Do you know a sure way to stop a conversation? Tell someone that you’re on staff at a church. The response? A long “Ohhhh.” You might even notice the person take a slight step backward, then looks away. No questions asked. Then add to that statement, “I also co-lead a grief recovery support group.” At that point, the color drains from their faces and they start looking for the nearest escape route.
Grief. Not a popular topic of conversation, so it’s not one I delve into in the course of day-to-day life. But guess what? Whether you’ve had an up close and personal experience with the death of a loved one or not, no one is immune to it. There is no escape route. Sooner or later, every one of us will lose someone we love. And what then? What will you do? How will you handle the heartbreak of your loss?
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
A number of years ago I lost a very dear friend to suicide. It was absolutely unexpected; I was devastated. Fast forward to 2009, when my father went to his heavenly home following a 14-month battle with mesothelioma. Walking alongside my Dad during his illness was a much different experience than that of my friend’s sudden death. It hurt, it was sad. I miss them both…..but the God of all comfort was with me. His Presence was there. I wasn’t alone as I walked those journeys.
Born out of those experiences was the realization that we as a church need to do more for our grieving families beyond offering our services for a loving, honoring funeral service. Grief doesn’t end when the final song is played at the service. What about after-care? What then?
Enter GriefShare. GriefShare is a 13-week, Christ-centered video/workbook/discussion support group….a group of people who are hurting from the loss of a loved one, be it a spouse, child, parent, sibling, friend—regardless of when the loss occurred.
It’s a warm, comfortable, safe, casual group where you can share as much or as little as you’d like….whatever you’re comfortable with. Tears are welcome; so is laughter. Transformation happens. New life happens. Fellowship happens. A connectedness with those who “get it” happens.
Let us walk alongside you on your journey from mourning…..to joy.
Our Fall session begins on Thursday, September 11, 7-9 pm, here at Cuyahoga Valley Church. Think about it. Pray about it. Listen for His guidance. Is He stirring your heart? GriefShare offers hope…and healing. It’s an encouraging place to be!