The death of a loved one is tough to accept and the range of emotions from loss to anger and sadness can lead to depression. A grief recovery support group is giving comfort to those feeling pain.
Kathy Jurls of Jennings comes from a tightly-knit family. It was last year within six months of one another that Kathy's sister, then her father, died. "The loss was a shock in a way, even though I knew it was happening, I just didn't realize how difficult it would be after," she said.
As a working mother and caregiver, Kathy felt like she was drowning in sorrow. She turned to GriefShare at Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Lake Charles, a grief recovery support group. Facilitator Robin Norris said comfort can be found from the depths of a loss. "People feel an emptiness, a hole inside of you that can't be filled," she said, "like your heart's just breaking and you don't think that you will ever, ever, ever get past this."
Norris says many people just do not allow themselves to experience the grieving process after the death of a loved one. "It's just going to take longer and it's going to affect your relationships," she said, "it's going to affect your health, it's going to affect all aspects of your life."
Through the 13-week GriefShare group, emotions are encouraged, tough questions can be asked and the healing begins. "I don't think I had let myself cry and I needed to," said Jurls, "I needed to let myself cry."
Norris says it is not all tears - new friendships are formed and the journey moves from mourning to joy. "It's kind of permission to let yourself grieve and go through the process and grow from it," said Norris.
"If you let it just stay in, it's like you never really heal," said Jurls, "I think we must allow ourselves to have the emotion."
The next 13-week GriefShare group starts Thursday, Sept. 12 at Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Lake Charles. It will meet every Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The cost is $10, but fees can be covered if you do not have funds available. Call 337-477-2023 for more information.