The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Brittany Allen
News Editor 

How the grief stole Christmas


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HOLIDAY HURT: Grief can be particularly troublesome during the holidays. HOLIDAY HURT: Grief can be particularly troublesome during the holidays. HOLIDAY HURT: Grief can be particularly troublesome during the holidays.

For people coping with loss, this time of year can be very lonely . This is something Goldendale local Laura Rooke understands. So, while kids are jingle belling and everyone's telling you be of good cheer , Rooke will be hosting multiple events through a program called GriefShare. With Veterans Day coming up this Friday and the holiday season just around the corner , it is typical for some people to find themselves focusing more on what they don't have than they'd like to admit, or in many cases, who they don't have.

Grief can be the dark cloud over many Thanksgiving feasts or Christmas festivities and make the month between the third week of November and Dec. 25 not

the most wonderful time of the year . There are two events coming up so as to get a jump on the holiday season. The two hour sessions are called

"Surviving the Holidays Without Your Loved One." The first is to take place on Saturday , Nov . 12 from 2 4 p.m. and the second will be on Thursday , Nov . 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Both are to be hosted and paid for by the Columbus Avenue Baptist Church as a gift to those grieving in the community . Rooke has said that she first found the program after experiencing her own loss a few years ago. "Finding myself in deep grief over the loss of a loved one, I knew I needed the kind of help that someone who had experienced something similar could provide," Rooke says. She initially searched for a support group in town and contacted many local services she believed may have a group she could attend, and-according to her-"the more [she] looked around the more [she] realized just how many people here in Goldendale had suffered a profound loss and were going around trying to sort out the emotions for themselves and acting as normal as possible while still hurting." After striking out on what she was specifically looking for in Goldendale, Rooke took to the Internet to research groups devoted to helping the bereaved, and eventually she found GriefShare. The closest existing groups she found were in Idaho and Yakima,

so she made a trip to Yakima and found what she was looking for . She then inquired into how she could start a similar group here and spoke with the Baptist pastor, Mike Block, who had some previous experience with the program, and the pieces started to fall into place. Besides the one-time program to be hosted this upcoming week, GriefShare also offers a 13-week session on the journey to healing from loss. This program will be available to the Goldendale community as of January of next year . The first seminar will take place in the fellowship hall of the Columbus Avenue Baptist Church on Jan. 29 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and the group will meet on a weekly basis from then on. According to Rooke, because the individual sessions of this program cover different aspects of grief and/or healing, "you can come at any time." Of her role in bringing this opportunity to Goldendale, Rooke says: "I don't see myself as the organizer-this is God's gig. I'm just the legs." For more information about GriefShare and the programs they offer, you can visit www .griefshare. org.


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