Grief Seminar to Help People Cope

Article excerpt

Byline: Victoria Pierce Daily Herald Correspondent

Grief is something everyone goes through at some point in their life, but grief is not something readily talked about or expressed in our culture. That can make helping friends and loved ones through a tough time even more difficult.

A free two-hour seminar to help is planned from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. April 23 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1310 Shepherd Drive, Naperville.

The program will address the various stages of grief, ways to help loved ones and provide sources for additional help.

"Grief is really a journey. It takes a long time," said Bob Stark, a Stephen Minister at Good Shepherd who will be discussing ways to offer Christian care to the grieving. "Although there are common elements to the grieving process, everybody grieves differently and in their own way."

The average time to really feel comfortable with the changes after the loss of a loved one is five years. But our society doesn't often acknowledge the time needed to grieve and adjust to the life changes that result.

People are usually allowed a few days or a week after a loved one dies. But once the wake and funeral are done, people are expected to head back to work almost immediately in this country.

"That's just the way we have it set up," said Mark Pedigo, a staff counselor at Samaritan Interfaith, which is co-hosting the seminar. "That's just impossible and not realistic."

Such a rush to return to "normal" life can also hinder the grieving process for some. Without appropriate time to grieve, the full range of emotions and the stages of grief can be shut down and lead to more serious problems such as depression or physical illness down the road. …