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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

“Getting through Grief"

As we draw closer to Samaritan's fall Bereavement Groups, I am again reminded of the loss of my mother. Knowing that people can grieve in different ways, I have a deeper understanding of my own grieving process.

My mother had been very sick for a very long time. I watched her slip away slowly as each of her bodily systems began shutting down. When she reached what Imy mother and me call "her point of no return," it was still another 18 months or so before she passed. Not being around sickness and death everyday, I was amazed by how long this process took.

She experienced all of the end stage of life symptoms long before her life ended. It was during this extended period I felt myself grieving for her. My mother as I had known her was gone. She still spoke to me, but she seemed like a ghost of herself. I realize that during this time I had been grieving the loss of my "healthy" mother. The one who baked homemade bread and humongous cheescake and spent too much on Christmas presents.

When God finally called her, my grief changed. It became mixed with relief that she was no longer in pain. The part that hurt the most was that I wasn't at her side when it happened.

This is the first time I've written about this experience, and although it brings back sadness and pain, it is also therapeutic for me.

If you have experienced the loss of a love one at least three months ago, consider participating in Samaritan's Bereavement Groups. The fact that they're free of charge is, by far, not the only benefit. Being around others who are grieving helps you feel less alone. Learning about the bereavement process and having the opportunity to share with others helps promote healing. People often form bonds of friendship with others in the group.

Call Samaritan at 412-741-7430 to sign up for our September/October sessions. The group runs six Thursdays beginning September 20th at 7 p.m. and will take place at the Sharon Community Presbyterian Church in Moon Township.