Death of a loved one can leave us totally bewildered and badly shattered. The words of comfort or advice from others who have not experienced the pangs of death can cause more pain than comfort.
To assist grieving people in coping with their loss and to facilitate recovery and healing of shattered lives, Family Life have started GriefWalk, a ministry focusing on assisting individuals and families in bereavement and who are challenged by their grief over the loss of someone in their lives.
As an arm to this ministry, the GriefWalk Support Group (GWSG) seeks to bring together those whose world has been altered by the death of their loved ones.
What is GriefWalk Support Group (GWSG)?
GWSG provides a “safe place” for the participants to talk about their grief journey. Consisting of 10 to 12 persons who “have been there”, its objective is to promote healing and recovery for those living with suppressed emotions and feelings of hopelessness. Though GWSG’s goal is to assist in the recovery of grieving people in a group setting, it is not intended to solve deep-seated emotional issues. Such individuals are encouraged to seek personal counseling for “grief-work”.
While GWSG is also not intended as a social network for grieving people, close friendships do develop as participants get to know each other better in the course of attending the group meetings.
What makes a GWSG work?
The GWSG is facilitated by trained facilitators experienced in grief counselling. The facilitators encourage every one to participate and provide opportunity for them to express themselves. While the facilitator may provide helpful insights to the grieving process, the greatest impact will come from participants themselves as they share their personal stories and experiences.
The group meets weekly at a pre-determined time for 14 sessions. Participants are encouraged not to miss any of the sessions because the issue dealt with in each session may be greatly beneficial.
How does GWSG help?
- connect with people who “have been there” and who, therefore, are able to empathize with each other.
- talk about their painful experiences and submerged feelings and ideas to each other, long after others have stopped listening.
- discover that they are not alone in the hardships and challenges they are facing.
- have an opportunity to better understand the grief journey and learn about tools to cope with their loss.
- experience a sense of acceptance and belonging.
- hear ideas from others to enhance their ability to make decisions and solve problems.
- benefit from the experience of “giving”, that is, contributing to the recovery of others.
- learn more about themselves and how they are perceived by others.
- gain encouragement and inspiration by observing the successes of others.