If you have recently, (or even not so recently), lost a loved one, please consider finding a grief support group. There is no one way to grieve and everyone moves through grief at a different pace. But being surrounded by other people who know what you’re going through can make all the difference when it comes to healthy healing. A support group can offer you a safe space to express your feelings, share experiences, and help support other people who are processing a similar traumatic event.
Here are some questions you may be asking yourself as you consider a grief support group:
If I have friends and family, why do I need a grief support group?
Even the most well-meaning friend or family member can say the wrong thing when you are wrestling with grief. Sometimes, you just need to talk with someone who knows exactly how you feel because they are walking the same path. Grief support groups are often lead by licensed professional counselors. Having a counselor in place can guide and mediate the conversation to keep it productive, healthy, and moving in a positive direction. These groups are also usually free of charge to participate in, and can help you build real relationships with other people who know what you’re going through.
What if I’m not ready to talk about my loss?
That’s ok. Only you can know when you are ready to reach out. It can be really scary to ask for help, but please know that you are not alone. Grief affects every one of us at some time or another. It is an inescapable part of the human experience. But if you can glean some comfort from another person’s story, and perhaps offer comfort in return, it can help you realize that even the most crushing pain is not wasted. It can also be exceedingly helpful to meet people who are further along in their grief journey and to see that things do get better. Someday, you will be able to breathe again. Losing a loved one is often described as losing a limb. You do heal, but it takes a long time, and you are never quite the same. Having other people by your side through this journey can make all the difference in the world.