A couple weeks ago I was asked the following by my mentor and career counselor, J.T. O’Donnell, inquiring about GriefShare and who would benefit from the program.
“Question: Is GriefShare only for folks who are religious? Do you have members who aren’t affiliated with any church? I’m just curious because I think a log of people who aren’t practicing any religions could benefit but might tend to shy away if the focus is on relating to God. Just an observation.”J.T. O’Donnell
Below is part of my answer:
The group is open to anyone. Religious or not. The belief is a more complete healing can take place with the help of Jesus. Personally, I agree. I do not know how people deal with grief without a belief in God.
My fellow facilitators and I do not know the religious beliefs of our participants. When they fill out he registration form some put down a church affiliation and some do not.
All we do is provide refreshment, press the play button on the DVD player, and ask the first question “What caught your attention in the video tonight?” God takes it from there. The conversation goes where He wants it to go. He knows what each person believes, where their heart is and what they need.
You and I would never have met if it were not for this program. I doubt I would have made it through the first year without it. If so, I would have ended up in the looney bin for life…”Michele Kearns
Some people in society believe needing a program like “GriefShare” means you are a weak person. “However, only the strong are willing to admit they are weak. God uses bad times to grow people. I know I have grown.”Michele Kearns
Her Final Answer
“…That answer was brilliant!!!!! 🙂 Now you know why I asked it…the career story you just shared shows why this is your calling.”J.T. O’Donnell
Yes, “One Way Or Another” (Blondie), grief is my calling and has been sicne I viewed my first dead person (Great-Grandma) at the ripe old age of 3 years and 10 months.
Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative for a Fortune 100 company. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com