ‘Guilt and Anger,’ ‘Complicating Factors,’ ‘Stuck,’ ‘Lessons of Grief’ parts one and two, ‘Heaven,’ and ‘What Do I Live for Now?’ Each of the lessons are self-contained and you can attend at any point, there is no pre-determined sequence that the sessions need to be taken in.”

The weekly schedule begins on Thursday, September 8 and continues weekly until December 1, starting at 7 pm and running until 9 pm.