LEWISTON – Guidance Through Grief, a six-week program co-sponsored by Central Maine Medical Center and Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice, will be held Tuesdays, Feb. 1 through March 8.

The program is designed to help those struggling with the loss of a loved one navigate the emotional waters of grief. Through open discussions, group exercises and optional assignments, participants, along with facilitators, will explore grief as a process, learn ways for dealing with practical concerns, identify stress and pain management techniques for survivors and discover ways for finding hope and comfort.

“Throughout the course of the six weeks,” said facilitator Jim Douglas, “the group discusses a range of topics including normal and complicated grief, and the myths surrounding grief. About one-third to one-half of our time together is dedicated to providing education and information and the remainder is for sharing stories.”

He said, “It’s important to know that, within the group, we work toward creating a safe environment for sharing. For some, telling their stories is healing; for others, it feels better to just listen. Whatever the choice, we understand that grieving doesn’t know any bounds or time in the way it plays out from individual to individual. Consequently, anyone who has suffered a loss, whether it’s been three months or three years, may benefit.”

Douglas said the program is offered three times a year – winter, spring and fall. Spring and fall sessions will be offered in the evening when daylight hours are longer. Due to the nature of the program, new participants may only join a group up through the second session.

The program is offered free to the community, and anyone interested in participating in the session may preregister by contacting Trish Warren-VanHorn at 795-2692 or Jim Douglas at 795-9378.

More information about AHCH can be found at the agency’s Web site, ahch.org.

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