Additional Local Support Group Resources
 
*  HEALs - Healing after loss of suicide offers support to all survivors affected by the loss of a loved one to suicide. Meetings are at 6:30-8:00 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. Pozez
Center (north side of Stormont Vail).
 
Contact Information:
Sandy Reams 785-249-3792 or email TopekaHeals@gmail.com
 
* Pregnancy and Infant Lose Group - Meets 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Pozez Education Center.  The group, which has regular meetings to share information and experiences, also has a blog for members that offers communication, resources and support.
 
If you are interested in learning more about the blog, please email lrosen@stormontvail.
org. For information call (785) 354-5225.
 
* From Victims to Survivors - Support group for families who have had a loved one murdered. The group meets the 4th or last Wednesday of each month at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship,
4775 S.W. 21st.
 
For more information, call Bill Lucero at 232-5958 or see http://fromvictimstosurvivors.com
 

The Compassionate Friends does not endorse a specific faith or religion, but want those who are interested in seeking out other resources to know GriefShare is available in Topeka at more than one location.  One of the Topeka’s TCF Chapter attendees facilitates GS at a Methodist Church – GS is based on Christianity, but does not promote any particular denomination.

 How GriefShare works

It may be hard for you to feel optimistic about the future right now. If you’ve lost a spouse, child, family member, or friend, you’ve probably found there are not many people who understand the deep hurt you feel.

This can be a confusing time when you feel isolated and have many questions about things you’ve never faced before.

“Going to GriefShare feels like having warm arms wrapped around you when you’re shivering.”

GriefShare groups meet weekly to help you face these challenges and move toward rebuilding your life. Each GriefShare session has three distinct elements:

Video seminar with experts

Each week your GriefShare group will watch a video seminar featuring top experts on grief and recovery subjects. These videos are produced in an interesting television magazine format featuring expert interviews, real-life case studies, dramatic reenactments, and on-location video.

Support group discussion with focus

After viewing the video, you and the other group members will spend time as a support group, discussing what was presented in that week’s video seminar and what is going on in your lives.

Personal study and reflection

During the week you will have the opportunity to use your workbook for further personal study of the grieving process and to help sort out your emotions through journaling. Your group will spend time discussing questions and comments from the workbook study.

Being a part of a GriefShare grief recovery support group

“I’ve never been to a support group like this before. I don’t know what to expect.”

Most people quickly feel comfortable and accepted in their GriefShare group. They discover there are others who have the same kind of feelings they do and who understand the hurt they feel and the loss they have experienced. Here is an overview of the GriefShare experience:

You’ll probably feel a little nervous about going to GriefShare the first time. Those feelings go away quickly for most people, usually during the first session they attend. GriefShare is a warm, caring environment designed to help you.

You’ll discover there are people who understand your hurts, emotions, and painful experiences! When someone you love dies, it’s common to feel isolated. In GriefShare, you’ll find that you are not alone, that there are others who understand what you are going through.

You’ll learn helpful, practical information that will help you recover from the pain of grief and loss. The GriefShare DVD videos feature top experts on grief recovery subjects and case studies of people just like you, who have been through the grief experience.

You’ll have the chance to talk about your experiences. It can be very healing to tell others what you are going through. The support group sessions include a time to talk about what you’ve seen on the GriefShare videos and what is going on in your life. And while you have the opportunity to tell your story, there’s never pressure for you to do so if you don’t feel like it.

You’ll have a workbook for personal study and to write down things you’ve learned. The workbook provides opportunity for further study about the grief process and personal reflection about your grief. The weekly journaling questions help you sort through your emotions. You can tear out and carry with you the perforated “Care Cards” for words of encouragement during the lowest points of your day.

It’s sometimes hard to move on in life when you are still dealing with the grief and emptiness that happens after a loved one dies. You’ll learn how to go through a healthy season of grieving, then begin transitioning to emotional and spiritual wholeness. We call this “your journey from mourning to joy.”

You’ll become part of a “family.” GriefShare group members often tell us that they feel like their group has become a family, that they made new friends and are around people they can relate to.

You’ll discover hope for the future. While things may look bleak now, you’ll learn ways to restore your hope and rebuild your life. Many GriefShare alumni tell us the program helped them move from deep grief to peace and a sense of joy again. 

Weekly session topics

Each week your group will watch a video seminar on DVD. The GriefShare videos cover topics essential to your recovery from the hurt of grief and loss. The videos are produced in a compelling television magazine format and feature interviews with grief recovery experts, mini-dramas, on-location video, and real-life stories of people who have experienced the death of a loved one.

Location:  Susanna Wesley United Methodist Church, 7433 SW 29th St, Topeka KS, Thursdays, beginning August 31, from 6:30-8:30.  Call Shari Combs at 478-3697, register online at www.griefshare.org, or call Lori Neddermeyer at 785-221-1003.

 

Here is a snapshot of key themes found in each of the 13 GriefShare session videos.

1. Is This Normal? 

  • You’ll discover why your grief experience is harder than you imagined
  • Why the intensity and duration of your emotions are normal and appropriate
  • Despite how you feel right now, there is reason for hope

2. Challenges of Grief

  • You’ll learn more eye-opening reasons why your pain is so overwhelming
  • Some of the overlooked, yet common, effects grief has on your mind, body, and spirit
  • How to get things done when you don’t feel like you have any energy

3. The Journey of Grief – Part One –

  • You’ll learn helpful goals to set on your journey of grief
  • How to deal with those who try to rush you through your grief
  • How long the journey of grief typically lasts

4. The Journey of Grief – Part Two –

  • You’ll learn why it’s important to put effort into your healing
  • How the events surrounding your loved one’s death affect your grief
  • The best ways to deal with your loved one’s belongings

5. Grief and Your Relationships –

  • You’ll find out how the death of a loved one affects your friendships
  • Why solitude can be a blessing and a curse
  • How to deal with friends who don’t understand your grief

6. Why? –

  • This session demonstrates that God wants you to share your feelings with Him
  • Why being honest with God is an expression of faith
  • What God has to say to you about your “why” question 

7. Guilt and Anger –

  • You’ll learn how to deal with false guilt
  • How to grieve conflicted relationships
  • How to handle grief-related anger

8. Complicating Factors –

  • You’ll begin to see how traumatic experiences affect grief
  • How to deal with nightmares and flashbacks
  • How your thinking affects your emotions

9. Stuck –

  • You’ll discover how to prevent getting stuck in grief
  • Common misconceptions that hinder healing
  • Why your path to healing isn’t always smooth

10. Lessons of Grief – Part One (combined with #11)

  • You’ll become aware of an often-overlooked reason that grief is so painful
  • Why going to church can be so difficult
  • The benefits of helping others

11. Lessons of Grief – Part Two – (combined with #10)

  • This session provides a more complete picture of who you are now that your loved one is gone
  • Why no one grieves perfectly
  • What grief can teach you about relationships

12. Heaven –

  • Session 12 answers questions about heaven and the afterlife, such as what heaven is like
  • Whether you should communicate with your deceased loved one
  • Whether near-death experiences are reliable descriptions of heaven
  • And many more

13. What Do I Live for Now? –

  • You’ll learn why moving forward is a necessity
  • Why it’s a process
  • Why peace and pain will always coexist