Weekly Video Seminars

GriefShare video sessions are designed to help you successfully travel the journey from mourning to joy.

 1.   Is This Normal?
 2.   Challenges of Grief
 3.   The Journey of Grief, Part One
 4.   The Journey of Grief, Part Two
 5.   Grief and Your Relationships
 6.   Why?
 7.   Guilt and Anger
 8.   Complicating Factors
 9.   Stuck
10.  Lessons of Grief, Part One
11.  Lessons of Grief, Part Two
12.  Heaven
13.  What Do I Live for Now?

When to Begin

You are welcome to begin attending the GriefShare group at any session.  Each is "self-contained," so you do not have to attend in sequence.  You will find encouragement and help whenever you begin.  You will be able to continue the next cycle and view any videos you have not seen.  

Grief Recovery Support Group

GriefShare sessions will again be offered beginning in September.  For those of you not familiar with this ministry, GriefShare is a biblically-based grief recovery support group designed to minister to people grieving the death of a loved one. The death of a spouse, child, family member or friend can be devastating. As believers, we are able to view our loss from an eternal perspective, but we still need to learn healthy ways in which to grieve these deep and significant losses.

GriefShare is a 13-week program consisting of three essential components; video, support group discussion, and workbook/journal.

We will be meeting Thursday mornings, September 14 through December 14, 2017, from 10:00-11:30 AM in the Chapel/Choir Room behind the sanctuary platform.

Brochures will be available at the Welcome Center in the foyer. Please call the church office if you have questions or need further information. There is no cost to the participant.

We hope you will consider joining us as you journey through your season of grief.

GriefShare Co-Facilitators 
Margaret Jack
Bobbi Johnson

Other groups meeting in our area on different days and times can be located at GriefShare.org, Find a Group Near You.

For more information about GriefShare, visit: www.griefshare.org

Check out two informational videos at:  http://www.griefshare.org/leaderzone/promotion/video


Saturday, November 4
10:00 am-12:00 noon

Tidings of Comfort and Joy?
Facing the holidays after bereavement

When you’re grieving the death of a family member or friend, you may dread the holiday season. Thoughts of social gatherings, family traditions and obligations leave you anxious and overwhelmed. Your sadness can seem unbearable. You may wish you could skip these next two months and go straight to the routine of the next year—but you can’t. What can you do to lessen your stress and loneliness?

Holidays trigger tough emotions

You can start by learning what emotions are normal and to be expected when facing the holidays without your loved one. “If you’re feeling overwhelmed as this holiday season approaches, that’s very normal,” advised psychologist Dr. Susan Zonnebelt-Smeenge, whose husband died. “You’re probably wondering how you’re going to handle this and are unsure of what course to take. I want to assure you that you can get through these holidays, and hopefully you can even find moments of joy.”

When you know what to expect, you won’t be rendered helpless as holiday events trigger unexpected emotions. Make a point to spend time talking with people who have experienced a past loss and have already been through a holiday season without their loved one. They can help you have an idea of typical emotions and emotional triggers to expect. These people can also provide much-needed comfort and support.

Creating a holiday plan will help

Another important step in surviving the holidays is to create a healthy plan for the coming season. “Planning does help you to have a little control, even when you feel totally out of control,” said Dr. Zonnebelt-Smeenge. A healthy plan involves making decisions in advance about traditions, meals, time spent with others, holiday decorating, gift-giving and commitments.

You will likely not have the energy or the interest in doing as much as you have in past years. Decide ahead of time which invitations you’ll accept, and let the host or family member know that you might leave early. Consider whether your decorating will be different this year: perhaps a smaller tree or simpler ornaments. If you cook or bake, cut back.

Make a list of every holiday tradition you can think of, from music to presents to outings. Then decide which traditions will be too difficult without your deceased loved one, which traditions you’d like to maintain, and what new traditions you can start this year.

Communicating with family and friends

What’s also helpful in facing the holidays is to communicate your specific concerns and needs with your family and friends. People in grief are often tempted to put on a mask and pretend things are fine, especially over the holidays. “I didn’t want to put on a damper on anyone else’s joy,” shared Mardie. “So I put on a happy face and tried to be the sister, the daughter, the aunt, that everybody wanted to see. Putting on that happy face was a heavier burden than I was emotionally able to carry at the time.”

Your friends may want you to “cheer up” and “have fun,” when that’s the last thing you want. Others will avoid you because they don’t know what to say and don’t want to make you feel worse. Some family members will give you wrong advice in a misguided attempt to help. All of these people likely mean well, but will only end up hurting you if you don’t communicate what you truly need from them.

As difficult as this may be, it’s important to tell people what they can do to help and what they are doing that isn’t helping. And if you don’t have the energy or inclination to talk to people face-to-face, then write your thoughts, concerns and needs in a letter or email. What’s important is that you are being honest and gracious in your communication.

In describing the first holiday dinner after she was widowed, Dr. Zonnebelt-Smeenge said, “It seemed like no one wanted to talk about my husband. I kept waiting for somebody to bring up [his name]. After a while I couldn’t stand it anymore. I excused myself and left and bawled all the way home. Later I decided maybe they were waiting for me to decide if it was okay to talk about him; maybe they were afraid if they said anything, they’d make me feel worse. From that time on when I went to an event, I found a way to let people know I wanted to talk about him and I wanted to hear their stories.”

At GriefShare Surviving the Holidays, held annual, you’ll meet with other grieving people who have an understanding of what you’re going through. They won’t judge you or force you to share, but will accept you where you are and will offer comfort and support. “When I went to GriefShare,” said Marion, “I realized there are different ways to grieve.”

Your holiday season won’t be easy; your emotions may ambush you and pull you under at times. But you can choose to walk through this season in a way that honors your loved one and puts you on the path of health and healing.

To find out more about GriefShare Surviving the Holidays, call 926-1545.