Healing and camaraderie at bereavement support group

The third gathering of the Bereavement Support Group (BSG) took place on October 23 at the Bread of Life Corner, uniting 13 individuals on their shared journey of healing.

Nov 10, 2023

PETALNG JAYA: The third gathering of the Bereavement Support Group (BSG) took place on October 23 at the Bread of Life Corner, uniting 13 individuals on their shared journey of healing.

The central theme for the gathering was Praise & Worship and Sharing our Healing Process. The session commenced with a heartfelt prayer and a poignant Bible verse from Psalm 68:5, highlighting God’s role as the “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows.” To set the tone for the session, the group came together to sing the hymn In His Time, a song that encapsulated the collective sense of healing.

Participants were encouraged to contribute by sharing their own Bible verses, poems, or songs that brought them comfort and joy while helping them navigate their grief journey. Within the group, some had experienced the loss of their spouses between 5 to 20 years ago, while others were still grappling with the pain of recent loss.

One member, who lost her husband over 15 years ago, expressed her enduring longing for him, sharing how she copes by staying engaged in work and church activities. Another member, who initially found it challenging to share during their previous meeting, gained the courage to open up after connecting with the group. She spoke of her anger over her loss, not only of her husband but also the father of her children, emphasising the need to find strength for the sake of her children.

It was acknowledged that well-intentioned phrases such as “Be strong,” “He is in a better place,” or “Carry on, move forward” can inadvertently wound the hearts of those in the group. One member expressed her unwavering belief in eternal life, Jesus, and Heaven, yet struggled with the notion that Heaven was a better place for her husband, who still had so much life to live on Earth with their family.

Despite the varying lengths of time since the loss of their beloved spouses, all members felt blessed to have shared their lives with their soulmates and the fathers of their children. They voiced their commitment to continue living their best lives, even on days when moving forward seemed daunting.

The group chat emerged as a lively space, where members shared their art, floral arrangements, and daily prayers. These conversations extended to personal connections, providing a network of support and friendship.

Amidst the heartfelt sharing, a touch of laughter filled the room as an ice-breaker activity challenged members to discern two truths and one lie from their peers. The ensuing laughter underlined the complex blend of joy and sorrow that life often presents, as stated in Proverb 14:13, “Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.”

The session drew to a close with a final prayer and warm hugs exchanged all around. Bread of Life Corner provided a sumptuous Thai meal and dessert in a welcoming ambiance that was savoured by all.

The group extends a warm invitation for others to join and find solace in shared grief. In this spirit, they invite everyone to participate in the upcoming Widow to Widow workshop, focusing on Holiday Survival, scheduled for Saturday, Nov 25, at Canisius Hall, Church of St Francis Xavier, Petaling Jaya, from 2.00pm to 5.30pm. — By Susan Thomas, Coordinator, Women’s Ministry, AOHD

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