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 I started attending a Group Grief therapy session last week.   It is 8 weeks long.  In this group are all different ages (although all are adults in this session) and genders of people who have lost spouses, children, parents, siblings.   I found the session very difficult to get through and very depressing.  One woman who lost her husband this May, was there for her 2nd 8 week session.   I visited a Therapist a few days ago.  She herself lost her husband 2 years ago.  She said she is not a fan of group grief sessions.  She said they can actually do more harm than good by delaying the healing process.  The therapist asked me how I felt after the group session and I told her honestly it was very depressing.   I also talked to a friend of mine that lives across the county. Her husband died in an auto accident 16 years ago.  She said she used a good therapist to help her get past the pain, but never any group grief sessions.   

Thoughts, comments?  

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I am learning a lot too. My husband took care of a lot and doing it all or at least being responsible for everything is not easy. We learn to manage though, and even though I screw up a lot, I have to remember I have learned something. At first, I remember thinking, "how am I going to deal with all these problems?" Then, it occurred to me that a lot of things aren't really problems, they are only challenges. Some things I can try doing myself as long as I'm careful not to step outside my capabilities. If I need help, I call a handyman or a pro.

Mis64, women miss those things too. Accepting the loss of our spouses is very difficult but the truth is, we can never replace what we have lost, at least not exactly. Not to say we couldn't fall in love again but it would be with a different person. More like another chapter, as we have changed and grown through this too. I'm not the same, I know that! I have to admit that I am not looking for someone new, so this isn't based upon experience. I do know that many move on to new relationships and are quite happy. Being emotionally ready (and not searching for a "replacement") is important, I think. You are wise not to panic! Best to have both feet on the ground.
Callie2, at this point I'm nowhere near ready for another relationship. However the time will come when I will want another relationship but in the meantime I figure I have a lot of work to do, a lot of road to go down. I have a lot of baggage that needs to be put in its appropriate place. There's no cheating allowed in this process. At least not for me. I don't want to bury my feelings, or avoid My New Reality. I want to face it head-on and get it done. How long will it take? I have no idea. Nor am i putting a time frame on it. But while my emotion is wrestling with all these things my logic is moving me forward. Taking steps to a future.
I could never replace my wife. This I know.
Nor do I want to replace her. But I fell in love with my wife because of the person she was.
Not because she bore my children or cleaned my home.
But to say that my wife was the only good woman out there? That would be a little arrogant.!
I choose to be happy again. I choose emotional intimacy. These are the things that my wife taught me after so many years, and they are worth fighting for..... again !

I agree- I'd love to have another good man in my life but I need time to figure out how I want my life to look like first.

I'm very glad I'm not in the position of my step-grandma.  My maternal grandmother died and Grandpa remarried less than 2 years later.  It seems to have been a happy marriage but I later found out that after step-grandma (SGA)'s husband died, she found out that hos pension had no survivor benefit- it died when he did.  (Back then, electing a non-survivor benefit option didn't require the spouse to agree in writing.)  Of course, SS also got cut from his SS plus 50% spousal to just his SS.  She had little else.  Her kids sat her down and told her that if she wanted to live comfortably she'd had to find an old guy with money. She found Grandpa. Wow.  Nothing like being in your 70s and HAVING to get married!

To be fair, I was desperate too w/2 young children, 2 mortgages & no job ...

I mean, grief is what it is - an onslaught of desperation & raw emotions, however, allowing one's self to behave uncivilized w/others is a lack of self control & descent of morals that, otherwise, keeps a person decent & in check ...

To me, there is no excuse for behaving like a predator especially in the presence of children ...

Widowhood is not a pass or an acceptable excuse to demoralize widow/ers w/lewd unsolicited sexual overtures ...

Those men were 8-10 months out, whereas, I was 2-4 weeks out ...

I pay for handyman, I learned to be a single parent as well as maintain my home & vehicles ...

I never preyed on people or expected them to fix my problems ...

Sorry, but trivializing this women's issue many widows have been confronted with &/or might be faced with is not helpful in their keeping alert to the potential for being used &/or abused ...

It's good you have loving memories of your wife, but other people are simply strangers no matter if they are also widows ...

Any man or woman for that matter, who preys on vulnerable people in any setting, particularly in a grief support group should be asked to leave the group. Goes for the participants and the facilitator. There is no excuse for anyone taking advantage of the vulnerability of a person who is suffering from indescribable grief. 

You are absolutely correct-there is NO excuse for men taking advantage of you for their own agenda, when I hear that it makes me nauseated. There are caring men, I like to think I am one of them,  I would never take advantage of ANY person in a position of sorrow, loss and unrelenting grief-never.

I am sorry this happened to you.

PS It should have been the facilitators role to address this and set strong boundaries. There was a break down somewhere in setting clear, specific guidelines.


   I have gone to Grief / Bereavement groups before... At first they helped me. They let me know that what I'm feeling is normal.But now it seems like I leave feeling worse. Listening to everyone's situation is stressful. I need to feel better about myself before I can help others. Is that selfish ?



It is not selfish. I always tell people, whether in this journey of grief, or struggling with another life hardship, that you have to put your own oxygen mask on first when it feels like the plane is going down. That means that you have to prioritize your self-care, so that you are able to then care about other things. It is not selfish.


Hi Debbie,

   The Oxygen Mask metaphor was clever. But it sure gets the point across. Thank You much for your words. From what my husband has told me on the past, I tend to be thin skinned. And the sorrow of others just seem to get me down right now. I feel like I have enough of my for the moment.

Thanks again .



I think its important to find the group that's right for you. My husband passed in April of this year and despite having a good support team from my own church and family I knew I needed something more. I found a Griefshare meeting at a local church not far from where I live. It is actually 13 weeks long but I came in on the 6th week. After  the first session I knew I had found the right group for me. Its  centered around specific aspects of the grief process and provides helpful insights via weekly videos to help you come to different aspects of your journey. No one is compelled to speak but it has been so encouraging I have not found it hard to share.The faciltators are wonderful. They don't push or probe. I definitely plan on attending the 1st five sessions I missed. I told my sister-in-law about my going and she was happy for me. However, her situation was much like your experience. When she lost two of  her sons to an act of senseless violence she started attending a group session. She said she left out feeling more depressed  than when she started so she stopped going. She decided to get one on one therapy and that's what was helpful to her. As others have said we all grieve differently and so it is important to find what works for you....the key is not to give up...find what works best for you. Grace be unto you as you go through your journey.

BAD!  Very depressing.  I think it is better to talk to a therapist and try to surround yourself with positive things!

Personally, I don't like grief groups.  It's hard to mediate it so that everyone present gets their needs met, and yes, it can be very depressing.  As a widow and a therapist, I learned that 1) nothing could have ever prepared me for that last moment when he took his final breath; and 2) you just have to let let yourself grieve.   No holding back the tears when they come. Tears are healing.  I had a wonderful therapist who helped me get through his illness and allowed me to grieve at my own pace.  Anyway, I don't like groups.

A friend of mine felt the same way about group sessions and quit after the first session. I think I was fortunate. I heard about Griefshare  from this site and found one in my area. Some people might be put off because it has references to the Bible but all denominations are welcome and the way the sessions were structured the focus was clearly on helping people understand and deal with the grief they were experiencing . This is what helped me the most. I participated in all 13 sessions and for me it was beneficial. In fact they are planning a special pre-holiday session which I plan on attending. 


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