STRUGGLING TO COME TO TERMS WITH THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE?
We offer our heartfelt sympathy if you have suffered bereavement through coronavirus or under any circumstance during this difficult and challenging time.
Due to the pandemic our monthly support group meetings have had to be cancelled but we are trialling virtual meetings hosted by our Counsellor Mike Dennis and our care co-ordinator Judith Southart. If you would be interested in joining one of our sessions please contact Judith at the surgery on 01925 303250 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to join a meeting its ok if you just want to listen, you dont have to talk
For further advice and support following the death of a loved one please click Coping with a death leaflet.doc
My name is Mike Dennis and I’m a counsellor. Towards the end of 2016 I approached Springfields Medical Centre about the possibility of setting up a Bereavement Support Group. My idea was to provide people who were struggling to come to terms with the loss of a loved one, with somewhere to come and talk to others about how they were feeling, and reassuring them that they are not alone.
Working with Judith Southart and Emma Bilbao from the practice, we decided to do something simple, not complicated; no activities, and no creative work, just a safe and confidential place where people could talk about a loved one that they had lost; sharing thoughts and feelings with others who had experienced loss themselves, and knowing that such feelings are perfectly normal.
In January 2017 we had our first full meeting. A small group, but it was truly humbling for us to hear people sharing their stories. Stories of people who had fought brave battles against horrible diseases, and stories of those who had been taken suddenly and unexpectedly; stories of the young and the old, and stories of brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, and best friends.
No-one is forced to speak – some feel able to from the start and dive straight in, but for others time is needed before they feel comfortable enough to open up, and that is something we have plenty of. The group meets monthly on a Thursday night, from 7pm to 9pm. Refreshments are provided, but this is by no means a case of tea and sympathy. We’re all just average people that have, at some time in our life, experienced loss.
The grieving process is different for every person, for every loss they experience. For example, two people who have lost a parent, experience that loss in totally different ways, and no-one else is qualified to make comments like, “You need to pull yourself together” or “Come on – it’s been six months” – our experience of bereavement is unique. People talk about the stages of grief, but these different feelings can occur within the space of a month, or a day, or an hour – it’s completely normal. There’s no manual or handbook or set of instructions for how grief works – you just find your own way through it the best way you can. Maybe talking about it would help.