MIDDLEPORT, Ohio — Middleport Church of Christ has been hosting support groups to help people learn to process grief.
The group is led by Teri Hockman, Middleport Baptist Church’s office administrator.
“It’s just a place where you could find other people that are dealing with the same thing and people that care and can listen to your story,” Hockman said in an interview. “So it’s a good thing. The people that have gone through it have enjoyed it.”
The support group operates through a curriculum offered by GriefShare, a national organization that offers many resources to help people through the grieving process.
Middleport Church of Christ started the group in January and their first 13-week cycle of classes ended in April. They are currently in the middle of the second cycle of classes.
A big aspect of the class is the opportunity to share and listen with other people going through similar experiences.
“They can express their grief and not be told, ‘OK, you’ve been upset for long enough, you should be moving on,’” Hockman said. “Hearing other people’s stories that have gone farther in their grief journey (also helps).”
Hockman said she was inspired to start the group after the loss of her brother in December of 2019. Her sister-in-law went through a GriefShare course.
“So that just made me think, OK, you know, there’s nothing like that here,” Hockman said. “And I felt like there was a need [for that].”
Hockman tried to start the group in early 2020, but was unable to do so because of the pandemic. She said that COVID-19 emphasized the need for a program like GriefShare.
“With people passing from COVID, there just seemed like there was a big need,” Hockman said.
The Church has been spreading the word of the course by word of mouth, advertisements and brochures in local funeral homes.
Last year, Middleport Church of Christ also held an event called “Surviving the Holidays.” It was designed to help people deal with the first holiday season without a friend or family member.
The GriefShare course is free, aside from a $20 payment to purchase the necessary materials for the course. Middleport Church of Christ does offer scholarships to help people cover the cost.
The group meets on Tuesdays from 6-7:30 p.m.
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Luke Blain is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.