The Value of Group Support

The Value of Group Support — From our Director

Ashland CreekMagic happens when a group of grieving people come together to share their stories.  Lots of research supports this, and years of WinterSpring experience also confirms the value of group work.  I got to appreciate this first-hand as a co-facilitator of a group on Aging and Loss.  After the scheduled eight weeks ended, we did what many groups do and gathered to reconnect over a meal.  As we came together over a potluck of yummy fall vegetable dishes, pasta, deviled eggs, and salads, I looked around at these dear faces and reflected on the changes over the two months since we’d first met.  What I noticed most is that the “heaviness” had lifted, for some more than others, but each in their own way glowed.  Glow is the best word I can find for what I saw, and I believe it’s from the telling of our stories and being heard and finding camaraderie in shared experiences.  Here are a couple of comments:

  • Thanks for the companionship as we build back to a new normal, if one can really use the word “normal” for what is left to us.  
  • We all have our own path to follow, but I feel much stronger with the bonds we have created.

I’m constantly amazed by the resiliency of the human spirit, and honored that these deeply hurting folks came every week and bared their souls with each other…and often left with a smile on their faces. I just started co-facilitating a new group today, and left feeling that same sense of awe at the resiliency the group members showed today. I am so blessed to be doing such important work.

Thank you to our community of volunteers and financial supporters!  We can continue this meaningful work of helping people learn to embrace life again after loss because of you.

Our Children’s Program on the Front Page of the Mail Tribune

Photo courtesy of Jamie Lusch of the Mail Tribune.

Photo courtesy of Jamie Lusch of the Mail Tribune.

WinterSpring’s Children’s Program at Bellview School has been a wonderful experience for these kids.  Thanks to Sherry Nurre, our trained volunteer, for spearheading an additional program in Ashland.  We also have our ongoing program in Medford.  Call our office for more information about the programs coming up during the next school year: 541-552-0620.

Here’s a link to the article.

Talking about grief — what our kids need

New York Times September 26 2012

Grief and loss are such a natural part of life.  And yet, people don’t know how to be with it in healthy ways.  I love this article from the New York Times that talks about including children in the mourning process and why.  At WinterSpring, we advocate for talking with kids about their grief and we have support groups available to help.

Click here for this NYT article.

Give yourself the freedom to grieve in your own way.

I really like Dr. Nancy Berns’ article on grieving, especially this quote:  “Treating grief as a disease threatens our freedom to grieve.”  She supports people grieving in their own way and debunks the commonly accepted idea that grief needs to follow five stages:  denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  At WinterSpring, we’re not afraid to be with loss for as long as it takes people to embrace life again.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-grieve/201201/am-i-grieving-right