People ask me if bereavement support groups help. It is my belief they do if you are open to share and receive. Still, we know not everyone is for support groups. However, if you are, support groups offer you a safe space to open your heart and share your journey with others who have also lost a loved one.
For nine years I had the privileged to train people who were interested in facilitating these types of groups, with Rev. Dr. Dale Young. Dale was the Director of Pastoral Care in Baptist Health South Florida, and this training was offered through their program Congregational Health. When Dale retired, our training stopped. We stayed with the hope to do it again sometime in the future.
These past two Saturdays, Dale and I had the blessing of training an amazing group of 23 people. They have the calling of supporting others in times of grief. The training is didactic in nature, with a lot of interaction and role play.
People have the opportunity to ask and share their own history of loss. It is important as we want to help others, to own our grief. Our intention is that people understand the concept of grief and how it can be manifested. The more we know about bereavement, the more we can help ourselves and others.
We finished our training with a beautiful ritual, honoring our loved ones.
This ritual can be done in families, churches and support groups. Rituals in times of loss give a sense of meaning to our grief.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the special people who attended this training, for having so much compassion and love in their hearts.
I also want to thank my husband Mario Houben to take these significative pictures.
Remember…as you transform your loss, you transform your life!
Ligia M. Houben