Healing After Loss: A Safe Place to Process the Journey of Grief
The loss of a loved one affects each person differently, and everyone has their own grief journey. One thing that can help is to have others alongside you during that difficult journey. The Healing After Loss Ministry is here to support those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. This relatively-new ministry at St. Francis Solanus is available to everyone — whether they lost a loved one last year or 20 years ago. The ministry follows the well-known Grief Share program.
Deacon Dennis Holbrook and his wife, Pat, lost their 30-year-old daughter, Allison, to cancer on June 29, 2017. Deacon Dennis wasstudying for the diaconate at the time and was placed at St. Anthony of Padua. Deacon Dennis and Pat were able to attend the Grief Share program there.
“We vowed that wherever Dennis was placed, we would start the Grief Share program,” Pat says.
The Grief Share website says the program “is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone.”
The group met this spring on Wednesday nights at 6:15 p.m. Another 13-week session will likely begin this fall. Other sessions may be planned, depending on the need. Participants are invited to bring a support person to meetings. Meetings include a video, conversation, and prayer. Each participant receives a workbook to go through during the week. Sessions end at about 8 p.m.
“This is a safe place to talk through what you may be going through,” Pat says. “Everything is confidential.”
Deacon Dennis and Pat found a lot of healing through Grief Share. They feel blessed to bring this program to others. They don’t consider themselves grief experts, but they are happy to share their experience if it helps someone else.
“It helps you mourn when you can be with others who are in a similar situation,” Pat says. “You can get strength from those who have been through things. They can help put words to what you are feeling.”
“There’s no right or wrong time to go through this process,” Deacon Dennis adds. “We are there to listen and be a safe place. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.”
Although Deacon Dennis and Pat wish Allison were still here, they know the Lord is using them to bring this ministry to others.
“We know she is in the arms of God,” Deacon Dennis says. “Our faith never wavered. We know God is using us.”
For more information on the Healing After Loss Ministry, please contact Deacon Dennis Holbrook at [email protected].