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Healing Under Grief Support

ROOM 401

Those who have experienced the loss of a loved one know that we need other people to help. No one can replace that unique space of a loved one in our lives, but the need for supportive relationships with people who understand is an important piece of the healing process.

It is natural for people who are associated with a bereaved person to want him or her to “get back to normal.” Hearing such cliches as, “Time will heal” or “Count your blessings” usually adds to the pain and emptiness of loss.  The good intentions and advice of people who may have adjusted in their past are often misunderstood and can be a means of prolonging grief.

Gathering in a safe, supportive and welcoming environment with others experiencing a similar journey is an important and helpful way for people to feel “heard.”  Listening to others, and sharing experiences and feelings opens up meaningful, healing conversations.

Letter from a H.U.G.S. group participant:

“After almost a year following my husband’s death, it felt like things were getting worse, not better.  People kept asking me to go out to lunch or dinner, but the conversations seemed strained.  It felt like they avoided mentioning his name.  I kept wondering if my friends thought I would break into tears if we shared some old memories or stories, so I always assured them, “I’m really fine.”

Finally, someone told me about a group that was offered at their church called, H.U.G.S., (healing under grief support), and I decided to give it a try.  Each person who came to the group had experienced the loss of a spouse.  For the first time in a year being with those people helped me to feel there were others who understood what I was going through.  Hearing their comments and stories made me realize that I was normal.  Sometimes when a new person came to the group we would greet them with a hug or a handshake and say, ‘Welcome to the club that nobody wants to join.’  I will always be grateful for my HUGS family.”

H.U.G.S. is led by Rev. Marsha Hutchinson, experienced grief group facilitator and retired United Methodist pastor. The group meets on first and third Sundays of each monthfrom 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Room 312. For more information call (317) 253-6461.