When my lovely Terry passed on Christmas eve of 2016, I was crushed and my life was totally changed.  We often hear about the several stages of grief, but I can attest that there is a constant onslaught of waves, not just stages.
The onslaught and experience of these waves of grief came over me in many ways, and from directions that often took me by surprise.  Losing my wife was a crash that I never anticipated. Surviving that crash has now become a big part of my daily life.  This path that God has set me upon is new to me and often I don’t really have a clue where it is going and what is right for me.
There are a couple of things that I like to share that has helped me in this new journey.
The first is my small group and friends here, in our church.  When I was at the hospital with Terry at 3 in the morning, members of my small group were there with me, praying, comforting, and helping me think straight when I had decisions to make.  To this day, friends from our church are a key component in my being able to continue moving forward.
The second thing that helped me tremendously, is a ministry offered by our church -Griefshare.
I have been participating in Griefshare for the past two years, and I would like to share a little bit about my own experience with this wonderful program with you.
Griefshare has become a place that helps guide me, it helps me especially when I really don’t know where I am going.
Of the  many things that Griefshare has helped me with, probably the number one thing that I have gotten out of it is the understanding that while this journey is unique to me, there is a way through this path, and that path includes the help, love, and support of the many friends I have come to know here, in our small groups and through this program. It has been through Griefshare that I now understand that  “It’s not an easy path, but I now know that I can make it through.”
You see, Griefshare is a weekly small  group for any one that has or is experiencing loss and has provided me with tools that I can use on a daily basis to make it through.
We start each weekly session with a short discussion that centers on the previous weeks material, we then watch a video that help us work through specific issues, and end each session sharing our own experiences about the sessions material.  Often, it is this sharing time that is the most healing time.
These weekly sessions have helped me get a better grip on many of the circumstances that I have found myself in.  Circumstances such as when I wasQuestioning whether this Is normal, ways to navigate this new Journey, understanding that relationships change, what to do when I might beQuestioning Why?, digging into when having feelingsGuilt and Anger, the promise ofHeaven, and ways to move forward.
Tomorrow is the beginning of another Griefshare series.  Griefshare is open to all, and you don’t have to wait for a series to begin.  Everybody is welcome, anytime.  If you have or are experiencing the pain from a loss, I would invite you to join us starting tomorrow night, at 6:30, downstairs at Yakima Foursquare.  Take it from me, the worst times for me are when I am alone.  Griefshare and my friends here provide comfort when I am feeling alone.