If you’ve lost a spouse, parent, child, or family member, you’ve probably found there are not many people who understand the deep hurt you feel. This can be a confusing time when you feel isolated and have many questions about things you’ve never before faced.
For almost 25 years, GriefShare has been providing a friendly, caring group of people to walk alongside those who are grieving. GriefShare is a Christ centered ministry and a product of The Church Initiative, Inc. in Wake Forest, N.C. It is one of the most widely acclaimed and highly successful grief recovery programs of its kind and has support groups in our area, including Hoover and Trussville. Trained facilitators, who have experienced this kind of grief themselves, guide participants and provide tools and resources necessary to move forward. Pete Jackson is a local GriefShare leader and facilitator who lost his wife of 34 years due to a sudden and massive hemorrhagic stroke and went through the program himself. “Although all of us at some time or another will face this difficult situation, we are never fully prepared. Losing my wife was similar to a 9/11 experience. Something you never get over completely, changing your life from that point forward, but you learn to live with,” says Jackson adding, “You simply adjust to what we call ‘the new normal’. That’s what GriefShare can do for those suffering from such a loss and it will be done in a safe, secure, loving and confidential environment with a group of others that have experienced similar loses.” Jackson is the group facilitator for GriefShare meetings at Faith Presbyterian Church on Valleydale Road. See Support Groups on page 28 for more details about this GriefShare group and others in the Birmingham area.