After losing a spouse, child or close family member, it’s hard not to just crawl into bed and ignore the chiming doorbell or ringing phone. Eating a meal or taking a shower can be incredibly challenging, so the idea of carrying on a conversation with others seems like a monumental task.
And while some alone time to deal with the initial emotion and shock is part of the grieving process, getting out and connecting with others is part of healing. Grief support groups are an excellent way to meet other people who are going through a similar situation.
Sometimes people feel embarrassed or think attending a support group will be too awkward. They may even be convinced no one could possibly understand the depths of their grief.
Here’s what you need to know about support groups:
- There’s always someone who understands. While the unique circumstances of your grief may be different from someone else’s, the pain of the loss will be similar. It can be freeing to hear another person say, “Me too.”
- You can learn new coping skills. By connecting with others, you may find tips and advice that benefit you in dealing with the loss of a spouse or child. Plus, you can learn how to live in this new normal. Seeing how others have walked the same path before you can be both useful and encouraging.
- Groups give you permission to grieve. While co-workers and friends may be urging you to “move on,” gathering with others going through the bereavement process allows you to simply feel your feelings without judgment.
- They provide hope. Often people leading or helping out with support groups are individuals who are a few years removed from their loss. While they still miss their loved one, of course, they have found healing and can see the joy in life again. This gives attendees experiencing a recent loss hope that life does go on and they can recover from a devastating loss.
If you’re dealing with the death of a young child or lost a loved one to suicide, it may be beneficial to join a support group designed for that kind of loss. Those deaths can be especially traumatic, and connecting with others who have gone through that same experience is especially helpful.
Online support groups – whether in online forums or private Facebook groups – are also an option if you’re unable to attend in-person groups or need to try out a support group from the comfort of your own home first.
Some groups are limited to a specific timeframe – maybe six or eight weeks – while others are open-ended or encourage people to drop in as needed. Remember, though, everyone experiences grief in a different way, so don’t expect your grief to be resolved in six weeks – you may need more time and that’s OK.
Visit the Stuhr Funeral Home and Cremation Service website for a list of area resources and local grief support groups. Stuhr Funeral also hosts a monthly luncheon on the fourth Tuesday of each month for members to enjoy fellowship and encouragement.
Stuhr Funeral Home has been a trusted name in funeral service for more than 150 years. They understand everyone grieves differently and have the resources to help you during this difficult period. Their team is dedicated to providing the best and most professional care for local clients throughout their time of grieving and healing.
2017 West Ashley Fellowship/Support Luncheon
May 23 - Easterby’s
June 27 - O’Charley’s
July 25 - Town & Country
August 22 - The Mason Jar
September 26 - Easterby’s
October 24 - O’Charley’s
November 14 - Easterby’s
For more information, stop by one of our locations in the area or call (843) 723-2524.