Kerr's Corner

Kerr's Corner is a regular feature in East Antrim and Newtownabbey editions of The Wizard. David Kerr would like to hear your memories of life in your own area. Maybe you'll trigger some thoughts for a future column.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

In Conversation with - Griefshare

In Conversation with … Griefshare – a Grief Recovery Programme

AS WE grow older, the more likely it is that someone we know or love will die. Few people over thirty have not lost a family member or a close friend, whether through illness, accident or just through old age. Some folk can cope with such loss with few problems, especially if they have a strong family around them, or a deep religious faith. However, not everyone can cope so well as their friends seem to ignore them or treat them strangely, perhaps afraid that they will trigger floods of tears or some other dramatic reaction in the bereaved person. This can be a particularly difficult struggle for beareaved persons at critical times of the yaer like Christmas, significant birthdays and the anniversary of the loved one’s death.

Griefshare is a charity associated with Woodlands Presbyterian Church which aims to help those who are bereaved through its recovery programme. Ruth Lorimer from Griefshare told me more.

As Ruth puts it, “it may be hard for you to feel optimistic about the future right now. If you’ve lost a spouse, child, family member or friend, you’ve probably found that there are not many people who understand the deep hurt you feel. That’s the reason for Griefshare”.

Griefshare is a 13-week programme for people who are grieving the loss of someone close. Each week includes a video seminar featuring Biblical teachings on grief and recovery topics such as ‘Your Family and Grief’ and ‘Growing through Grief’. The vides also feature real-life stories of people who understand through their own loss. These are also aimed at offering comfort and encouragement on the journey from mourning to joy.

Another key element of each evening is the time spent discussing the video in small groups, supporting and learning from each other. It’s during these times that people realise they’re not on their own, but there are others who are also struggling with their grief and they can help and comfort each other.

Each of the sessions are ‘self-contained’ and people can attend at any stage. The facilitators who lead the groups have themselves suffered bereavement and loss and appreciate the difficulties faced by people who are grieving.

Griefshare hold information evenings at Woodlands Presbytarian Church, Burleigh Drive, Carrickfergus. “If you need further information, have questions about Griefshare or just need someone to chat to about your loss, contact Ruth 028 270 274 or Lois 093 378 651. Hurting people matter to God and matter to us to”.

Griefshare has been a real help to many people. A few people who had been helped by Griefshare have allowed us to quote them.

Mary said:
“Griefshare acknowledged the severity of how I felt and made me feel like it was okay. In Griefshare I met people who knew by looking at me, how I was feeling … they felt the same too. It gave me a focus and helped me get by in small steps from one week to the next”.

Deborah said:
“I went to Griefshare a year after my son died and received comfort, understanding and support. Those of us attending Griefshare are suffering the unbearable pain that comes when one we love so much, no longer shares our lives. At Griefshare I am able to share my deepest feelings and know that those around me really care for me.”

And Donald said:
“I made the call. It was a really difficult one to make! Over 12 months have passed, sad times, happy times, but it’s the caring and sharing that makes the difference.”

Griefshare has helped numerous people work through their grieving and encouraged them to rebuild their lives again. So if you're thinking about attending, come along to the information evenings and see for yourself.


Post a Comment

<< Home