Life’s crisis requires healing the emotional damage before getting on with life. Any loss or major change are opportunities for growth but lengthy and painful to accept.

Few people know what it feels like, and no one knows exactly how you feel. But someone who has had a similar experience is the closest to be able to know and understand what you are dealing with.

This is a time in your life when family and friends aren’t helpful, not unless they have had the same thing happen to them at the same time.

Here are a few examples. When a child dies, a terrible life tragedy, only other people who have lost a child can come even close to understanding your sorrow for your loss. Now to refine it more consider how the child died. If it was from cancer or a disease which involved a long illness, the parents had a chance to process and begin the grieving process prior to the death.

But if it was a traumatic, unexpected death like a murder, or a car crash it is more shocking for survivors and takes longer.

In a support group the closer the individual situation the more likely heartfelt empathy for suffering a similar loss can facilitate healing.

So often well-meaning friends or family members try to understand and give support, they just don’t relate closely enough to really comprehend the situation.

In fact, many times caring people say something really offensive with realizing the harm they have done. Like, “He is in a better place,” or “it’s time to get on with your life.”

So for, I have been addressing grief support groups. There are several organized groups available in many places in the United States. A few are Compassionate Friends for parents who have lost a child either before or after birth, Parents of Murdered Children, MADD, for survivors of people killed by a drunk driver. And Survivors of Suicide. They all provide a wonderful service to those who attend.

If you have a loss seek out a local support group and attend meetings as long as it benefits you to go. Additionally, in time You may be able to help others who are experiencing profound pain over a similar loss.

Support groups are beneficial for other situations too. I started a support group in Mexico City for professional therapists who were working with clients in grief. They agreed to meet twice a month and exchange telephone numbers.

Neighborhood watches are another type of group. In fact, any group with common interests can begin a group to offer support and, in some cases, enjoy the company of each other.

This isn’t a new idea. Old fashioned quilting bees did the same thing.

Finally, if you can’t find a group to meet you needs start one. It is easy you just need a location, a date to start and a tentative agenda for how often your group will meet. Then place a notice in a local newspaper, radio station. Online or any other way to communicate with the local population.

When I was a therapist working for a mental health agency, I started two groups. One for People with Multiple Sclerosis and another for family members with a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Both were well attended and were beneficial to the attendees.

Remember the old saying, “United we Stand… divided we fall.” United we survive and alone we suffer more.

By Bethann

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