SACO — In an effort to offer support and comfort to community members coping with the loss of a loved one, Good Shepherd Parish in Saco conducts a grieving ministry to walk alongside individuals needing guidance through one of life’s most difficult experiences.
Grief Share is a faith-based, supportive group that will meet each Thursday evening in a conference room of Most Holy Trinity Church, located on 271 Main Street in Saco. The meetings will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. from March 16 through May 25 (no gathering on Holy Thursday, April 6) with each week focusing on a different theme (themes and registration information listed below). The support group will be led by individuals who understand what grieving people are going through and want to help. Participants will also have access to resources that will help them recover and rebuild. The weekly sessions offer Bible-based support, prayer, video presentations, and group support discussions. Participants can visit or join the group at any time and attend as many or as few meetings as they like. Here is a list of the weekly themes:
Week 1 (March 16)
Is It Normal?
The session will discuss why grief experiences are harder than imagined, why the intensity and duration of emotions are normal and appropriate, and why there is reason for hope.
Week 2 (March 23)
Challenges of Grief
The session will offer eye-opening reasons for why grief is so overwhelming; discuss the overlooked, yet common, effects grief has on mind, body, and spirit; and explain how to get things done when you don’t feel like you have any energy.
Week 3 (March 30)
The Journey of Grief
The session will offer helpful goals to set on your journey of grief and ways to deal with those who try to rush you through your grief. It will also feature discussion and information on how long the journey of grief typically lasts, why it’s important to put effort into your healing, how the events surrounding your loved one’s death affect your grief, and the best ways to deal with your loved one’s belongings.
Week 4 (April 13)
Grief and Your Relationship
The session will show how the death of a loved one affects friendships, why solitude can be a blessing and a curse, and how to deal with friends who don’t understand your grief.
Week 5 (April 20)
The session examines the fact that God wants us to share our feelings with Him, why being honest with God is an expression of faith, and what God has to say to us about our “why” questions.
Week 6 (April 27)
Guilt and Anger
The session explains how to deal with false guilt, grieve conflicted relationships, and handle grief-related anger.
Week 7 (May 4)
The session explores how traumatic experiences affect grief, how to deal with nightmares and flashbacks, and how our thinking affects our emotions.
Week 8 (May 11)
The session shows how to prevent getting stuck in grief, common misconceptions that hinder healing, and why our path to healing is not always smooth.
Week 9 (May 18)
Lessons of Grief
The session looks at an often-overlooked reason that grief is so painful, why going to Church can be so difficult, the benefit of helping others, who we are now that a loved one is gone, why nobody grieves perfectly, and what grief can teach about relationships.
Week 10 (May 25)
Heaven and Where Do I Go From Here?
The session discusses why moving forward is a necessity and a process, and why peace and pain will always coexist.
In the last four years, those who have participated in the program share appreciation and gratitude for the comfort they received:
“It amazes me how quickly we all bonded, and how it changed my life.”
“I feel safe at these meetings; people sharing their feelings honestly and it is helping me! These meetings are what I needed.”
“The people in the films helped me find much encouragement and comfort from the Word of God.”
“Attending the program has been a spiritual place or refuge for me. I’ve learned I’m not alone and many of the daily challenges I face, others face, too.”
“Sharing our stories has enriched my life and brought me closer to my faith.”
To register or for more information, call 207-282-3321 or visit www.goodshepherdparish.us/grieving-ministry.