My Grief Journey
By Jodi Decker
Dedicated to Marie F. Nasch
This past week I remembered the fourth anniversary of my mom’s passing. I took wildflowers from my garden to her grave site. I wondered if this was an appropriate topic to share, but this topic of loss affects all of us. For some of us, it will be a long time in the future. For some of us, it may have been a long time in the past. And, unfortunately, for the rest of us, it may have been very recent. My heart goes out to your wounded hearts.
I was so fortunate that Vineyard has a Grief Share small group. At the time of my loss, I was unhappy I was now “eligible” to join this group. I thought I’d be trapped in a room with a bunch of people crying non-stop and being told that their loved one was in a better place. I was so wrong.
The leaders were loving, encouraging, and supportive. The members were nonjudgmental. If you wanted to sit there and cry the entire time, you could. If you wanted to sulk in silence, you could. If you wanted to ask difficult questions, you could. If you wanted to talk, you could (as long as you took turns). What I found there was a support system. What I found there were others who understood what I was going through.
The stories others shared were, in turn, tragic. Inspirational. Unbearable. Helpful. Relatable. Affirming. Loving. Encouraging. Shocking. Hopeful. Informative. Peaceful. And, believe it or not, participants shared funny memories. That was the biggest surprise to me. If anyone walked into the Grief Share small group on the day we were laughing, they would think they walked through the wrong door or that we had all lost our minds. At first, the laughter almost seemed irreverent. But then, it became healing, because laughter is a step back towards “normalcy.”
Somehow, my car drove me there every Sunday afternoon. But, by the time I left, I felt more in control, and that I was at the driver’s wheel. I could face another day, another week, another month. I learned that each loss is different. It also depends on each person’s individual grief journey, as well as their relationship with the person they lost.
Whatever the case, the grief journey doesn’t need to be traveled alone. The Grief Share small group has a simple format. There’s a video lesson, a workbook application, and a group discussion. There’s time for prayer. Even if you have the most wonderfully supportive family and friends, the Grief Share ministry focuses on spiritual understanding and healing. As the ministry has expanded, there are even smaller table shares that deal with loss of a parent, loss of a spouse, or loss of a child. Someone there understands your journey. Grief Share helped me in my healing process, and it also better prepares us to help someone else transition through this journey.
11 thoughts on “My Grief Journey”
Thanks so much for sharing that Jodi!
Thank you for your posting. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your Mom. My Dad just passed on Jan 9th quite unexpectedly in our home. I still cannot go into his room to get anything out of there or to put anything away. I know it’s going to be a long journey but I know God is leading me thru this journey. Thank you for sharing about Grief Share. I think a few of us needed to hear this.
It’s always so inspiring to me to hear another’s journey toward wholeness especially when the church has been the key motivator. God is good!
Oh, dear Jodi, I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sure you miss your mommy very much.
And I thank you for writing this beautiful, touching post to let others know about the wonderful resource available at our church (and other churches) for those who are grieving the loss of a dear one.
I had a friend who was terrified to go to Grief Share, because she thought exactly what you did before you went to one of their meetings.
You are a blessing.
Thank you for sharing. It is important for people to know they’re not alone in their grief process.
JODI, you made me cry. It is all about Jesus.
Thank you for your story of grief. I love the phrase “Grief Journey” Indeed, it is a journey, a process, without a definitive destination to be achieved, only experienced. I remember my Mentor, confidant, and very Good friend today, Hilda Chapman, who passed on to the “Church Triumphant” even 13 years ago today (28 Feb, 2002).
Her Wisdom, Love and impact Still touches me, maybe even more so as I elder…. Thank you all for sharing, and I pray that He may be our comfort through our journey.
Yes, thank you for sharing Jodi. I lost my son a few months ago. He was only 20 years old. I’m also thankful for Grief Share. It really does help to know that I’m not alone, even though my grief is totally unique and no one will truly understand because my relationship with Zac was just as unique. However it does help to listen and learn from the videos and discussion. One of the most valuable things I’ve learned is that I can continue to live, even with great sorrow.
Thank you for sharing and encouraging us! I too have attended Grief Share and I didn’t want to at first…but each time I went I discovered Jesus working through the leaders, the videos and the other folks who were grieving along with me. I began to have hope that I might make it through the terrible loss I had experienced and even be able to have a new life without the man I loved so much. A life that Jesus still had for me to live…He’s not finished with me yet!! I recommend Grief Share to everyone I encounter who is experiencing the loss of a loved one….God bless.
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I didn’t want to write anything too depressing! I think having a support system is crucial. I’m very grateful the church provided that. Even though we all have “limited time” on earth, it still seems so shocking when we lose a loved one. The healing takes time. That doesn’t mean we won’t always miss that person, here on earth! That’s ok…it’s important to remember them. Who wants to be forgettable?! You all encouraged ME. When I was going through this, I actually walked around church with the irrational thought that I’m the only one who had a death in the family! I needed Grief Share to ground my feet back in reality, but lift my spirits so they could pick my head off the ground when I needed it. xoxo
A good friend of mine, Kathe Wunnenberg sponsors this group for women who have lost unborn, newborns or children. Just passing the info on…saw it today. It’s all Christian based.
“I’m so excited about Hopelifters 6th annual day away bus trip for women who have lost an unborn, newborn or child of any age. This year’s theme: Comfort for your soul. For more information, to sponsor a woman or to register go to http://www.hopeonwheels.net“