AARP’s "Prepare to Care: A Resource Guide for Families" can help make the job more manageable. Here’s how to receive a free copy.

Reply
Treasured Social Butterfly
1
Kudos
5752
Views

Re: Talking with others about grief

5,752 Views
Message 61 of 70

@PattyDiane - I've been to meetings like those too, but fortunately there were always a few people who'd been around a long time, and who could gently remind others not to "cross talk", or to speak from their own experience without trying to "fix" anyone else. Or sometimes they would talk to the person afterward, and give them literature about how to share appropriately at meetings.


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Report Inappropriate Content
1
Kudos
5752
Views
Valued Social Butterfly
1
Kudos
5738
Views

Re: Talking with others about grief

5,738 Views
Message 62 of 70

For a while I had lots of experience with various support groups, both good and bad.  Most of the ones I attended were 12-Step and didn't have an actual facilitator, even though there were guide lines that most people observed.  However, it seemed to me that all it really took was one person out of a group to turn what could have been a good experience into a very bad one.  Most of the time that person didn't return often but I felt sorry for those who were attending for the first time on those occasions.  They never came back either.

 

For me, that has always seemed a shame because it helps so much to hear from people who are going through a similar experience and just to know that you're not alone in your grief.

Report Inappropriate Content
1
Kudos
5738
Views
Regular Social Butterfly
2
Kudos
5750
Views

Re: Talking with others about grief

5,750 Views
Message 63 of 70
Your story is a good example of why folks avoid support groups! And yet most of the groups, the participants and facilitators are helpful, generous, and skilled. Sigh. Sorry you had to go through that!
Report Inappropriate Content
2
Kudos
5750
Views
Treasured Social Butterfly
1
Kudos
5797
Views

Re: Talking with others about grief

5,797 Views
Message 64 of 70

@Jlincoln008 - I agree with you, but my guess is that the facilitators were taught to "go with the flow", if one participant needed more time during a particular session.

 

That said, there was one participant (not someone who lost a child) who went so far off-track about family dynamics, it was obvious to everyone she needed one-on-one therapy, at least as much as bereavement counselling! The facilitator became more firm about that after the first session, and contacted the person at home. At the next session, the person had a melt-down, about how dare they call her house! After another horrible session, the rest of us were individually contacted to go to another room the following week, where we hid from the "problem participant"!


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Report Inappropriate Content
1
Kudos
5797
Views
Regular Social Butterfly
1
Kudos
5816
Views

Re: Talking with others about grief

5,816 Views
Message 65 of 70

@ASTRAEA wrote:

When I attended a bereavement program locally, they had enough participants when they did it, to break the group into 3 categories of losses, because there is such a difference: child, spouse, and everyone else. They said it wasn't fair to mix some groups, because it's a totally different experience losing a child, for example.

 

A few years later, when I attended the program again for another loss, they didn't have enough people to break the group up .. and it didn't work as well. The one person who'd lost a child, pretty much took 90% of the time our group of 15 had for all of us to share!


Sounds like the group had poor 'facilitation.'  When i studied group theory in social work school, i learned that each group leader had two 'clients'. One was the group as a whole, as one 'client'. And the other is every single person in the group, each one as a client. And balancing the needs of one client with the need of the group 'as a whole' is tricky but it can be done. No one person's sorry trumps anyone else's. Tough as that is to hear. I'm sorry you had such a poor experience.

Report Inappropriate Content
1
Kudos
5816
Views
Treasured Social Butterfly
2
Kudos
5827
Views

Re: Talking with others about grief

5,827 Views
Message 66 of 70

When I attended a bereavement program locally, they had enough participants when they did it, to break the group into 3 categories of losses, because there is such a difference: child, spouse, and everyone else. They said it wasn't fair to mix some groups, because it's a totally different experience losing a child, for example.

 

A few years later, when I attended the program again for another loss, they didn't have enough people to break the group up .. and it didn't work as well. The one person who'd lost a child, pretty much took 90% of the time our group of 15 had for all of us to share!


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Report Inappropriate Content
2
Kudos
5827
Views
Valued Social Butterfly
4
Kudos
5821
Views

Re: Talking with others about grief

5,821 Views
Message 67 of 70

I think too it depends on how people prefer to communicate. For me I write better than I can express in talking face to face. For some people an actual support group or personal therapist might be helpful. On the site I mentioned everyone is respectful of others thoughts. When you're sharing how open your wound is you need to be sensitive to others as well. I've shared things with that group that I couldn't imagine discussing with friends or family...it's just too upsetting. And there are people on there who can't move forward. They lose a son or daughter and all they can do is dwell on it. Sometimes for years, all you do is offer virtual hugs and show support.

Report Inappropriate Content
4
Kudos
5821
Views
Treasured Social Butterfly
1
Kudos
5726
Views

Re: Talking with others about grief

5,726 Views
Message 68 of 70

It might be better to suggest people look for programs near them, that have trained grief/bereavement counsellors. Programs like that often have reading material that walk participants through the various stages of grief. Too often, not knowing where someone is in their own process, a poster here can make a less than sensitive suggestion about "just get over it", and that discourages the person from going the entire path .. there are really no "short cuts".


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Report Inappropriate Content
1
Kudos
5726
Views
Valued Social Butterfly
1
Kudos
5745
Views

Re: Talking with others about grief

5,745 Views
Message 69 of 70

My personal grief is from estrangement not death, although it often feels like the same thing. If someone dies often people rally around to at least try to ease the pain. With estrangement you're on your own. A site that has helped me deeply was one I first read about in AARP magazine..." Estranged Stories". You can share as much or as little as you wish, but connecting with others who understand your pain is healing.

Report Inappropriate Content
1
Kudos
5745
Views
Community Manager
2
Kudos
5786
Views
69
Replies

Talking with others about grief

5,786 Views
Message 70 of 70

Welcome to AARP's Grief and Loss discussion.  You can read this discussion or if you would like to particpate, simply register for free on AARP.org.  Once registered you will see the reply option to this discussion to post your entry.  If you do not see this and have already registered for AARP.org, click on Sign In and enter your information to log in.

  

If you have additional questions check out our Help area (link:  http://community.aarp.org/t5/help or specifically how to post at - http://community.aarp.org/t5/help/faqpage/faq-category-id/posting#posting.

 

 

Grieving is a long and hard process.  Talking about it with others who have been through it has been shown to help.  Post here to help one another through this difficult time.

AARPTeri
Report Inappropriate Content
2
Kudos
5786
Views
69
Replies