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Area Lutheran Church to host grief recovery support group

Participants find hope through GriefShare

There is comfort in knowing you're not alone. That's the reason for GriefShare, a 12-week Christ-centered seminar and support group for people grieving the loss of a loved one. The group is sponsored and attended by people who understand the experience of loss and want to offer encouragement through the grieving process.

“Because our society isn’t comfortable with the idea of death, it doesn’t often give individuals an opportunity to fully grieve,” reflects Pastor Thurman Frey, facilitator of GriefShare at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Towson, where the program will begin a second cycle this fall. “Most of us get three days off for the funeral, and that’s it. But what do you do with the emptiness you feel once the shock wears off? How do you cope with the painful realization that your life will never be the same again?”

GriefShare provides the permission a person needs to grieve a significant loss — gentle guidance in a safe environment through what can at times be a confusing roller-coaster ride of emotions. Each session of the program includes a video presentation followed by group discussion. GriefShare videos feature interviews with counselors and speakers with expertise in grief recovery, but they also include accounts of everyday people who have experienced loss and gone through the process of grief firsthand . Participants also receive a workbook with devotionals and weekly journals. The sessions are self-contained, so individuals may join at any time during the 12-week cycle.

Rather than focusing on the "Why?" questions after a loss, GriefShare encourages participants to ask "What's next?" Pastor Frey says. And that's where healing starts to take place. "My hope is that the participants are more connected with God by the end of the program," adding that the purpose of GriefShare is to take people from mourning to joy.

GriefShare caters to people experiencing all levels of grief. Pastor Frey says the loss doesn't have to be recent for individuals to benefit from the group. Though the group doesn't specify a particular target audience, it’s best suited for teenagers to adults.

GriefShare will be offered locally for the second time at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 8516 Loch Raven Blvd. Towson. The group will meet on Tuesday, Sept. 17, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and will meet for 11 consecutive Tuesdays thereafter (with a break the middle of October), concluding on Tuesday, December 10. There is no cost for attendance, but there is a suggested donation of $15 to cover the cost of the GriefShare workbook. For more information, visit the church website at www.holycrosstowson.org or call Pastor Frey at 410-825-7905.

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