Have you walked that lonely road, desperately missing a loved one who has died? Perhaps you have recently lost a family member or a dear friend and the pain is still raw and sharp. Or, it might be that even though your loss was several years ago the hurt never seems to heal like you expected it would.
Welcome to GriefShare.
“GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone.
GriefShare seminars and support groups are led by people who understand what you are going through and want to help. You’ll gain access to valuable GriefShare resources to help you recover from your loss and look forward to rebuilding your life.” (from the GriefShare website)
My wife Carol and I became vividly acquainted with grief and grieving in 1997. Her husband Terry died suddenly in the summer and my wife Jeanine died the same way just before Christmas and her 44th birthday.
Because we knew first hand how difficult it is for survivors to go through the grief process we decided to offer a hand to those who are hurting as we did. In just a few days we will begin our 8th year of facilitating GriefShare groups. Our experience has been a mixture of sadness and joy as we have walked along side many wonderful people with broken hearts. We have seen some amazing transformations through this ministry of love and mercy.
Last year we were joined in our GriefShare ministry by John and Maggie Dobbs. John is the pulpit minister at the Forsythe Church of Christ in Monroe. John and Maggie lost their son, John Robert, several months ago, a few days before he was to graduate high school. John is a prolific writer and has chronicled much of his personal journey of grief at his popular blog “Out Here Hope Remains”.
We began having our groups meet at Forsythe last year after several years at Whites Ferry Road Church in West Monroe. The Forsythe Church is centrally located on Forsythe west of the Oliver and Forsythe intersection.
On Monday, January 11th at 6:00 p.m. we will have a time of greeting and registration for the upcoming series. We will meet weekly for 13 weeks. Each week we will watch a DVD (30 to 40 min.) and then have a discussion time.
You can expect the following:
- Very helpful information. The series includes ministers, Christian counselors, famous authors and other experts on grief, and people just like you who share their stories of hope.
- People who really care about you. Our only goal is to love and nurture hurting people in Christ’s name.
- Tears are welcomed. Tears are the beautiful expression of a hurting heart and God’s unique way of cleansing a troubled soul. Don’t be fearful of crying, all of us do cry, or have, it is normal and expected.
- A safe place. Your confidentiality will be respected and honored. What you choose to share in a GriefShare group will not leave the group. “What happens in GriefShare stays in GriefShare”.
- You don’t have to talk. It’s really up to you. Often people are not ready to talk in a group setting. That is OK. You will be expected to talk only if and when you feel comfortable doing so.
- Christ centered. Our resources are biblical in nature and we readily say that our ultimate comfort in times of trouble comes from a vibrant, authentic, relationship with Jesus Christ. Our mission is not to have you change your church membership or to pressure you into anything you don’t want to do. We only want to love you in Christ’s stead and point you to him.
- You will get better! I’ll make you a promise. If you attend each week and take advantage of the resources available to you, I assure you that you will realize that you have found comfort, peace, and a new hope that makes daily living without your loved one much more bearable.
Remember! Each Monday at 6:00 p.m. at Forsythe Church of Christ, 2101 Forsythe Ave. in Monroe. Put it on your calendar now so you can’t forget, you’ll be glad you did. I look forward to meeting you!
Questions? Call Carol Ogle at 318.348.2291