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Anyone Been To A Face to Face Grief Support Group?


Linda661

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I'm strongly thinking of going to my first local grief support group on Monday -- the meeting site is only about 15 minutes away from me and I have this support available for the next 12 months through hospice, so why not?

I sort of feel like a different cat right now -- I honestly am not feeling the need for grief support at all right now -- I'm actually really calm, upbeat, good energy...I do feel happiness for my future....sleeping really well and my blood pressure has come down a heck of alot so far. No guilt happening or what if I had done such and such/wish I had done this or that....nothing. No antidepressants in my medicine cabinet either.

I'm not filling in with a bunch of busy work -- I've got certain things I have to do, of course, and a lot to do over time with what I'm left with...but I seem to be comfortable with not being my usual "want it all done yesterday" self and just giving myself as much time as I need right now, at my own pace, with plenty of time to "smell the roses" along the way.

That in and of itself is a little eerie to me: I'm not feeling devastated -- things are pretty peaceful. How in the world can you go through everything I have in the last year and a half and not feel loss now ???? I'm not complaining, just sort of saying hmmmmmmmmm, what's up?

One thing got my attention the other day: when I got the flyer about the grief support meetings and I imagined being in a group like that and actually seeing others in pain, I started to cry -- that's what got me thinking I may very well need the support even if I don't feel the need for it right now. Thinking maybe participation in such a thing would bring out the tears/feelings that are probably stuffed down. They must be there and sooner or later it's gonna' show up with effects if it's not allowed to surface.

Anyway, have folks found these kinds of face to face support groups helpful? I'm hoping it will provide the opportunity to just let the tears surface without everyone rushing in to try and make it better somehow, at least to start.

Linda

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I think it will really help. At least will let you know where you are in all of this when faced with the grief of others. Some feelings may surface, some won't for a very long time.

I do hope it helps you.

My feelings didn't surface for a long time. I was really sad, sure- but I was so busy with looking after my mom, my family, my work, getting a non profit started, adopting a baby- all in the three months that followed.

Even today I am so busy I fall into exhausted sleep- It's during those down times, alone times, times in the grocery store when I am browsing and see something or a memory comes back to me that I am emotionally crippled for moments or a day or a week by my grief.

I think an in person grop would really help. Might have gone to one too had I not kept so busy these past almost 3 years.

Let us know how it goes. I'm really glad that you are doing well and hope that it continues to be so.

Hugs,

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Linda,

I have never been, but I think you would really benefit. All of us would really, as we have so much we feel over such a span that would be good to share with others in some way shape or form...if nothing else, you will be a huge help to others with your upbeat attitude, story to tell, and support.

God bless!

Jen

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Linda, I did go to a support group that was held by the Hospice that cared for Dennis for his final two weeks. Like you, I felt that I had been doing almost "too well." I think I was trying to be strong for everyone in the beginning. I found the support group really helped me to get in touch with my feelings. I learned that I didn't have to be strong for everyone else and learned that was the time to expect strength from others. Please let us know how the group goes for you.

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Hi Linda,

I have a bit of a different experience. I've gone to a griefshare support group. The people are nice, but I don't feel like I'm getting anything out of it. Maybe it's still too early for me, maybe I'm just not open to it. We start usually watching a video that deals with a different topic each week (13 weeks in the support cycle). The videos are all about You may feel this emotion, or you may experience that feeling; but it's all normal and ok and God is the answer." Like DUH! I find some of the people talking a bit irritating and wind up thinking about that rather than listening to the message. The female host of the videos talks like she is talking to a small child or the mentally handicapped. Really pisses me off.

Then there is about 1 1/2 hours where people talk and share their feelings, what's new going on.

Again the people are nice, but I swear there is no one under 80 in my group. A few of them say they are completely fine with their spouse passing :roll: .

