Every Monday at 5:00 pm, you will find a distinctive group of individuals attending the Community Bereavement Group at the Mesquite Library. There is no age, gender, or status requirement to be a part of this group. Unfortunately, membership in this group revolves around the loss of a loved one. The group is facilitated by Nathan McClure, a clinical social worker, and has been meeting for several years. It is advertised as “a supportive and educational group for all who are experiencing grief resulting from the loss of a loved one” but it is so much more.
The Bereavement Group is a safe place to share your grief. Talking about loss and grief normalizes the feelings you are having. Attending is not only beneficial for you but it helps others in similar situations because there is strength in sharing your journey. As Nathan often says, “It is not a race to get through quickly. Grieving takes time and the time it takes is different for each person because every experience is unique.” Grief groups instill hope, share information, and provide the opportunity to heal through helping others.
Attending a grief group is often suggested for those who have lost loved ones and many people report that grief groups are helpful in dealing with their feelings after a loss. The following are considerations before attending a grief group. There will always be positives and negatives in group meetings.
- A grief group can offer potential benefits like no cost, no commitment, and availability. However, you need to realize when there is no cost or no commitment required for an activity, some may opt to skip. Attendance can be spotty and ever changing.
- Groups can be led by peers and others led by mental health professionals. You need to decide which kind of group appeals to you.
- The groups will vary according to the experiences of the members. You may feel more comfortable in a group for a specific type of loss.
For some, attending grief groups may not be what they need. As a matter of fact, it is very normal for some to feel they fit in with the group while others find they don’t. If you don’t fit into the group you attend, don’t give up. There could be another group that is right for you.