How GriefShare Can Help During the Holidays (and year-round)


How GriefShare Can Help During the Holidays (and year-round)
While the holidays can be a joyous time with family and friends, it can also be when you most keenly feel the absence and loss of a loved one. To say it is hard is a huge understatement.
You might be attempting to survive the holidays (or skip right through to January). Holiday emotions and grief can be overwhelming. You don't have to face the holidays and go through the grieving process alone.
A helpful resource our team has discovered through personal experience is GriefShare.
Share with others who can help and understand
GriefShare is a network of grief support groups for people grieving the death of a loved one. The program is nondenominational (15,000+ churches) and features biblical concepts for healing from grief.
It is a safe place where participants can meet weekly, rebuild their life toward hope and connect with others who understand their deep pain. Thousands of groups meet around the world. To find a group near you search here. You can join a group at any time. If this program is not an option, I encourage you to reach out to other local resources for support.
Bravely show up (take a friend if needed)
Intense emotions make it hard to think clearly. Maybe a friend could use the encouragement to bravely show up. Reflect this holiday season and consider your friends and family who could benefit from a grief support group.
Adina lost her 61-year-old dad to cancer and shared her mom attended the GriefShare program. She said, "My mom had an extremely positive experience and the group helped her through a difficult time." Adina's mom also attended a second time and took a friend who recently lost her husband.
A typical weekly group meeting includes a video seminar, support group discussion and workbook with journaling and personal study. The level of sharing is optional and based on your comfort level.
Create a holiday plan survival guide
When life feels out of control, a thought-out holiday plan in advance can help you navigate this difficult season when emotions run high. Give yourself the freedom to start new traditions that honor your loved one.
In addition to the weekly grief support groups, GriefShare offers a Surviving the Holidays one-time event focused on helping you throughout the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. The seminar focuses on topics such as emotions you will face during the holidays, traditions and other changes, tips for social events and hope for your future. To find a seminar near you search here.
Learn to navigate difficult situations such as how to:
  • handle holiday invitations
  • create a holiday plan
  • respond to questions at a party
  • choose how to spend your time
  • decide on the holiday meals and baking
Adina recently shared a few ideas on holiday traditions after the loss of her dad. Also, check out these practical ideas and tips on how to care for someone who has walked through sorrow this year.
In the flurry of holiday baking, shopping for gifts and parties to attend, I would encourage each of us to create space for someone who needs extra support. This might be in the form of a meal delivered to their door, unrushed conversation or attending a support group with a friend.

Read other recent articles by Lindsey Shantz:

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Adina & Maureen
Adina & Maureen

Welcome! We're thrilled you stopped by. Our own joys and sorrows have taught us that a well-timed meal delivered by a friend is one of the best gifts imaginable. In this space, we share our favorite recipes to take to friends, meal-taking tips, and other ways to care for those who are dear to you.

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