What are the Benefits of Grief Support Groups?
Grief is a natural reaction to loss. It can be a strong and overwhelming emotion, whether it’s related to the loss of a loved one, a terminal diagnosis, or the loss of independence due to a disability. Many people have experienced grief related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as it can happen not only due to loss but due to drastic changes in ways of life and daily routines that typically bring comfort and the feeling of stability, as the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes.
The individual experiences of grief can vary significantly, and some people will be able to manage it through support from friends, family, and community. But many will find a grief support group is an optimal avenue for navigating the process. With options available across the country, if you search the term “grief support groups near me” on Google or another search engine, you’re likely to find several options such as capitalcaring.org, providing a wealth of benefits.
Lessening the Sense of Isolation
After a significant loss, grief can feel incredibly lonely, even if you do have loved ones around. If you’re able to share your pain with others who have experienced similar losses, it can be a big help, lessening the sense of isolation. We often associate loneliness with being alone, but it occurs when one’s social relationships aren’t meeting their personal needs. It’s a feeling of discomfort that’s personal, varying drastically from one person to the next. Resolving loneliness caused by grief takes time and effort. Finding ways to connect with others is why being involved in a support group can be so beneficial after a loss.
Support groups can also be used in conjunction with private therapy or counseling. The added support of others, knowing that you’re not alone is often a key part of coping and getting through the grieving process.
Learn About New Coping Skills and Resources
As part of a group, others will share what they’ve done to cope, which means you’re likely to discover more coping skills that can be helpful in your own journey. Participants may also share ideas about books and programs that have been helpful for them to get through difficult situations.
The Validation of Feelings
Hearing others who understand what you’re going through and can empathize offers validation to your emotions and thoughts. You’re likely to leave the discussion with the feeling that there are people who “get it” in a way that’s significantly different from those who haven’t experienced loss. You’ll also understand that there is really no expectation for grieving as everyone has their own process and timeframe.
A Sense of Hope
In a support group, members are likely to be in various stages of the grieving process. Those who are further along can be a beacon of hope to those who more recently experienced loss, modeling the reality that grief can be worked through and that the pain will eventually subside.
Why do people need support?
Grieving is an individual process, which means everyone needs to handle it by themselves first. However, a grief support group can be helpful for the individual on so many levels. When you are working through the whole grieving process with a support group, you will have a safe environment that will help you manage the acceptance of the loss and your feelings towards the trauma you have been through.
There are two groups of people – the ones who think they are strong enough to handle the loss by themselves and the shy ones who do not feel they can share their experience with others. In both ways, people are actually trying to avoid their emotions and feelings and trying to bury them. Trauma needs to be managed in the right way because it can stay inside us and be expressed in other ways through defense systems in the future. For that reason, it is always better to talk with someone and find support in the hard days, so you can free yourself from the feelings that suffocate you. With the support group, you will have the opportunity to identify and find strategies that can be helpful in the process of moving on.
There is an old saying that time heals all wounds. Even though there is no chance you can be the same after experiencing such a traumatic loss, you will learn how to work and go through the grieving process much easier with the support. As a result, you will go back to your life and continue living a happy and meaningful life again.
Support is considered the most effective way to encourage the healing process for an individual. When you hear different experiences and perspectives from the members of the support group, you will see that you are not alone. You will feel accepted and you will be free to release your heavy feelings and to express your emotions. All of that will have a positive impact on your mental health.
There are actually different kinds of grief support groups, so you can find the one that shares the same type of loss as you did. When losses are similar, comfort level increases even more.
The main goal of finding support is helping yourself to enjoy your life again. Logically, when you experience this kind of traumatic loss, you can feel that there is no light at the end of the tunnel and that you are lost. With the support group, you will have a guide towards living your life again and actually enjoying it. The truth is you will never forget what you have been through and you will always miss the person you lose. However, we should not focus on the loss of the person; we should focus on appreciating the time we are given with that person and actually the chance we had to know them and enjoy their company. Life is unpredictable and you never know when someone you love is not going to be there. Even this sounds horrible, this is the truth we need to accept.
In the end, we must acknowledge one thing – it is up to us how we are going to accept and deal with the bad things in life. Why do not we choose to be optimistic and to look at the bright side of the story? We should accept and be grateful for the things that life gave us. Nothing is perennial, and this should motivate us to keep living the best we can and be grateful for the people that we meet in our lives.