THREE WORDS COME TOMIND WHEN I THINK OF A GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP: PRESENCE, LISTENING & POWERFUL
Having someone be truly present is such a gift these days. Having three, four or eight people be present to you all at the same time can be a powerful experience. Sometimes when someone is grieving it is hard for just one person to carry their pain and emotion. When this pain is brought forth and shared in a safe group setting, the pain can be held differently and softened. Together we are stronger and this strength enables us to carry difficult emotions and to listen to and process them; and what can be processed and integrated, can be healed (Bessel Van der Kolk).
Michael Verde says love is listening. How we all crave to be fully listened to, seen and understood. How often do we have to keep much of us silent and secret for fear of being judged, criticized or shunned. Grief can bring about challenging emotions and experiences. If these are kept buried inside for too long, it may cause feelings of shame, guilt and low self-esteem. When these emotions and experiences can be shared they become less scary, they can be normalized and experienced in a bigger context of human experience and compassion.