After the loss of a loved one, we experience a wide variety of feelings and emotions. The ever-changing emotions we experience with grief can catch us off guard, causing us to act out of character, or differently than our typical personality and demeanor.
We all need a support system to help us as we move through our grief journey. While family and friends are vital, unless they have experienced a close personal loss, they most likely don’t fully “get it.” That is where support groups can become a valuable resource. In a support group, you will find 10 or so new comrades also living life after loss.
Grief support groups offer companionship and understanding from others who have experienced a similar loss, and are experiencing the similar challenges that living with grief brings.
In a culture that often avoids talking about loss, support groups give you the opportunity to share your story openly and guilt-free. You also have the opportunity to hear the stories of others and talk about coping day-to-day, as well as on the most difficult days of our grief journeys.
If you are looking for a support system in your grief journey, you should consider support groups. You will likely find the following things there:
- Emotional and physical support in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
- Support and understanding from others who have experienced a similar loss.
- The opportunity to begin the healing process through sharing your own story and hearing the stories of others.
- Coping skills to help you through the most difficult days of your grief journey.
- Hope through companionship with people who “get it” and understand first-hand what you’re going through.
- The opportunity to discover new traditions and ideas to keep loved ones present in your hearts and in your memories.
- Increased understanding of how children and other family members react to loss.
- Permission to grieve and permission to live a happy productive life.
In the resources  section of Hello Grief, you can search for local resources by state, including support groups.
The most important thing is – take care of yourself. Should you choose to do so by seeking out the support of a grief group, or
connecting one-on-one with a counselor or therapist, remember to take care of yourself. Grief is a life-long journey. Continue to seek out the resources you need to live a healthy, happy life.