The Grief Support Group, led by Coty Bourque, meets in the Meadow Lake conference room in the Grand River Health Conference Center.
Meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 5:30-6:30pm.
For more information or to sign up for the group call 970.625.6549.
What is grief?
Grief is a reaction to loss. The way we experience grief is very individual; we each grieve in our own way. There are no universal “stages” to grief—grief is as individual as a fingerprint or a snowflake.
People may have different “styles” of grieving. Some people may express their grief verbally, or cry easily; other people may channel their grief into activity. All of these responses are normal; how we grieve is not a measure of how we love.
There is no timetable to grief. Over time the pain lessens, and we return to similar, sometimes better, levels of functioning.
How can a support group help?
Many grieving people wonder if they would benefit from joining a support group. Support groups are a time-tested method of help for people struggling with all sorts of difficulties. But groups are not magic; there are no words that can be uttered within a group setting that can make grief disappear. Many people report comfort in the companionship of group support and benefit from knowing they are not alone in their experience of grief.
Groups are places to work together and support one another in an environment where everyone gives and takes. Not every griever will find a support group suitable, as everyone grieves in their own way. For many, however, support groups have much to offer, such as:
Grief is experienced in so many ways—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Being with other grievers can reaffirm that one is not going crazy, which is a common concern of people who are grieving. While every loss is unique, having the support of others who have experienced loss and understand can be comforting.
For many people, a support group can be a break from the loneliness and isolation that often come with grief.
Suggestions for coping
There is no single solution to dealing with loss; but by listening to stories of how others cope with a particular problem or situation, new ideas for coping can emerge.
They provide hope by providing models that reaffirm that one can survive loss.
They provide new understandings and reminders of past coping skills. Sometimes grievers find that providing comfort to fellow support group members brings them a sense of pride by showing empathy and kindness to others who are grieving.
Grand River Health offers on-going grief support for individuals who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. We offer a way to connect those who are going through common challenges. The Grief Support Group is free to anyone 18 and over who is dealing with grief in their life.
COTY BOURQUE, MSW
Originally from New Iberia, Louisiana, Coty moved to Colorado where he completed his undergraduate work at Colorado Mesa University. After several years of working in Grand Junction he moved back to Louisiana to complete his Masters of Social Work at Louisiana State University.
Coty led a grief support group while interning for Hospice of Acadiana in Lafayette, LA. He also worked for a hospice organization in which he provided support for those dying and their family members. In addition, he experienced losing a close family member and understands the therapeutic value of receiving support from those who can empathize in these tough times.