What we're about

This group is for anyone struggling with grief due to the death of a loved one. TOGETHER we are going to try to MOVE THROUGH GRIEF BACK TO JOY! We always go farther together than we ever can alone, so please come share your grief with us. We can help each other!

I am neither a mental health professional nor a grief counselor. I am a person who lost a loved one at the beginning of the pandemic and am actively working my way back to joy. These are the 10 steps back to joy as I see them. Your journey may differ from mine or not, but maybe my journey can help shorten yours. I wish someone had shared this with me to help shorten my journey. I am still trying to tackle steps 9 and 10 because of the difficulty in finding new things to try in a pandemic, but I’m sure I’ll find my new normal in time. --- Jenniffer Lee

1) Express – Grief starts with expression, with crying, screaming, whaling… You express anger, disbelief, shock, fear and heartbreak, but mostly you are expressing that you loved the deceased and that you miss them terribly. You express that you will never forget and never stop loving them even though they are no longer here. This is the natural channeling of the love you have no other way to express, but with that love comes anger, fear and heartbreak. Your world has changed forever, and your brain is processing that with all different emotions and chain reactions. This is normal and it is healthy to let it out whenever it wells up. In the beginning you let it out with such a magnitude that it often feels like your soul is spilling out with every breath and tear, but this lessens with time. It really does.

2) Accept – At some point, you realize the deceased is not coming back. They are not in the next room. They are not waiting for you at home or coming around the corner in a minute. Your brain finally accepts the reality that they are gone forever and are never coming back. You realize that you will never see them again and they don’t need their stuff anymore.

3) Decide – You eventually make a decision to consciously try to continue on without the deceased, maybe even for them, because your only other options are to intentionally join them or continue being self-destructive until you accidentally join them.

4) Restore – At some point you shower and get dressed. You make an effort to rejoin the world and restore as much normalcy as possible. You recognize how you are self-medicating (excessive drinking, eating, sleeping, shopping, gambling, etc.) and stop doing it to excess. You try to eat better, sleep better, exercise and just fake it until you make it.

5) Forgive Yourself – You finally realize that no matter what you did or didn’t do, you can’t undo it and you can’t second guess it over and over again. You eventually let go of should have done more or should have done less and should have done differently. You let go of what if I did or what if I didn’t. You realize that you are one person and you did the best you could at the moment, whether that was perfect or not. You realize that you did all you could do with the information you had. You realize that you did not have a crystal ball to see the future, either what would happen in the future or how long that future would be. You realize that you were working with the facts you had at the time, not the facts you know now and you finally forgive yourself for anything you think you should or should not have done. You did not know the path that would present itself nor how much time you would or would not have with the deceased. You forgive yourself and decide to let it go because you realize you can not change the past anyways.

6) Understand – You start to understand that it is okay to be happy. You understand that laughing with friends, enjoying a nice meal, doing things you like is not a betrayal of the deceased. You understand that death is a part of life and if we are lucky enough to live a long life, many people we love will die in our lifetime.

7) Find Gratitude – You start to find things you are grateful for that are still left in your life. You become grateful for the time you did have with the deceased, because other people did not have that, but you did and you become grateful for that. You replace the anger over losing your loved one too soon with the gratitude for having had them for so long. You find gratitude for the good memories and the things that remain in your life past the death.

8) Forgive Others & Let Go – You forgive people you thought should have helped you before the death or been there for you after the death. You forgive people who said something stupid or insensitive, because they likely meant well even if it did not sound that way. You forgive people you thought should have been there but weren’t. You realize that they might not have known you needed them or they might have had their own trials they did not share with you. You forgive everyone around you for everything related to the death and grief period. You start fresh, either by reaching out and trying to re-establish these old relationships or just forgiving these people and moving on to build new relationships. You let go of the relationships you don’t want to re-establish or can’t re-establish and remember that some relationships are not meant to continue on for whatever reason. You let those relationships go and focus on the remaining old and new relationships.

9) Visualize – You start to understand that widow, orphan, motherless child, childless father, sisterless brother, friendless person or whatever identity you have had is not a healthy identity and try to visualize another, healthier identity for yourself. You find a new, positive identity, such as surviving child, professional person, independent woman, strong father, healthy sister, intelligent man, creative woman. You might have multiple identities, but you focus on new positive identities that are separate from your loss-identity.

10) Create & Substitute – You create new routines, new habits and new friendships. You explore new things, learn new things, try new things. You find substitute places to invest all of that love, energy, attention and care that you put into the relationship with the deceased, either strengthening relationships with children, family members, co-workers, friends or neighbors by investing your love, care and energy towards them, or channeling it into work, pets, charitable activities or hobbies. You find some way to invest your energy into things you enjoy, things that make you feel good. You find new activities that you enjoy, new people to spend time with and new experiences that create new memories. You create a new normal with things that bring you joy, things you enjoy doing that you did not do before. You create your new normal. You never forget the deceased, but you enjoy the remaining time you have left because your new joys overcome your old grief… at least most of the time.

Some tools we are going to discuss and use are:
• Talking Openly with Others in Same Situation
• Writing Grief Letters
• Making Lists
• Meditating/Focused Thinking/Directed Thinking
• Brain Storming
• Sharing Stories, Memories and Experiences
• Creating Gratitude Journals
• Keeping Diaries

This group is not part of the "Grief Share" program. In this group we will openly discuss grief issues and suggestions that might bring about some relief in a healthy way. The focus will be on positive changes we can make in our lives to help us move from grief back to joy. We will discuss common experiences and explore tools that may help. The hope is that by sharing our experiences, we can help each other move forward, feel less alone and realize we are not going crazy. Sometimes you just need to know someone else is or was where you are. If you are grieving a loss, whether recent or past, please join us!

Upcoming events (3)

IN-PERSON Grief Support Meeting

Re/Max Complete Solutions

This is an IN-PERSON grief support group. All are welcome, but you must first JOIN OUR GROUP and RSVP IN ADVANCE FOR THIS MEETING as seating is limited. Face coverings are not required and, unless it is raining, we will be sitting outside, so please dress appropriately. If you decide to come, please BE ON TIME. It is disruptive when people arrive late. Please message group organizer for more information.

IN-PERSON Grief Support Meeting

Re/Max Complete Solutions

This is an IN-PERSON grief support group. All are welcome, but you must first JOIN OUR GROUP and RSVP IN ADVANCE FOR THIS MEETING as seating is limited. Face coverings are not required and, unless it is raining, we will be sitting outside, so please dress appropriately. If you decide to come, please BE ON TIME. It is disruptive when people arrive late. Please message group organizer for more information.

IN-PERSON Grief Support Meeting

Re/Max Complete Solutions

This is an IN-PERSON grief support group. All are welcome, but you must first JOIN OUR GROUP and RSVP IN ADVANCE FOR THIS MEETING as seating is limited. Face coverings are not required and, unless it is raining, we will be sitting outside, so please dress appropriately. If you decide to come, please BE ON TIME. It is disruptive when people arrive late. Please message group organizer for more information.

Past events (40)

IN-PERSON Grief Support Meeting

Re/Max Complete Solutions

Photos (21)