Drug testing

When Sorrow Is Too Great to Be Borne Alone, Support Groups Reach Out

Not long after Arlyn died, my husband and I decided to attend a support group program run by the local Hospice organization. We felt lost, afraid, and alone, and we desperately needed to understand the emotional roller coaster we were on.

So the night of the first support meeting, we drove 30 miles to the church where the meeting was held. The room we walked into had a single row of fold-up chairs arranged in a circle, refreshments on a table, and a friendly woman welcomed us.

We had arrived early; all of the seats were empty. After I glanced at my husband, to make sure he had not turned around and walked out, we sat down quietly on the seats closest to us and to the door.

Shortly after we arrived, a few other people wandered in and took seats also. We nodded at them nervously, wondering if their stories were like ours, wondering if they had nightmares as bad as we did.

And then, the meeting began. The facilitator spoke. She welcomed us all, stated that everyone in the room had lost a loved one, and asked us to introduce ourselves.

One by one, the people present stated their names and briefly told us about why they were there. Some of them shed tears as they talked.

As each one spoke, my mind was trying to take in a situation outside of my experience. How could this be? We thought we were the only ones in the world who were grieving. We were not alone, after all!

For the next couple hours, we talked - and listened. We discovered that some of our feelings matched the feelings of others there. Perhaps we were not abnormal, after all!

Best of all, though, when we said Arlyn's name, and when we said the word suicide, no one blinked an eye! No one got up and walked out, no one replied by saying, Get over it! She's gone! And no one even hinted that it was our fault.

During the meeting, some of us cried. No one tried to stop us. During the meeting, some of us talked about funerals, and no one squirmed. It was amazing.

We were the only ones in the group who had come because of the death of a daughter, and we were the only ones mourning a suicide death, but even then, the connection we felt with others was strong. We were not alone.

By the time we left the meeting, I felt emotionally drained, but that was exactly what I had needed. A safe place to talk, to vent, to connect. A place where I could find someone to walk with me.

That's what a support group is: a safe place. It may be an AA group for those who struggle with alcohol, an abuse group for those who have been victimized by abusers, a group for people addicted to gambling, or a grief group for those who are trying to survive the loss of a loved one by death.

It's a place to go to so you can connect with others who have almost walked in your shoes.

Some support groups are run by professionals. They generally have a program to follow, materials to take home with information, and they are led by people with college degrees. They sometimes encourage people to set goals, and they sometimes offer therapy.

Other support groups are lead by those who have no official certification, but whose experience may teach them more about the common issue than anything they could read about in books.

I have participated in both types of support groups, and I find value in both. They meet different needs in different ways.

I personally think the value of peer-lead support groups are greatly undervalued, however. When people sit in a circle and share their stories and hearts with others who will not pass judgement on them, others who truly do know how they feel, a huge burden is often lifted from their shoulders.

Lifting that emotional burden seems to be the key to survival, the key to living life again - as opposed to being pulled down into deep depression and not finding the strength to come back up.

The best thing about peer lead support groups is that they are free! The worst thing about them is that there are not enough of them around.

Quote of the day:

When it seems that our sorrow is too great to be borne, let us think of the great family of the heavy-hearted into which our grief has given us entrance, and inevitably, we will feel about us their arms, their sympathy, their understanding. - Helen Keller

By Karyl Chastain Beal

Mission in life before Arlyn's death was teaching children. Now, it's teaching those left behind after suicide to survive and live again. It's also educating the public about suicide and suicide grief.

Beal is a certified thanatologist via the Association on Death Education and Counseling. Owner if several websites devoted to suicide support and education. Has published writings in Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul, the Journal for the National Alliance on Mentally Ill, Seventeen Magazine and various newspapers.

Arlyn's memorial website - http://virtual-memoria ls.com/servlet/ViewMemorials?memid=7461&pageno=1

Parents of Suicides - http://parentsofsuicide.com

Grieving Parents - http://grieving-parents.com

limousine chicago service
In The News:

Liberation

It is one thing to be free; it is quite... Read More

The Lesson of a Mothers Death

Dedicated to my mother, FlorenceNovember 11, 1920 ? May 25,... Read More

Whens Sarah Coming Home? Helping Your Child Understand Death

For most children, their first experience with grief comes with... Read More

We are the Reflection of our Lives: How to Survive Loss & Humility

Everyday, I look in the mirror to see the face... Read More

Euthanasia: How Will I Know When its Time?

Pippin needed assistance from his owner to get to his... Read More

Is Death Really the End or the Window to A New Beginning?

Earlier this month I learned a dear friend had been... Read More

When Sorrow Is Too Great to Be Borne Alone, Support Groups Reach Out

Not long after Arlyn died, my husband and I decided... Read More

Physiological Consequences of Carrying Emotional Trauma

Although many of us carry some form of emotional trauma... Read More

Loss Involves Change - The Transformative Power of Loss and Change

There are many experiences in life, which remind us that... Read More

Terminal Illness- Death and Grief

No one likes to think about illness and death, when... Read More

Then and Now

Over one hundred years ago, during the Victorian era, death... Read More

Dying On the Inside: A Childs Grief

The impatient tooting of a car horn startled us into... Read More

Terrorism Worries: 10 Ways to Turn Fear into Hope

September 11th changed America and chances are it changed you.... Read More

Death, Close and Personal

I got an email recently from someone whose mother died.... Read More

How to Deal with Suffering

Reflect upon the following questions, and answer those you feel... Read More

Online Memorial ? A Dedication of Love for Your Departed Loved Ones

Life has always been a journey, a journey of finding... Read More

When Change Comes (Dealing With Grief and Loss)

Needless to say, the time after loss is volatile and... Read More

How to Deal with Suicide and Euthenasia

The following is a report that indicates how you might... Read More

How Can I Transform Tragedy?

There is only one place where tragedy occurs, and that... Read More

Beyond A Mothers Nightmare To Radical Forgiveness

It was a moment I will never forget.On February 22,... Read More

What this Rabbi Learned from Not being Re-hired

It's a familiar story, and I have been through it... Read More

You Have to Show Up: On Small Miracles (Okay, maybe not so small)

I hadn't intended to go to my cousin's funeral.That sounds... Read More

Death Poem

During the two years of my husband's terminal illness, death... Read More

One Stray Tear

The delight lit my face as the couple turned the... Read More

Online Monument ? An Ever-lasting Tribute to Your Departed Loved Ones

Memories are never to be buried along with the loss... Read More

led parking lot lighting cheap led bulbs Pete's produce ..