Grief and Loss Group
By Elizabeth Benn
At times, living in a place far away from family and friends can be quite challenging because the net of supporting people is accessible only by using modern means of communication.
However, the geographical distance is felt even more painfully at times when family members or friends fall ill or even die and work-related responsibilities don‘t allow for longer periods of absence.
We may have to fight the desire to spend time with that person, to help with care issues, or to just be around, as well as feelings of guilt.
This disconnectedness is even harder to bear when it comes to losing someone close. It may be that not having had the chance for a final farewell multiplies the intensity of grief or leads to self-accusation.
Even if we are able to attend the funeral, we are thrown into an ongoing process in which we can only try our best to integrate, knowing that we will have to leave early again. We may be bereft of the possibility of ongoing consoling conversations and hugs, shared memories or jointly shed tears.
Having talked to several members of our congregation, Pastor Andy saw the need to provide room and company for those dealing with loss and grief while living far away from home.
By offering group meetings once a month, we try to provide the space and support that is too often not allowed at work or in our society. Although I am not a professionally trained grief counselor, I draw from my experiences as a palliative care nurse and psychotherapeutic counselor .
Anyone wishing to give room to their own grief in joining this group is very welcome.