Page 21 - 2016 Autumn-Winter Issue
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interest in someone apart from himself or herself. The    As you can see, participating in a group has many healing
   Compassionate Friends offers many opportunities for       aspects. My hope is that this article will encourage you
   service - some as simple as making snacks or setting      to explore your story and to use these curative factors
   up chairs.                                                to inspire others to join a grief support group. The
                                                             Compassionate Friends recommends that you participate in
5.	 Development of Socializing Techniques – Monthly          three meetings before making the decision about whether
   group meetings, conferences and Internet groups           or not the group is for you. The first one or two meetings
   provide the opportunity to develop and maintain           can be stressful, but over time you will find that sharing
   relationships over time. Skills at handling emotions      stories and meeting like-minded people will enhance the
   can be learned by example and used to help                healing process. Remember, we as humans are social beings
   participants in their relationships with others.          and grief is a journey you need not take alone.

6.	 Imitative Behavior – Watching how others respond         God Bless,
   to their loss can give members the opportunity to
   experiment with their own behavior and find out who       Dr. Gloria
   they are, and who they are not. Behavior of group
   members can teach skills that can be used in situations                                                      Dr. Gloria Horsley, MFC,
   outside of the group.                                                                                        CNS, PhD, is the founder and
                                                                                                                president of the Open to Hope
7.	 Group Cohesiveness – Over time, members begin to                                                            Foundation an internationally
   feel the warmth and comfort of being part of a group.                                                        known grief expert, a
   With the trauma of loss it is recommended that people                                                        psychotherapist, and bereaved
   attend three sessions before leaving the group.                                                              parent. Gloria cohosts the
                                                                                                                Internet radio show Open to
8.	 Catharsis – Group sharing provides the bereaved with                                                        Hope, at www.opentohope.
   the opportunity to express deep emotional feelings.                                                          com, and has authored a
   It can also be cathartic for other group members                                                             number of books and articles.
   to witness someone dealing with an emotional
   experience, as they can relate to it and grow by sitting
   with them in their emotional release.

How I Found Hope ...                                                                              © Alex_Po/

     After my 10-year-old son David died suddenly, my first instinct was
     not about me or my wife, but to protect his younger sister Abby, and do
     all I could to make sure his death would not ruin her life. My life was
     about daily survival and caring for her soul. Little did I realize it was
     her love, her joys, and her laughter that slowly allowed hope back into
     my life, and opened my heart up again to a joyful future.

                                                                        Bart Sumner, David’s dad

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