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Is a Grief Support Group the Right Choice for You?

Category: 

Grieving Process

Posted On: Jan 24, 2017

Is a Grief Support Group the Right Choice for You?

Support groups aren't everyone's cup of tea, although they exist for a wealth of topics, issues, and problems. However, this is a subject worthy of reconsideration when it comes to grief. During bereavement, you need all the support you can get. Although your family and friends surround you, offering love and compassion, it's not always easy or possible to open up to your loved ones about how your loss makes you feel. Because you must open up to someone, a support group offers an outlet for your anguish, anger, and anxiety.

It's Easier to Talk to Strangers Sometimes

Strangers are unbiased. They don't know you and have no reason to judge you. That's just one reason why it's sometimes easier to open up to people you don't know.  It's all the better when those people have also experienced loss, depression, and heartbreak. They know what you're going through and how you feel. They've been there. In addition to providing you with open ears and shoulders to lean on, they will also empathize with your grief.

Sharing Your Feelings Eases Their Burden

Even though the people in the support group don't have emotional ties to the person you lost, they understand. Sharing your emotions with them takes a load off of your shoulders. You don't have to worry about making the members of the group cry or reminisce. Thus, you can say whatever you feel.

There's No Censorship

This point is worth its own mention. You don't have to censor yourself in a grief group the way you may have to around your relatives and friends. For example, if you're angry at the person you lost for dying, you don't necessarily want to unload that anger around the people who cared for the departed. That doesn't always go over well. In your group, you can say anything. There's no need to swallow down any of your emotions.

You Do Have to Talk about Your Emotions

That's the number one rule of most support groups. They won't force you to speak, of course, and everyone understands if it takes time, but you will have to discuss your feelings at some point. If you're not the type who can comfortably do that, then it's possible that a grief group isn't the right route for you.

You May Need to Visit Several Groups

You have to feel comfortable in your surroundings for a grief support group to be effective. Because of that, it's often necessary to attend meetings at more than one group. You'll immediately feel safe and soothed when you discover the right group. It will feel like coming into a sanctuary.

You cannot process your grief alone. Doing so just makes you more depressed, more lethargic, and more isolated. Reach out to whoever makes you feel comfortable, whether it's a group, a pastor, a counselor, or a best friend.