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Loss of a Spouse and Surviving the Holidays grief sessions set in Pahrump

The passing of a loved one is one of life’s most difficult tragedies, a heart-wrenching experience that often sends those left behind on a roller-coaster ride of emotions.

Sorrow, pain, anger, guilt and a deep sense of inner darkness are just a few of the myriad of feelings that can engulf those who have experienced such a loss. While some find they are able to endure and carry on, for many others, coping seems impossible.

For those who feel themselves struggling to handle the agony of their own anguish, there is hope. The international organization GriefShare was founded with the specific goal of helping those wrestling with their grief along their path from mourning to joy. Though a return to normal life may at first seem inconceivable, GriefShare has helped thousands of people across the globe recover from the torment of their own emotions and find hope for the future.

Right here in Pahrump the local GriefShare chapter has already touched the lives of so many, with chapter founder Pete Giordano detailing that over the past five years the group has helped nearly 150 people through their pain so they can move on with their lives.

There are other grief counseling options out there but GriefShare is something unique, Giordano explained. First and foremost, all of the facilitators who run the sessions have experienced the loss of a loved one too, giving them insight and understanding not possible from someone who has never gone through that situation.

“If you have tried grief support before and it hasn’t worked for you, please call us at GriefShare. We are a very comprehensive grief support group,” Giordano stated. “We have had participants who tried counseling, it just wasn’t right for them. Then they happened to see one of your articles and decided to give us a call. They have all told us what a difference it made. They feel so comfortable, the confidentiality, what is said in that room stays in that room. They feel comfortable sharing their story.”

GriefShare is a non-denominational program that is comprised of 13-weeks of sessions, each with a different topic. It is comprised of three main elements, incorporating a video seminar, group discussion and a personal workbook that aids the participant in tracking their journey and reinforces the weekly session topics. Past GriefShare attendees have reported that the workbook, in particular, is a very powerful tool in their emotional recovery.

Giordano emphasized that it is not required for participants to speak of their own situation or feelings when attending GriefShare, they can also benefit from simply listening to others express themselves. In addition, he noted that while GriefShare can obviously help with fresh grief, it is also beneficial for those still suffering from grief many years standing.

Loss of a Spouse and Surviving the Holidays

Pahrump’s GriefShare is currently preparing to conduct two special meetings that target particularly difficult subjects, the loss of a spouse and handling the holiday season without a loved one.

For the Loss of a Spouse session, Giordano said it will be similar to a regular meeting, with a video, refreshments and a discussion but geared only toward those whose spouses have passed. Participants will go home with the Loss of a Spouse book, to keep for future reference. Giordano noted that this is the first time the group will be holding a meeting specific to the loss of a spouse but after five years, he felt it was time to do so.

The Loss of a Spouse Session is set for Saturday, Nov. 2 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Central Valley Baptist Church, 3170 S. Blagg Road.

The Surviving the Holidays session is a regular feature of the yearly GriefShare cycle and Giordano encouraged anyone suffering from any kind of loss, whether spouse, child, family or friend, to attend.

“My first year, Christmas and Thanksgiving without my wife, it was holy hell. It was the first time in my lifetime that I didn’t put up a Christmas tree. I just didn’t have the spirit I guess,” Giordano said.

However, after he had attended a GriefShare group in Henderson and started reading the Bible, he came to the realization that he wanted to be a part of celebrating those very special times of the year. This is precisely what Surviving the Holidays sessions aim to do, help those mourning find happiness in the holidays again.

“What I do now, every birthday, anniversary, holiday, I just go up to my wife’s picture and kiss the picture and tell her, ‘Merry Christmas,’ or ‘Happy New Year’ or whatever it is. And I am fine with that,” Giordano shared.

Surviving the Holidays will take place Saturday, Nov. 9 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Central Valley Baptist Church.

Following these two special meetings, GriefShare will take a short break before starting its next 13-week cycle, which begins Saturday, Nov. 30.

For more information call Giordano at 775-209-2535.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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