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Here’s where to turn to when grief becomes too much

Death is a surety of life.

Nearly every person will experience the loss of someone they know and love but the manner in which each individual deals with such events can vary vastly. While some are able to absorb their loss and move on with their lives, others can find themselves drowning in their sorrow, and that is where the international support group GriefShare comes in.

A nondenominational, nonprofit organization, GriefShare has thousands of chapters all across the globe, including a chapter at Central Valley Baptist Church right here in Pahrump.

“You’ll probably feel a little nervous about going to GriefShare the first time. Those feelings go away quickly for most people, usually during the first session they attend. GriefShare is a warm, caring environment designed to help you,” the GriefShare website reads. “You’ll discover there are people who understand your hurts, emotions and painful experiences. When someone you love dies, it is common to feel isolated. In GriefShare, you’ll find that you are not alone, that there are others who understand what you are going through.

“You’ll learn helpful, practical information that will help you recover from the pain of grief and loss. The GriefShare DVD videos feature top experts on grief recovery subjects and case studies of people just like you, who have been through the grief experience,” the website continues. “You’ll be able to talk about your experiences… You’ll have a workbook for personal study to write down the things you’ve learned… You’ll begin to gain closure in your loss… You’ll become part of a ‘family’… You’ll discover hope for the future.”

Founded by the late Pete Giordano, the Central Valley chapter of GriefShare has been active since mid-2015 and will soon be celebrating an official eight years in the community. Now under the leadership of Marcia Savage, the group is preparing for its next 13-week cycle of support sessions but first, it has a few special events on the calendar.

“First, we will be having our Loss of a Spouse video, which is open to all, on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 1 to 3 p.m. and then we’ll have the same Loss of a Spouse session the following Monday, Feb. 13, from 3 to 5 p.m.,” Savage told the Pahrump Valley Times.

Specifically targeted toward those who have been widowed, the Loss of a Spouse seminar takes on much the same form as the regular GriefShare sessions. Participants will first watch a video, featuring hosts and interviewees who have experienced the death of their own life partner. The meeting will then shift to sharing time, where people can express their thoughts and emotions if they wish to do so. Lastly, those who attend the seminar will be given a booklet that includes more than 30 short readings on how to live with grief and eventually return to a normal life.

“After the Loss of a Spouse, our Celebration of Life and potluck event will be on Saturday, Feb. 18 from noon until 2 p.m., where we will be offering painted rocks for attendees to decorate in memory of their loved ones before placing them in our Memorial Rock Garden,” Savage detailed.

All past and present GriefShare members, as well as anyone interested in learning more about the program, are encouraged to attend the Celebration of Life.

The Central Valley GriefShare group will resume its regular sessions near the end of the month with the start of the next cycle of meetings. Each cycle consists of 13 self-standing sessions, meaning people can join the group at any point and simply catch up on what they missed during the following cycle.

Over the past seven and a half years, the local GriefShare group has grown so much that Savage and her fellow facilitators have expanded to hosting two meetings per week, one on a Monday and another on a Saturday.

Session No. 1 will take place on Monday, Feb. 20 from 3 to 5 p.m. and again on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 1 to 3 p.m. This cycle will run through Monday, May 15 and Saturday, May 20.

All events take place at the Central Valley Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 3170 S. Blagg Road.

To sign up for GriefShare contact Savage at 775-513-4482.

For more information visit www.GriefShare.org

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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