Surviving loss: Grand Canyon offers grief classes for everyone
Healing from Loss offers five-week class July 11- Aug. 9
GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — On July 11, Healing from Loss hosted the first session of a five-week class that focuses on helping people develop the tools needed to move through grief.
Healing from Loss
Grand Canyon Victim Witness Services Advocate: Bethany Larsen: (928) 864-9791
Healing from Loss:
July 11-Aug. 9
Saturday and Sunday
The class is led by Life Discovery, a nonprofit ministry organization based in Glendale, Arizona.
Grand Canyon Victim Advocate Bethany Larsen has been a member of the group for the last 14 years. She said the group is dedicated to walking alongside the brokenhearted — grief work is a central part of their mission.
Life Discovery was formed in 2005. It was originally a single adults group that later moved in a charitable direction.
Though the group is affiliated with Christianity, religion does not play a direct role in grief class, and all are welcome regardless of spiritual belief or practice. The hope of the program is to make the class into an emotionally safe space for every participant.
Life Discovery typically holds two or three classes annually in the Phoenix area. Last year was the first time they expanded to Grand Canyon, condensing the class to reduce travel time and fit in the off-season. Rather than meeting once a week for ten weeks, the northern session of the class meet for five weeks.
Classes takes place July 11-Aug. 9 on Saturday nights from 6:30-9:30 p.m. and Sunday mornings from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Xanterra Human Resources building in Grand Canyon Village.
" There are two types of people ... those who have experienced pain, and those who will experience pain... the class is an experience for a new way of living."
Grand Canyon Victim Advocate
The program is open to anyone who would like to participate.
As of July 9, in-person classes were planned – there currently is adequate space to properly social distance, where it is permitted under both state and county guidelines. If a participant wishes, Zoom meetings can be arranged.
Each session will have both large and small group portions, focusing on developing tools and sorting through emotions. At the end, Larsen said, the hope is to understand what you want to maintain and let go of.
While major life events such as divorce or death may come first to mind, the Grief Recovery Institute lists over 40 types of loss. These range from loss of a friendship or family member to the loss of identity that may accompany major changes.
Loss is a common experience, the reason the class is held several times a year.
“(The class is) run on the premise that grief is unaddressed emotion... [which] needs to be voiced, validated, and processed," Larsen said.
Rather than focusing on circumstances, the course deals with an individual experience of those circumstances.
Larsen emphasized the need for learning about grief, even for those who are not currently experiencing loss.
"There are two types of people," she said. "Those who have experienced pain, and those who will experience pain...the class is an experience for a new way of living."
Larsen encouraged people to be curious about what they might learn and not worry about needing to have a certain way about expressing emotion.
"Crying is not a prerequisite for (participation) in a session,” Larsen said. However. "It is welcome."
More information is available from Larsen at (928) 864-9791.
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