Q&A: How GriefShare transformed my life
Written by Brad Jenkins

Teri’s grandson had just turned 2 when he died. That was in 2020, during the depths of COVID lockdowns. A few months later, still grieving and isolated because of the pandemic, Teri joined GriefShare, which she had heard would be “a place where I could find support in the grieving process.

“Though things were an emotionally raw blur at the time, it felt like the timing was right to participate,” Teri says. “Going to GriefShare gave me a reason to get out of the house. It became my new adventure… Later I learned that it’s called a grief journey. It was what God had called me to do in that season.”

I asked Teri about the journey.

What kinds of things about the group helped you in the midst of your grief?

The GriefShare video “lessons” are extremely well done by experienced Christian professionals and individuals whose lives have been seasoned by grief. There is great support walking through grief with others who are experiencing the same things at the same time.

On the last day of GriefShare, participants launch balloons to remember their loved ones.

What takeaways have been particularly meaningful?

Healing comes through working and dealing with the grief; not by ignoring or brushing it aside. We cannot go around or under grief; the way of healing is to go through it. And Jesus is my only true source of comfort; He is always there; I can take all my questions, pain and sorrow to Him, laying it all at the feet of Jesus. He will never let me go nor will He ever tire of hearing my laments.

How did the group help your grief journey?

It played a huge role in that the videos and subsequent discussions provided a lot of answers about what I was feeling and experiencing. GriefShare gave me tangible ways to get meaningful direction through the whole grieving process. The workbook exercises were instrumental in helping me draw closer to Christ in my personal daily walk with Him.

Through the work God has done in me through GriefShare, my life has been transformed from a person who thought my purpose in life was over because I was no longer a grandmother to a person vitally experiencing all the good things God has in store for me to do in this world, especially serving the body of Christ. I am presently enjoying the privilege of serving as a GriefShare facilitator to walk alongside others in their own grief journeys.

What would you say to those who may be anxious about showing up to a group and sharing their story?

Honestly, the hardest part is just showing up. As it says in I Peter, “cast all your cares and anxieties on Jesus.” He alone has the power to help you walk through this dark period of your life. And remember this: There is no pressure or obligation to share your story, and everything is kept confidential. It’s a very safe and warm place to experience support on the grief journey.

At the end of the weekly sessions, when the group wrapped up, I understand you all did a balloon release to celebrate the memory of your loved ones. What was that like?

The balloon release was our designated way to celebrate both the memory of our loved ones and the completion of GriefShare. It was a very meaningful and beautiful sight to behold; watching our balloons gracefully and peacefully lift toward heaven against that day’s clear blue sky.

If you’ve lost a loved one and would like to be part of a group that can help you navigate the journey, join us for our spring series, which begins Feb. 16. The group meets Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and will meet through May 11. Interested? Contact Pastor Scott at [email protected] or 540-434-6551.