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.
As many of you know, my kids and I lost our very special Drew on September 5, 2015. He was killed tragically in a car accident. I lost my best friend and life partner. My children lost their dad. To say that we were and are devastated is an understatement. We still have a hard time even processing what happened.
We are grieving. We will always grieve.
Very early on after Drew’s accident, I met with a grief counselor. I remember so clearly when she told me that though my head could comprehend what had happened, my heart could not. She talked about grief and how it is different for all of us and that it is forever.
In that moment I realized that my kids and I were in uncharted territory and the journey would be unique and difficult for each one of us, in our way. Not being able to “fix it” for my children or take away their pain is excruciating. But I have to accept the fact that the only grief I can manage is my own.
In the years since, I have wrestled daily with my grief. One way I have done this is by sharing and talking with other women who have lost their spouse. These connections have sustained me and given me hope when there wasn’t any. Being able to talk with others who understand loss is invaluable. I have written a blog where I’ve shared pieces of my struggle, and in doing that I have met others who, just like my kids and me, have endured the loss of a loved one. I have learned that everyone has and will experience loss. Some of the stories I have heard and the tragedies people have survived are unimaginable. Yes, some have lost far more than we have. Of course this changes nothing and doesn’t make losing Drew any easier, but it does provide perspective.
We all grieve. We grieve the loss of a family member or friend. We grieve the loss of a marriage. We grieve what was and what could have been. Grief is unavoidable. No one grieves in the same way or on a certain time frame, and that is okay. It is our own personal struggle, but we don’t have to do it alone. When we connect with others who understand our pain because they feel it too, we can create a space for healing.
I first heard about GriefShare from my parents. Their church was starting a grief group, and they decided it was something they wanted to try. They joined the group seeking information and understanding but gained so much more. They met people and learned of their stories, their loss(es), their strength and resilience. There were people of all ages who had experienced loss of all kinds. For some the loss was still raw, and for others many years had gone by. But for all, the GriefShare group was a safe place to share and question and help navigate the lifelong journey of grieving. There is a bond between people who have experienced loss, even if the loss is quite different. The connections my parents made have developed into relationships and friendships that mean a great deal to them.
For so many of us, we try to do it on our own. We try to avoid and do everything we can to get around the pain that is so very much a part of us. We can convince ourselves that we have it under control, that we’ve dealt with it. But the truth is, you can’t deal with something if you do everything in your power to try NOT to deal with it. That grief counselor I saw after losing Drew also told me that there is no getting around our grief. It is something we have to go through. As painful and difficult as that is to hear, it is brilliantly true. But we don’t have to do it alone.
Sharing our stories is something we can all do. When we share with one another and let others in, they do the same. In doing so, we feel less afraid and less alone, and that is how we heal.
Please consider joining GriefShare for yourself or a loved one, or perhaps you know someone who might benefit. We invite you and encourage you to invite others.
This spring and summer have been the hardest months of my life. My sister died on June 16, but her final journey really began in March when she was admitted to the University of Michigan Hospital. I am blessed to have a supportive family and network of friends, as well as caring employers, which allowed me the flexibility to spend the many weeks and months with Kirsten as she lost her battle to cancer. I was able to hold her hand throughout her final nights and sit with my parents as she took her last breath. This journey, her journey and mine, was both devastating and beautiful, and it is now part of my story.
I have been facilitating GriefShare since 2020. Through the stories, tears, revelations, and heartbreak shared in these support groups, I have seen people face their sadness and move through their grief. As a facilitator, I heard what people were feeling, but I can now honestly say, I didn’t understand… not the way I do now. At GriefShare, I’ve often heard how much it means to have a space to openly talk about grief and not feel burdensome to loved ones. You see, when you are grieving, that is all you think about. But life goes on for everyone around you, and when they say “How are you doing?” you must question whether to give the true answer (“I’m having a hard time and am so sad and sick of being sad”) or the canned answer (“I’m hanging in there”). GriefShare is the place where we can openly talk about our grief and share our sadness.
If you or someone you know is grieving the loss of a loved one, please consider joining GriefShare, and we will learn how to walk this grief journey together.