ATTENTION WIDOWS & WIDOWERS: You are invited to join a very special session entitled “Loss of a Spouse” this coming Thursday, October 8th, 5:00pm – 7:00 pm at Mount Olivet United Methodist Church, 300 Ananias Dare St., Manteo, NC 27954. Per the exceptional course instructor and widow, Peggy Snead, the meeting will be held in the church sanctuary and masks are required. Also, if you are unable to attend in person, please call the church at (252) 473-2089 Ext. 21 in advance and ask for the information required to connect to ZOOM on your computer from home.
As the title indicates, the class will benefit men and women who have lost their spouse and if you can join the group I strongly recommend it; having personally attended Peggy’s extensive “Grief Share” class (a 13-week course), I can attest that being in the company of other folks who have lost the love of their life…helps. Please note: the ZOOM connect numbers and passwords will stay the same for the 13-week class as well, again for any questions please contact the church prior to October 15th. Also…the workbook is $15…and while you are NOT required to purchase it to attend or participate, I heartly recommend it! Just contact the church and let them know you would like one prior to the course so you can pick it up at the church prior to or the night of the first class.
The ‘extended’ class will begin on the following Thursday, October 15th also from 5:00pm – 7:00pm also at the church. During the program you will experience extremely supportive videos, discussion periods and other sources of help. The videos are very well done and many people from all walks of life openly reveal the loss they have experienced, their emotions, their questions, their heartfelt sadness, their methods of coping and in general you realize that while grief is deep and at times dark and extremely lonesome, there are people every day that go through it just like you…that you are not alone and that you are a normal person suffering great loss but…that you can get through it…you can lift your head up, kiss the sky and know that your beloved is safe, happy and healthy again…that memories will carry you through and that the love you feel will remain in your heart never to leave you. In my way of thinking, love is like an energy of its own kind and its perpetual and you realize seeing or listening to others that you can get through it, that you can smile again and laugh about the funny, silly times you shared together and how absolutely precious life really is. You become thankful for the times everything was great…and you even miss the hard times because though they were ‘hard’ times, they were still times you went through it together.
No one in their right mind wants to delve into grief and sadness all the time but grief is a natural emotion I think God allows us to feel…maybe in order to heal…He lost his precious, Holy son…He understands. When you physically attend the class, you bond with the others who are there for the same reason and while you aren’t required to volunteer your grief…the relationship…the way in which they died, it truly isn’t the essence…loving that person with all of your heart and missing them deeply makes good ingredients turn into…SOUP. We have gone through a humongous hurt…just like a lot of other folks…but we can see the beautiful sun rise in the east and lay in the west…we can still hear the tweets of little birds and even the squawking of a cormorant…but they are the sounds of life and life is wonderful even when we face the challenge of meeting loss head on, working our way through it, over it and past it to still look for joy and desire more of it.
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I know first-hand that the good Lord, the Bible and prayer are always the first place to absorb the comfort that faith provides, but I also believe that God provides comfort through additional means as well and Peggy’s classes have certainly helped me. How? Because not only is she compassionate and caring, she’s a nice Christian lady who also lost her true, true love Mr. Eugene Snead four years ago and when you attend her “Grief Share” classes you know without question that she feels much like the rest of us…missing that incredible other half that brought so much joy, laughter, comfort and love into her life. Peggy understands…and like those of us who attend her classes…she can identify. She is together though, committed to help others, professional and supportive in every way and it is my belief that God gave her this ministry to help the rest of us who miss our husband or wife too. God picked a good one to organize and conduct these class gatherings…but then, He always does everything right…He just does.
If you are interested in attending the 13-week session in person, please let the church office know in advance to reserve a seat and acquire your workbook with scripture reference which has places to make notes etc. (I love this handbook – it is awesome!). Another great thing about it is that you do NOT have to attend every single session…if you cannot make it…not a problem, the workbook gives a schedule for particular chapter topics and you can read at home to keep up. As Peggy explained, due to the holidays there are periods of time the class sessions do not occur which obviously extends the completion date into 2021…see? No rush! No pressure! And the offering is something you will be glad you accepted, and special for you (and me)! As Peggy said, for those who would prefer not to attend in person, it will also be available for viewing on Zoom and in that case, again please contact the church office at: (252) 473-2089 ext.21 and if you choose to attend through Zoom the session will consist of a 30-minute video followed by questions/discussion as needed along with additional information that may be of help as you go through your Grief Share journey.
The difference in this coming Thursday, October 8th class is that it focuses specifically on the loss of a spouse whereas the 13-week ‘Grief Share’ class (starting the following Thursday October 15th) encompasses all losses that were near and dear…spouses, family members, boy or girl friends, best friends…anyone we loved deeply that has now passed away.
One thing for sure folks, I’m no expert but I know what its like to love someone so much that everything reminds me of him, not only our beautiful children and grandchildren but a zillion other things we did together…sights and sounds that stir up a reminder he’s gone far, far away. However, my faith tells me I have a chance to see my Heavenly Father who brought my Billy and I together and hold each other so tightly again…and what a day of rejoicing that will be!
Until next time…be happy, be safe and be proud of who you are and who you love…even if the miles cannot be counted between you. If they are close by, hug and kiss them and tell them how special they are and how thankful you are they are in your life; forgive and forget past mistakes…we all make them, don’t we? Let go of the drama, start fresh if need be and live life together for as long as you can. And do not forget that I love you all too! If you know a veteran who could use some help, give them my cell# (252) 202-2058 or email: email@example.com or Patty O’Sullivan, Dare County Veteran Service Officer at (252) 475-5604 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org God bless you wonderful people and stay tuned!