Grief can strike anyone at any time. You can be going about your daily life, concerned about picking up the kids, getting the bills paid and trying to get the house cleaned when the phone rings, and someone says I have some news, there was an accident.... Or it can come on slowly, over a long time as you watch someone you love gradually be taken from you because of cancer or some other horrible disease.

Suddenly, your world has completely changed. Everything seems surreal. You don’t know what’s going on and it almost feels like you’re watching life from a distance. Then the reality of the situation comes crashing in and you don’t know how you’re going to go on. That person who has been a source of support and strength for you is gone and you don’t know how you’re going to move forward.

Grief can be devastating. Lots of people are supportive during the initial few days and the funeral process. Then afterwards you find yourself alone. All those people who encouraged and supported you have gone back to living their lives and wonder why you haven’t gone on with yours. But there are things that come up almost daily, it seems, that remind you of the loss and how much harder life is now than it ever was before. You may feel like giving up. You may think of running away by yourself, never coming back to what your life has become. You feel alone and isolated and don’t know where to turn.

There is help. There is hope. We have a Savior who is there for us. He knows how we feel and is there for us. But connecting with him can be difficult when we’re alone, confused, and grieving. That’s why we now offer GriefShare here at St. Thomas Lutheran Church. GriefShare is a weekly support group that focuses on healing from the effects of grief hand helping those grieving begin to rebuild their lives. And we do so with Christ as the focus.

GriefShare meets weekly on Wednesdays at 7pm in room 101. This is a Christ-centered non-judgmental group that allows you to work through your grief at your pace. I am currently facilitating this group and previously went through GriefShare when I lost my wife to Multiple Sclerosis in August of 2014. I found the insights, and especially the support of the group to be so healing during the grieving process and I strive to provide the same environment for those who are now working through their own grief.

I encourage you to consider this group if you are grieving. If you have questions or want further information I can be reached at 586-925-3260. If I am not available to answer your call, please leave me a message and I’ll return it as soon as I can. God’s blessings to you all.

In Christ,

Pastor Rick VanBriggle