I just don't feel like I can totally relate. Plus I'm already bitchy from watching the video. :twisted:

I'm going, don't know why but I am. Don't feel any better. It isn't helping any. I know the stages of guilt, it doesn't make it any easier to go through.

I guess nothing will help me. Maybe I don't want to be helped because giving up this pain is like losing another bit of Keith. I don't know.

Sorry I got off on a bit of a rant there.

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Carleen--I went to the SAME sort of group and had the SAME feelings. Right down to the "I'm the only one who's not 80 here." And my GOSH I could not STAND the female host on the videos. The only way I could sit still was to watch the scrolling marquee church sign out in the parking lot thorugh the window of the church. I gave it three meetings, and then I left... The worst part of it was--we would start late because our leaders couldn't figure out the VCR, and then... we didn't have time to talk about anything! Drove me nuts!

So yes, I did try... it didn't work out. After that, I thought about going to one through Mom's hospice organization, but couldn't really get the gumption to find someone to watch Carolyn during that time. I was already feeling guilty enough about leaving her with Dad at that point. Then I tried to talk to a pastor which was wonderful until the pastor failed to show up for the second meeting.

And then... Though I know it was ridiculous and stupid, I felt so crushed that my attempts to step out on the limb and ask for help had gone so poorly, that I just stopped trying.

I felt that "supisingly good" thing too at first... I think in my case I HAD to because I was also getting ready for my husband to go on deployment. But... the hard stuff came later for me. Some of it came MUCH later.

The moral of Val's story: Don't do what I did and give up if this first group isn't right for you. Do know that the emotions will likely come.

Good luck... and let us know how it goes!

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Yeah, see, that's what I'm concerned about -- I feel real "good" now, but how in the heck do you believe that is gonna' last? My body aches and is stiff in the mornings like it never has been before, yet I "feel" really great (it loosens up after a bit)-- that tells me it's in there, somewhere, locked away and some part of me knows it.

I think Ann is right on about the being strong for everyone else button hasn't let go yet in me and I really need others around me to be strong for me about now....that's as good as I could put my concern. And that's gonna' take persons I can actually have tactile contact with in my life....there is a real limit to what the internet can provide. I'm not really the type to lean on others either -- my whole life has been based on doing for myself in times of personal need -- that ought to be interesting to see how I deal with this one.

All along I've known that I've been supporting everyone else (and quite frankly I love doing that for folks) but never felt supported myself by others in my most vulernable moments. I just know I need the time now to heal me......how that's gonna' actually happen is yet to be written....

Linda

P.S. Probably won't mean much to folks right now, but I've noticed periods in my life where I mysteriously put on weight for no good reason -- got reamed for it in my past and accused of eating binges, etc. that just never happened -- and.....I've gained about 45 pounds since February (kinda' physically miserable from it at the moment and my doctor is going to have a fit if it doesn't come off by the time I go in again!). Even before mom got ill, the only thing I could ever figure was that I'd physically gain weight because "there wasn't enough of me to go around" -- always occurs when I need nuturing personally, but go on just helping more and more "others." Hmmmmmm. Always comes off on it's own when I'm stabilized in my life and well-being too.

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I never went to a face to face support group. The chaplin from the rehab hospital had become our friend. He was concerned about me and suggested a meeting. I just wasn't ready.

Like Carleen I was pissed off at eveyone and everything. I felt like God or fate had played a dirty trick on me and I sure and hell didn't want anyone telling me how I should be feeling! So I didn't go. Time passed and I never did go.

I did join an online support group for people who had lost their partners to cancer. It did help some because I could say what I wanted and if they didn't like it so what? I made a couple of friends there but I found out even the experiences of those who have lost someone to other kinds of cancer are different. I felt like an outsider because of the way lung cancer is looked at. You know the old "Well if he smoked you must have figured he would get cancer some day". Do I need to say more?

So I used my writing to work through my worst times. It wasn't easy but that along with finding this special place gave me what I needed to stumble along until I can see some days of sunshine now instead of all rain.

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