Support group helps people through grieving process

Steve Lovelidge (left) and Don Miller look over some of the material from the GriefShare program that's now in progress at Monument Blble Church in Scottsbluff.

SCOTTSBLUFF — Grief can be a paralyzing emotion, a loss that can keep people stuck in place. But there is a way forward.

Over the next 13 weeks, Monument Bible Church in Scottsbluff is sponsoring GriefShare, a support group for those dealing with the loss of a spouse, child, family member or friend.

While he isn’t directly involved in the program’s presentation, Steve Lovelidge of Gering has been a participant several times participant.

“My wife went to be with the Lord about seven years ago,” he said. “GriefShare is a very good program for anyone that’s dealing with grief. It’s especially difficult during holidays and special occasions.”

A video series presented by pastors, counselors and speakers deals with grief from a biblical perspective. Some of the topics they discuss include the journey and effects of grief, how it affects the family, how not to get stuck in grief and many others.

“The course covers 13 videos, which include a group discussion and a workbook to fill out during the week,” Lovelidge said. “Each of these films is about 40 minutes and I was amazed at how much they can cover on each topic. It shows people how to get unstuck from what can be paralyzing.”

The grieving process is different for everyone and can take anywhere from six months to six years to work through the aftermath of such a life-changing experience.

“In addition to learning more about the grieving process, we’re a support group because everyone has been through a loss of one kind or another,” Lovelidge said.

He has been helping his friend, Don Miller, as he goes through the GriefShare program. After Miller recently lost his wife, he comes home to an empty house.

“Don and his wife didn’t have children, but they had two dogs. Both dogs have also died since,” Lovelidge said.

Miller is going through the GriefShare program a second time now. He said that while he was taking care of his wife, it became his world.

“You lose track of the rest of the world because you think you’re the only one going through this,” Miller said. “Just after she passed, it hit me that I wasn’t alone in dealing with grief. I was thankful to know that.”

Miller said that as members of the group get to know each other, they don’t need to explain their feelings to each other because they’re all in the same boat. Every topic they study and talk about has a lot of relevance to wherever they are in their journey through grief.

The GriefShare program is just getting started and the first video is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Monument Bible Church, 4124 Avenue I in Scottsbluff.

Registration is $20 for the 13-week course. Scholarships are available.

For more information or to register, call the church at 308-633-4051.

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Jerry Purvis is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9046 or emailed at jpurvis@starherald.com.

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