Many folks retire to our southern states and South Carolina is one of them. Our demographics show that we have many seniors in our area. Seniors can bring a wealth of ideas and experience, as well as time and efforts towards a community.
One thing seniors have in common that is in their future: one of them will lose their life-long partner. It is a joy to share our golden years with someone we have been together with for decades. Suddenly being without them makes one not function as they did at their pre-loss capacity. But you can take steps to ensure your life doesn't fall apart while you are in the midst of it.
Grief is a complex situation. And when you are in the throes of it, one may find it difficult to do almost anything else. Many people just want the pain to end but are convinced it never will. Reaching out to others and accepting support is often difficult when you are hurting so much. It's best to seek those persons who will 'walk with", not "in front of" or 'behind" you in your journey with grief.
There is a free grief program called Grief Share where the members will walk 'with you'. We have many such groups in our area - you can find one online at www.griefshare.org Put in your zip code and you will find these wonderful programs that are mostly held in our church communities. They are offered free to the whole community and are Biblically-based concepts to cope with grief ; they are nondenominational. GriefShare addresses the loss of spouses, children, family members and close friends. The program right now is not designed for divorces or pets. All faiths and atheists are invited.
The program consists of 13 sessions [one day a week for 13 weeks]. Each session consists of a video seminar featuring grief recovery experts. A small support group discussion follows. There is a workbook journal & exercises for each session. Workbooks cost $15 - the only cost to you and you don't have to purchase it.
The atmosphere is friendly and supportive. It is a 'safe environment' where confidentiality and bonds are formed.
Often, friends and family want to help you but don't know how. That's the reason Grief Share was formed. The groups are led by caring people who have experienced grief and have successfully rebuilt their lives. We understand how you feel because we've been in the same place. We will walk with you on the long path of grief toward healing and hope for the future. Our groups in SC are part of a network of 12,000+ churches worldwide that offer GriefShare support issues.
Many new bonds and friendships are formed at the meeting; healing results from shared experiences and ways to cope with one's loss.
But you will have begun the process. And the only way forward is to put one step in front of the other. GriefShare helps to do that. This newspaper and church notices/bulletins will announce when these sessions will take place.
Marie Coppola October 2019