GriefShare Grief Support Group
I am grateful to FUMC, GriefShare, and Suzanne McFarland for being there and helping me through the most difficult time in my life. Jane Insall
GriefShare is a grief support group that offers help and encouragement after the death of a spouse, child, family member, or friend. Often, friends and family want to help you, but don’t know how. That’s the reason for GriefShare.
What to Expect
The group meets weekly. The meetings are led by a trained facilitator. The FUMC GriefShare group will be led by Suzanne McFarland. Each meeting will offer fellowship, a video seminar, and group discussion about the video content. Group members also receive a workbook for the purpose of journaling and personal study exercises that reinforce the weekly session topics. A $15 reimbursement for materials is requested. Scholarships are available by contacting Suzanne or Bruce Schrott, email@example.com.Meeting Dates, Times, and Locations
Weekly from January 18–April 19
10:00 AM-Noon or 6:30-8:30 PM
Room 1003 in the McKinney Christian Ministry Center
Testimonies from GriefShare Participants
After my husband passed away earlier this year, I knew I needed help coping with my grief. I was fortunate enough to learn of GriefShare being offered at our church. There are many wonderful aspects of this program.....we see a 45 minute video and discuss it and how we relate to it.....there is a workbook which helps collect your thoughts regarding how you feel. One special aspect is that you don't have to even participate if you don't feel like it!!! Most all very quickly feel comfortable to talk.
I had forced myself to do this in the beginning but now look forward to it each week. We share thoughts, happenings, tears, laughter and so much more. I encourage all those who are grieving to check it out. Suzanne is a wonderful facilitator and we are blessed to have her. I thank God she is willing to give so much of herself for us.
The GriefShare workshop allows me to listen to videos and choose to share or not share my feelings related to the topics covered. It is reassuring that the feelings I have around the loss of my loved ones are normal and not unique to the journey. These are two hours a week that I look forward to attending.
We all experience loss in our lives and some losses take a bigger toll on us. A year and a half ago I lost my beloved husband Fred to suicide. It was a topic I did not admit for nearly a year but God surrounded me with my loving family and amazing friends who were there to support and encourage me. By His grace and with their love I found a voice to raise awareness of suicide and mental illness and to encourage people to get help. I am thankful Suzanne introduced me to the inspirational Grief Share daily e-mails. I have found them to be encouraging and to help me realize my feelings are perfectly normal. They also remind me to place my trust in God. I love the messages and look forward to reading them daily!
When the church announced hosting GriefShare classes, I knew it was just what I needed to help me work through my grief. I will tell you grief is hard work, but it is definitely worth it not to get stuck in grief. I am sure some of you are hesitant because the title of the class is called GriefShare, which could allow you think you have to share about your loss. I promise you that is not the case! Suzanne is an incredible facilitator and is sensitive to each of us. She has not pressured anyone to share but genuinely listens when people feel led to share. GriefShare is simply a tool to help each participant work through grief at his/her own pace. It includes a wonderful video and a workbook filled with ideas and information to help you work through grief. Our class has shared tears and laughter but most of all we have grown in God and each of us are finding joy as we move forward in our journey of grief. I no longer focus on my loss because I realize God blessed Fred and I with 27 years of marriage and two amazing children, and I know without a shadow of doubt that we will meet again at heaven’s gate, praise God! If you are grieving or know someone who could benefit from this program, please encourage them to attend one of our Grief Share classes. The classes are only 13 weeks long and chances are your grief will continue during those 13 weeks, so you might as well find some comfort and start your healing process in your journey.
JoAnne Wilson Smith
I have been attending GriefShare with Suzanne. My 19 year old son died of suicide May 2, 2017. Three weeks after his death, we started Grief Share. When we started I honestly didn't think it was going to help too much. His death was a complete surprise we never saw it coming. We were devastated. Still in a state of shock. We were taking a do all approach—attending, compassionate friends, and a suicide support group in Austin as well as GriefShare. I told my husband we will try it, but if we don't fit there, we can quit.
I have gotten so much out of the videos, discussion, daily grief work, and was encouraged to journal. The journaling has really helped me. I was so angry at God; I couldn't even pray when we started. We still have a long road ahead of us, but we are beginning to heal. I doubt we could have come as far as we have, without Grief Share.
A light is from our household gone, a voice we loved is stilled. A place is vacant in our home which never can be filled. God gave us a beautiful boy-a man who never grew old. You were always there with a helping hand, help us now to accept his plan. We miss you now, our hearts are sore, as time goes by we miss you more, your loving smile, your gentle face, no one can take our Seth's place.
Penelope Stevenson Pfizenmaier
I want to provide feedback about my experience with GriefShare at FUMC and Suzanne McFarland. I live in Georgetown, and my husband Mick was diagnosed Feb 2016 w/ Pancreatic Cancer. We went through treatment, and surgery to have his tumor removed, and thought things were looking good, but then Jan 2017 he experienced a recurrence of the cancer. The doctors told us they really do not have treatments for this type of cancer that are effective, but they would start chemo. Between the very strong chemo drugs and the cancer it wiped him out, so he was too weak to go forward w/ any more treatments. Brought him back home in April on Hospice Austin services. Our family is grateful for every moment we were with him. He passed 7/14/017 at home peacefully. Rev Ann Hagmann was our chaplain with Hospice Austin, and she spoke with me about a week before he passed about GriefShare program, which I had never heard of. I reached out to the church, and they provided Suzanne McFarland's name and #, and I reached out to her to register for class.
I completed my first GriefShare course, and have signed up to take again at FUMC. Yesterday marked 6 months since my husband passed, and I am definitely in a better place now, than 6 months ago. I only have very positive feelings about the GriefShare program. Suzanne McFarland is amazing, and through her leadership and support I am in a good place. I no longer worry about my husband, and I know God has a path for me and loves me. I really like the format of GriefShare and how she facilitates our program.
Our workbook/video keeps us on track as we move through the course, and the messages are so important for anyone going through grief/loss. She never puts any pressure on any of us to speak. She has so much wisdom and does an absolute outstanding role as our facilitator. I am an RN so I have through my work been with lots of families when their loved ones pass. Suzanne has the ability to connect/support with all of us.
I am grateful to FUMC, GriefShare, and Suzanne McFarland for being there and helping me through the most difficult time in my life.