Support for the Journeys of Loss We Have to Take
A Johannesburg parish will be hosting programmes for those needing divorce/separation or grief counselling and support next month.
St John’s in North Riding will offer the DivorceCare and GriefShare programmes, each running for 13 weeks.
Marlene, who attended a GriefShare programme, told The Southern Cross about what she called her “journey of grief”.
She described it as being like falling down a waterfall, arms flailing, trying to grab onto anything; then going underwater to a dark place of despair, where she could not see or feel.
“I was swimming around in circles, not knowing where to go, whose advice to follow, what to do.
“I felt confused, sad and bewildered, and questioned whether my experience was true or a dream,” said Marlene, who asked that her surname not be used.
“I came to GriefShare about eight weeks after Luke passed away; they were already more than halfway through the programme. It was suggested that I come again in February when the new course would start. I decided not to wait as I didn’t want to reopen wounds and feel the pain again. So I floundered on,” she recalled.
“Slowly I started to move and attempted to swim in a direction, but fear and sadness overcame me when I least expected it, and I stopped. I tried again and again, and felt I was getting nowhere. A feeling of emptiness consumed me.
“I then realised I had to shift my way of seeing, make a decision and set goals for myself,” Marlene said.
She said the programme benefitted her greatly.
“I have learned to accept what has happened, have learned more about myself, have learned that I can do things again, have learned to smile and be happy again, and learned that God is with me each step of the way. He is my Saviour, my Comforter,” Marlene said.
“And I have met wonderful friends. This journey was not a planned trip, unlike other trips, but it’s a trip I had to take,” she said.
DivorceCare, to assist in dealing with divorce or separation, starts on August 2 at 19:00. GriefShare begins on August 4 at 10:00. The cost for each programme is R200, which goes towards the programme handbook.
For more information contact Arianna on 071 138 8401.