Grief Support Groups: What You Need to Know

Dealing with grief is a challenging and complicated process that we all experience differently. Different people find comfort in different ways. For some, grief support groups help them cope and handle their emotions in a healthy way. Naturally, support groups aren’t for everybody. But anyone who finds comfort in expressing their feelings in a safe space can benefit from it, especially if they’re sharing it with people going through the same thing.

It’s important to note that going to a grief support group is an entirely personal decision, which means you can’t insist if they say no. Indeed, you can suggest it, but sometimes we may say things that make our grieving friend feel pressured or overwhelmed, even if our intentions are good.

How grief support groups work

For starters, all support groups are unique and different, like the people in them. The general idea is that these groups allow you to share your thoughts and emotions with people in a similar situation. Sharing your feelings can provide comfort for those who grieve. Additionally, it’s also a great way to come to terms with the loss of a loved one. Support groups can meet at regular intervals and are usually led by professional facilitators.

During these sessions, you’re encouraged to share your unspoken feelings, share stories about the person who passed away and learn about healthy coping mechanisms. When we keep our feelings to ourselves, it can get overwhelming pretty fast. It’s harder to do our daily activities if our mind is somewhere else. When someone’s hurting pretty bad, they can even lose their appetite and willingness to do chores. Share these emotions, so they don’t accumulate and keep you from moving forward.

How others can help

There are many ways to experience grief, and in a support group, you’ll find people in various stages of grief. Being with others is an excellent reminder that you are not alone. Grief can get isolating. While people’s emotions are unique, you may connect with other people’s stories and struggles and find that they’re not too different from your own. Feeling understood can give us strength in a difficult time.

When people share their stories, it’s an opportunity for you to get insight and advice on what to do and how to handle grief. Of course, different things work for different people but hearing what works for others can give you an idea of what you can do to feel better. Lastly, a support group is about also providing support to others. You are being comforted by people who’re also mourning. At the same time, you’re providing valuable insight and support to them as well.