Fort Macleod residents dealing with grief can get some support from others in the same situation.
A free grief recovery group gets under way Monday, May 21 under the direction of counsellor Jeff Nemeth.
Nemeth has run grief recovery groups three times in Pincher Creek and twice in Brocket.
“It’s really the group dynamics that make it work,” Nemeth said. “I’ve had several people say, ‘I wish I had this information 20 years ago’.”
The group will meet each Monday from 7-9 p.m. with guidance by Nemeth, whose company Windblown Counselling has offices in Fort Macleod and Pincher Creek.
Nemeth in the past has worked with groups of seven to 15 adults up to age 85.
The workshop over eight weeks explores the cycles and tasks of grieving and provides people with a chance to make sense of the feeling and pain that accompany a loss such as death, illness, divorce and career loss.
In addition to using video and other methods to teach, Nemeth sets the stage by sharing his own story of grief.
“Once people start telling their stories there is an instant connection with the other folks,” Nemeth said. “They have that connection. They support each other through it.”
Those shared stories serve to bring people together by creating empathy for the others in the group.
“That kind of opens it up and creates trust. Once that sharing starts, it’s amazing the bonding that happens.
Nemeth does some teaching about grief at the start of each session that shape the discussion that night.
Sessions cover topics such as:
- What is grief.
- How to get through the emotional response of grief and loss.
- Help for the feelings of loneliness guilt and anger.
- How grief comes and goes.
- Life after loss.
People learn right away there is no specific time line for grief.
Normal grief takes three to eight years to pass, but society tends to expect it to happen sooner.
“Our society says you have to hurry up and get over it,” Nemeth said.
Grief is personal and effects everyone in a different way, and people grieve over different things.
“You can grieve over anything you’re attached to,” Nemeth said. “The more you’re attached to something, the more it hurts.”
While the information that is presented is valuable, Nemeth said the people are most important.
“It’s the relationships you build with the other people that helps somebody through their grief,” Nemeth said. “You realize you’re not the only one.”
Pre-registration is required, since a minimum of five people is required for the group. Contact Jeff Nemeth at 403-632-5106.