Dealing with Death of Loved One, Job Loss? Embrace The Healing Power of Support Groups

Thursday, October 21, 2010 13:48

By Ellen Brown

They say that grieving is a lonely process, and if you’re grieving the death of a loved one, you may feel all alone with your feelings. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are support groups in your community and online that you can join, and people there who will understand what you’re going through.

I recently found that to be true, when I participated in a bereavement group through the Hospice of the Western Reserve, after my Mom died. Over the years, I’ve been a part of a number of support groups and often encourage coaching clients to do the same. That’s because there is something comforting about being in the company of people who are traveling a similar path. There is an unspoken understanding, an invisible bond.

In any case, this wonderful bereavement group was a sanctuary away from the bustle of everyday life, a place where it was OK to be where we were at in our healing process, where no one judged us for our tears or our anger or our sense of relief. Groups like these are quite a gift in our crazy busy culture, which is all about hurrying up and getting “over” our grief.

It was a comfort to be embraced by this circle of new friends, where no one asked “aren’t you over that yet?” or told me “you should feel grateful that your mother is finally at peace.” It was a place where we could share our stories and our ways of coping or choose, instead, to rest in our silence. It was also a comfortable venue to learn about the process of grief, and test drive different tools to help us heal.

I  tell you all this, in case you, too, are grieving a loss. Because, whether you’re dealing with the death of a loved one, the loss of your job, or the decline of your health, you don’t have to go it alone.  If you need a little help, consider joining a bereavement group or a job club or a support group for dealing with a chronic disease such as cancer or diabetes.

And never forget that reaching out for help is strength, not a weakness!

So how about YOU? How have support groups helped you? I’d love to hear what you have to say. Please leave a comment here on Stepping Stones.

Are you dealing with a challenging life transition? If so, I’d love to help out. Visit my website at to sign up for an introductory coaching session or a coaching package that’s right for you. Since coaching sessions are conducted by phone, I can work with clients anywhere in the world.

Ellen Brown is a certified professional coach based in Cleveland, OH.

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