Whether you are someone struggling alone, with family, or with friends, grief and loss can feel never-ending. Having ones around you that you can relate to and talk about your problems is extremely important when going through the loss of a loved one. Luckily, there are groups specifically made for grief and loss, so that you don’t feel alone while going through the loss of your loved one. Along with feeling supported by others, grief support groups offer people the opportunity to grow with each other, make connections with new people, and relate to others in order to benefit themselves.
Grief support groups go hand in hand with grief counseling, and it is recommended to use both. Although the support group can be tremendously helpful, having that one on one time with your grief therapist can help you open up even more, whether you don’t get the opportunity or don’t feel comfortable sharing certain things with others. However, that being said, knowing that others are experiencing the same thing as you can help you feel more comfortable opening up, even if you aren’t the most social, outgoing person. Additionally, pairing grief counseling with a grief support group can help one in so many new ways, as they both complement each other, can help you learn new things about your situation or yourself, and ultimately help you feel less alone and lost after the loss of a loved one.
One of the greatest parts about grief support groups is that they aren’t just surface-level conversations you would have with someone you know really well. Grief support groups go further than just “how are you feeling.” They also give you the opportunity to provide the emotional support you need, while also providing validation for your feelings as well as education on grief as a whole.
Going into something like this can be really scary, walking into a space with people you don’t know and opening up about something that has affected you greatly. Although you cannot always predict what you will get out of a grief support group session, know that regardless of what it is, you will be able to learn so many new things about others, grief, and yourself.
Another amazing thing about grief support groups is that they can be very specific to the type of grief you’re going through. It may be really difficult to relate to someone who lost a sibling if you have just lost your child. That’s why there are grief support groups more specific to your loss, for example, “Loss of a Parent”, “Loss of a Child”, “Loss of a Spouse”, etc. Although you may be able to relate to anyone grieving, when in a support group it can be really helpful and easier to relate with someone who has lost a parent, child, spouse, sibling, etc.
When someone close to us dies, we ourselves feel lost, and our identity shifts. We wonder who we are if we are no longer someone’s grandchild, child, sibling, spouse, partner, friend, or parent. A story is told… when we lose someone close to us, it is as if our heart shatters and splinters all over, like birds, these shards that are our heart fly away. Over time one piece comes back at a time. They slowly mend as one piece of us falls back into place. As we build our lives, we envision, create, experience, and love, we are aware of life and death.
We consciously know death is a part of all things living, yet conscious awareness does not heal the pain of grief. Grieving in the community is our true nature – being seen, witnessed, heard, and then offering support to another, begins to introduce the heart to the possibility of healing. Grieving does not mean forgetting, and it certainly has no timeline. Healing means living alongside grief, growing around the grief. In this support group, we will make space for both, meet with others who live with the pain of grief, support and learn from one another, and in time make space for more smiles than tears. At Body Positive Works, you will be able to discuss the stages of grief, how grief is stored in the body, how to release it, and how to be with the reality in which we live now, to integrate loss into our lives, and find healing and wholeness.