‘Grief shared is grief diminished’; find support and ways to cope at new community grief group

Stock image, St. George News.

FEATURE — Nothing can prepare you for the phone call letting you know someone you love has passed away, regardless of whether it was expected or not. Exhausting and surreal, it leaves you feeling lost and like nobody in the world can understand what you are going through.

Most people will say you just have to find a way to work through the pain, but how is that actually done?

Grieving is different for everyone, and although there is no single perfect answer on how to move on, the funeral professionals at Spilsbury Mortuary have learned that “grief shared is grief diminished,” and as a result, they have started a free community support group in St. George to help. The first meeting will be May 14.

Grief is a natural part of life, but it can also be one of the toughest challenges a person has to face. When we lose someone we love, it feels like life is passing by in a daze – isolating, lonely – and unfortunately, many attempt to handle the grieving process alone. The goal of the new support group is to provide a safe place where people can meet other individuals who are going through the same thing – though everyone’s pain is a little different – and offer each other support.

Taking care of yourself is never more important than while you are grieving. Studies have shown that after a major loss like the death of a child or loved one, up to a third of those close to them will suffer damaging effects on their physical or mental health. There is an increased risk of heart disease and suicide, and about 1 in 4 widows and widowers will experience clinical depression and anxiety during the first year of grieving.

Stock image, St. George News.

With decades of experience in the hospice industry, Spilsbury support group moderator Jan Lindley knows that dealing with grief is never easy but that a whole group of people working through their problems together can make it less frightening – even bearable. 

Lindley told St. George News that many people have expressed a great need for a group like this in the area. Some people are even planning on attending the meetings with their friends who are needing help and someone to talk to but are hesitant to reach out.

However, for people without many close friends or family living nearby, a loss can leave some wondering how to fill their days and enjoy life. Meeting new people can be the first step in rejoining the world and give them a new sense of purpose.

“You lose your spouse, that’s your best friend,” Lindley said. 

The sessions are completely confidential, and “what happens in the group, stays in the group,” Lindley said, adding that being with others and openly expressing our feelings honestly without fear can be extremely beneficial. Just knowing that someone else feels like you feel, sees things the way you see, acts like you act and suffers as you do is one of the things that makes groups like this work.

Lindley said people can tell stories, discuss feelings and offer solutions, but it won’t all be about hearing each other’s pain. Speaking to others who have suffered through a similar event can give a person hope, and she wants the group to also be about building friendships and sharing new plans and dreams.

There is no set timetable for grieving. It can be a long, emotional process. Lindley said the group will be ongoing, and she’s hopeful people will come and learn new ways to cope and more importantly, to live.

Meetings will be held in Spilsbury Mortuary’s reception room located at 110 S. Bluff St., St. George on the second Tuesday of the month starting at 6 p.m.

For more information, call Jan Lindley 435-673-2454 or visit the Spilsbury Mortuary website.

Written by ANDREW PINCKNEY, St. George News.

• S P O N S O R E D  C O N T E N T •

About Spilsbury Mortuary

Spilsbury Mortuary stands majestic against the desert sandstone cliffs of St. George. A place of genuine caring and compassion, its serene setting of inspiring beauty provides an elegant backdrop for all types of memorial services.

According to its mission statement, clients may be confident that every aspect of a service will be directed with a warm combination of friendship, dignity and excellence. When a family chooses Spilsbury Mortuary, the statement says, they choose a family and a staff who will provide a remarkable and dignified service as unique as their loved one.

Event Details

  • What: “Grief shared is grief diminished” community grief group at Spilsbury Mortuary.
  • WhenTuesday, May 14, 6 p.m. and continuing the second Tuesday of every month.
  • Where: Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff St., St. George.
  • Admission:Free to the public.

Email: apinckney@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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