By CRAIG GARRETT
Learning to cope with grief and loss is the focus of programs starting this month in Arcadia.
Loss of Spouse is a one-day program that helps survivors learn to manage. And a 13-week program on changing the mindset of loss begins Aug. 22. Both programs are at First Baptist Church of Arcadia and are supported by survivors on the other end of the grief spectrum and who are with GriefShare, a recovery and faith-based support group in DeSoto County.
Healing and coping with the new reality of losing a loved one—a child, spouse or parent—are the issues covered at these meetings, said Kathey Gamiotea, one of three women overseeing the program in DeSoto County.
Sharing grief with others suffering a loss allows someone to “open up … to see real people and the pain they have too. There’s pain, there’s anger, there’s lashing out. You see ‘that’s me.’ And then there’s understanding,” she said.
The Loss of Spouse program next Thursday is a sort of introduction to the broader topic of surviving such devastating milestones. The multi-week GriefShare program that starts Aug. 22 opens a much wider door, the idea of moving from mourning to joy, said Rose Polston, who with Edith Wildt is another of the trio running the program in DeSoto. Each woman has endured losses, used GriefShare to move forward and gain a new perspective. Each two-hour pod is a standalone. Films, workbooks and dialogue are the tools to help us cope with death, Polston said. It’s not that much different than support groups for addictions, gaining a grip among others also suffering.
“There is an air of comfort … among people who understand. There’s a lot of support, a lot of love given out,” she said.
At a Glance
Loss of Spouse (6-8 p.m. Aug. 15) and GriefShare (begins 6-8 p.m. Aug. 22)
First Baptist Church of Arcadia, 1006 N. Brevard Ave., Arcadia