Grief Ministry

St. Benedict Grief Ministry ([email protected])

What is grief? What is mourning? Are they the same?

Grief is a natural reaction to loss, a deep sorrow following the death of a loved one. Grief has been described as a strong, sometimes overwhelming emotion stemming from a major loss like the death of a loved one. What is mourning? Mourning is the open expression of thoughts and feelings regarding the death of a loved one. Are grief and mourning interchangeable terms? Mourning refers to the outward expressions of a grief which is internal and unique for each person who grieves.

What is a Grief Ministry?

Grief Ministry is way of serving others by offering loving support and comfort at times of loss. These ministers offer the gift of their time, to hear the thoughts and share the tears of those who are mourning. Grief ministry provides comfort and support in a number of ways.

Care can be expressed through

             - prayer opportunities

              -a comforting presence to listen and stay in touch

             - a grief support group

- offering of grief materials, literature and speakers/presentations

              -assistance with daily tasks

The St. Benedict Grief Ministry formed in the summer of 2019. In September the first grief support group began meeting weekly for a 12 week session. A second session will be offered from Jan 15- April 1, 2020. We expect to offer three to four sessions per year depending on the need. Our support group uses the Companioning Model of grief support which is based on the work of Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. In our grief support group, we use his book entitled 

Understanding Your Grief and the associated materials for sharing.

What is the “companioning” model of grief support?

The Companioning Model is about walking with those who are grieving. Grief support is not about “leading” or “fixing” the griever. Companioning is about ears that can listen and a heart that cares. Companioning is about honoring another's pain by being alongside them, respecting their journey but not taking charge of it. Companions are friends, not experts. Using the companioning model one can support another in reaching a point of reconciliation with grief. With that reconciliation, life continues and the griever is able to move from a relationship based on the physical presence of the loved one to a relationship based on memories. The companioning model is flexible and flowing, gentle and loving. In the end the companioning model honors the fact that each griever's journey is his/her own and is unique.

Would you like to join the St. Benedict Grief Ministry?

Our mission is to support those who are suffering grief from the loss of a loved one and to “companion” with them as they walk the road of bereavement to a “new normal.”

Volunteer for one of five teams and use your tme and talents to help others. Our teams include: Prayer Team, Communication/Tech Team, Education Team, Visiting Team and a Support Group Team. St. Benedict has avenues for parishioners to help (in little ways and bigger ways) and to make a difference for those who have lost a loved one to death. 

If you feel called to this ministry, want to learn more about the teams, want to join the grief support group or would like to talk with ministry leaders, contact Mary Helen Gammon and Jane Talbot by sending a message at [email protected]