November 25th, 2012, 14:24
I was doing some organizing today and came across a chart of various counseling organizations -- many of which offer grief support. One is particular was also recommended by a co-worker.
Last Sunday, when I could not stop crying, I thought that maybe I should give it a try.
If you have done and in-person grief support group, would you mind please sharing a little bit of your experience? Did you find it helpful? Would you do it again?
December 2nd, 2012, 20:58
Since I posted this question, I have had my own experience with this. As I found myself not being able to accept that David is not coming back, I thought maybe it would help me to be in a group setting in real life where I could be among others who were also dealing with this pain.
I e-mailed a center that was recommended by a co-worker. They said first an individual session, then group. They e-mailed a little while later saying that they were hosting a once-a-year "Coping With the Holidays" open group in two days. I signed up.
Long story short, it was a fail. The leader knows her stuff (20 years in hospice and grief counseling). However, there were way too many people -- 30+. There was no organization. It started 15 minutes late and ended 15 minutes early. The leader did not do any kind of ice-breaker conversation to get people to feel comfortable enough to talk. She talked for about 10 minutes and opened the floor up for "questions" or "particular things you are struggling with."
One whole family of about 6 or 7 people, who were clients of the center, had the floor for about 30 minutes. Another 10 minutes were divided between three other people's struggles. Three minutes for somebody to read a poem she wrote. And, at the END of the session, the leader had everybody say briefly "who they were there to remember."
I expected more structure. I expected less people. I expected the leader to include everybody in the conversation. There were literally about 20 people who never opened their mouth till the very end when their turn came. I expected the leader to gently put a stop to distracting side conversations.
I left irritated and disappointed.
I would be open to trying a small group (8-10) of people who are all in a similar boat (loss of fiance, partner, spouse) and not a mix of all losses.