Grief: it is something that is unique to each individual who experiences it and yet there are underlying similarities of emotion for all who have been touched by what is perhaps life’s greatest source of grief, the loss of a loved one. This makes it easier for those who have gone through grief themselves to offer solace and understanding to others enmeshed in mourning.
Though never a simple task, helping people navigate through the depths of sorrow and despair is a noble goal and that goal is at the heart of what the international nonprofit group GriefShare does. Right here in Pahrump, the local chapter is ready and waiting to welcome, comfort and console those who may be in need of support after losing someone they love.
On Saturday, July 10, the Pahrump GriefShare group commemorated the competition of its latest 13-week cycle of sessions with a Celebration of Life, the traditional conclusion to each of these multi-week cycles. Members of GriefShare, both former and current, gathered together for an afternoon of camaraderie, sharing memories, thoughts, smiles and hopes for the future, evidencing the success of their own journeys from mourning to joy. A vast majority of those in attendance that afternoon had originally come to GriefShare lost and hopeless, bogged down in a mire of suffering and heartache. For group leaders, watching the transformation these members have experienced is nothing short of miraculous and the mission is to keep the local GriefShare chapter going strong for many more years to come.
“I am so pleased with the great turnout for our 17th Celebration of Life at Central Valley Baptist Church, our sponsor for the GriefShare program here in Pahrump,” Pahrump GriefShare facilitator Marica Savage said following the event. “We had lots of great food, special music and social visiting. We have really become a very special family. We heard some great encouragement from those who the program has helped so much in their journey of grief. Despite four of the team members being out with family and illness, and even about 10 regular participants that could not make it, we still had a full house.
“Pete Giordano (late founder of the Pahrump chapter of GriefShare) would be so happy to see how this group has grown and been so very successful!” Savage continued. “It is such a blessing to see smiles and hear laughter, in the place of the tears we have all shed. There is hope to make this journey from mourning to joy, by helping others go through the same thing. Thank you to all who make this celebration such a success!”
The Celebration of Life held on Saturday was not the only milestone the group has reached in recent weeks, with the chapter celebrating a full six years of serving the residents of the valley. Now entering their seventh year, the group is ready to begin yet another 13-week cycle of regular sessions and anyone who finds themself struggling with the pain of loss is encouraged to give GriefShare a try.
The 13-week cycle consists of weekly sessions, each with a specific topic and all 13 sessions are “self-contained”, which means that people can join the group at any point in the regular cycle and simply catch up on what they may have missed the next time around. Each session is comprised of three segments, a video featuring experts and everyday people speaking about their own experiences, followed by a group discussion that participants are encouraged, but not required, to take part in. The last element is a personal workbook in which participants are able to record their thoughts and track their journey.
“It may be hard for you to feel optimistic about the future right now. If you’ve lost a spouse, child, family member, or friend, you’ve probably found there are not many people who understand the deep hurt you feel,” the GriefShare website details. “This can be a confusing time when you feel isolated and have many questions about things you’ve never faced before. GriefShare groups meet weekly to help you face these challenges and move toward rebuilding your life.”
Before the next regular cycle begins, however, GriefShare will be holding a special session geared toward those who have lost their life partner with the “Loss of a Spouse” seminar set for this Saturday.
The “Loss of a Spouse” session will focus solely on dealing with the intense grief that can easily overwhelm when a person loses the love of their life, their husband, their wife, their lifelong partner. For many, the death of their spouse is like losing half of themselves, and it is often difficult for the widow or widower to face the future without the person with whom they have built an entire life. But the facilitators at GriefShare are familiar with this pain and can help those grappling with grief to see that there is hope for the future, that they can smile again, laugh again, feel joy again.
The Loss of a Spouse session is set for Saturday, July 17. The group will then be taking the following Saturday, July 24, off, after which the next 13-week cycle will begin on Saturday, July 31 and run until Oct. 23.
All sessions will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at Central Valley Baptist Church, 3170 S. Blagg Road.
Those wishing to attend either the Loss of a Spouse session or any of the 13 regular sessions are asked to register beforehand by calling Savage at 775-513-4482 or emailing email@example.com or calling facilitator Sharon Colt at 775-622-5494 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on GriefShare visit www.griefshare.org
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at email@example.com