Bereavement Support Group Experience

Anyone has any experience with Griefshare bereavement group, (Christian faith based) ? I am a Christian and had a bad experience with this program.

  1. mixing grief losses in one group does not work.
  2. facilitators did not have personal spousal loss experience, and could not demonstrate much needed empathy.
  3. Too much focus on Joy, joy, joy. It feels that facilitators just do not want to be around grief emotions. When other participant is crying, they would counter with joy, joy, joy… Forced indoctrination … nonsensible…My point is why do they even facilitate a grief group ? Why not just lead a church picnic instead ?
  4. I have gone to other non-faith based bereavement support groups… participants are allowed to talk about their issues, emotions and burst of crying… and this seems to be a problem for this Griefshare I attended.

Your sharing would be much appreciated.


I feel people who haven’t been through this are not in a position to empathize or offer much in way of advice.

It’s not something you can read in a book and follow a protocol - it’s fluid and constantly changing.

I, personally, would stick to groups arranged by people who have experienced the loss of loved one and not church groups or the like preaching a message with bereavement support being secondary

Nothing wrong with religious convictions - there’s just a time and place and bereavement support is a shared human experience


Hiya. I’ve never heard of this but I would avoid it if I were you. We need support and empathy not preaching and platitudes. I’m an atheist so I wouldn’t go near this anyway but I did go to one group where the ‘leaders’ just sat apart on their phones and left everyone to it. When they asked me if they would see me next week: ‘how about no!!’ I think you should probably give this a wide berth and spend time with people who understand. Take care x


@LolaA i haven’t been but they sound like opportunists to me catching people when they’re at the lowest point in their lives and seeing if they can sell a bit of religious balm/lotion. I’ve always thought this about religious funerals they always sound to me like they’re more about God than the person who died!


@ Arvia I like this idea that the facilitators just sit apart from the group on their phone. This could work out a lot better… thanks. I am not there anymore, planning to watch the videos online on my own.

@ MemoriesOfUs thank you for your thoughts. I feel the same, there are categorical differences between different losses. In my situation, there was no way to know type of loss grief these facilitators prior to the commencement of the group. I joined this group because it comes with weekly videos and a work book. A Christian friend went through it and found it helpful. and recommended it. I thought I would try an in-person grief support. The other ones I joined prior were online only. And the facilitators would contradict our talk, if not to their liking… and they kept talking about their lovely trips here and there (they are now well over their grief), very insensitive.

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@ Juniper19 thank you … Now that i had a few days reflecting on it, perhaps it is meant to be not continuing any further (half way through). Some grief is just too much for those who should not be facilitators. I felt one wanted to impose her notion onto whatever she deems not correct. For example, I feed birds in my garden, which she said people should not feed birds in the city. Very weird. The interesting thing is the facilitators hardly talk about their faith, rather focused on themselves.

I did follow up with the head office in US for Griefshare and discovered that it is merely a product purchased by various groups. And there is no accountability in how to conduct the sessions. So yes, I suspect that I was not a good candidate to be eventually recruited to the church that is offering this program. Very unfortunate.

Prior to this, I did join a few non-faith based grief share group online during the pandemic lock down, they were much better, only I wish they could have been in-person.

I think there are some groups in UK also offer Griefshare. Here in Canada and US, they are run through churches. Oh well…

@LolaA yes the last thing you need right now is to have people trying to impose their own world view - which includes dealing with grief on you. I’m not surprised to hear you say that the facilitators talk more about themselves it’s almost like they want you to connect with them personally and then they can hit you with the religious stuff. Most religious people I know do seem very satisfied with themselves, smug even, like they’ve got it all worked out guess they believe they have got it all worked out. They find it hard to accept that to some people religion is but one story amongst many stories.


That’s not how bereavement groups are supposed to work and the role of facilitators.

The role of facilitators is not to mandate or drive an agenda or a method of how you should deal with it - everyone is on their own journey with a common thread.

The role of the facilitator is to guide the conversation to allow people reluctant to talk, to open up - not be involved in the content of the conversation - that is the job of a qualified psychologist in a private setting.


@MemoriesOfUs yes I agree I was replying to @LolaA who was saying that the facilitators were doing exactly what you are saying.


@Juniper19 sorry that was meant to be reply to @LolaA

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@MemoriesOfUs you make such a good point there that is any bereavement group should be run by someone who has direct experience in loss of a partner. Mixing this up with religion ( even if I had a faith ) seems wrong somehow . How can religious beliefs compensate you for your loss - I can’t get my head around this xxx

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@LolaA well I personally wouldn’t go to a religious group for bereavement support for the reason that you’ve highlighted. The forced indoctrination is totally inappropriate as a replacement for the person who you have lost . Mixing the 2 things up must feel terribly confusing- religion is totally separate from losing a loved one and in my opinion you cannot replace your love with the love of an organised religion. It’s as simple as this to me . I would stick to a group where there is no such agenda xxx


@ Ladysuisei6 I think you are right that most religious churches/groups do not deal with loss too well, but again this is because our whole society does not deal well with it.

For me personally, I wanted to find out where my husband has possibly gone to, i,e, where is his soul spirit now ? It is quite different than replacing my love with religion. I believed in God most of my life. It is all the after-life answers which I sought yet definitely the church bereavement group has not been helpful. These happy Christian facilitators are just not appropriate because they have no need/clues to how to maintaining connection with our beloved, albeit angelized. They want us to move on and forget about them soon enough. I believe it is very damaging for us grievers, who are still coping/struggling with missing our beloved.

I think they were quite perturbed by notion of continuing bond _ Dr Jamie Turndorf’s and many others grief recovering modality. (I have no affiliation with her), only visited her web site, and videos. They both were divorced, who hold quite different position to us, whom hold onto our love in eternity.

I went because of extra human contact, and thought I could learn a few things from the videos. Unfortunately, I had a very bad experience.

Thank you for your suggestion and lots of love…Take care.

P.S. As you, I was not able to say goodbye…very traumatic… I get you… perhaps look up: 'off the left eye" Swedenborg on after-life marriage series… very much related to us who have lost our beloved