Grief can cloud the holidays

The holiday season can be a difficult time for people who are grieving the loss of someone close to them, but a local group can help.

Terry Delaney, who has a private counselling practice in Grand Cayman, is also the facilitator for a free grief recovery group that meets weekly.

Mr. Delaney said there are different stages of grief, which can range from anger to loneliness to confusion, especially when friends and co-workers are in a festive mood. Sometimes people don’t understand what they or their family members are going through.

Full Circle Grief Recovery Group has helped scores of people deal with the loss of loved ones. Participation in the weekly group meetings is kept confidential and, because it is facilitated by a professional counsellor, the group has reached a broad section of the community, Mr. Delaney explained.

Those attending the group include people who have lost children, wives, brothers, sisters, partners and parents.

Full Circle brings people together to discuss their emotions and various stages of grief. “The real benefit of this group is that it gives people a chance to go to a safe setting where there is no judgment or criticism,” Mr. Delaney said.

The concept of a professionally-led recovery group evolved from Our Angels Foundation, a peer support effort that started 11 years ago. The Full Circle Recovery Group officially began in mid-2007 as a joint venture of Our Angels and Cayman HospiceCare. These two organisations shared responsibility for the operations of the grief recovery group and worked diligently to build the programme into the viable and successful service.

A little over a year ago, HospiceCare took over full responsibility for the administration and continuation of the recovery group.

“It is important to all at Cayman HospiceCare that we not only care for our patients, but also that we care for their families and friends,” said Jennifer Grant-McCarthy, HospiceCare operations and fundraising manager. “With Full Circle as the bereavement arm of our charity, we are better equipped to help people deal with the emotions of losses both experienced as well as yet to come.”

She added, “Our hope is that this helps in relieving some of the feelings of isolation that come with grief and loss.”

Full Circle meets at 6pm on Wednesdays at the Conch Shell House across the street from CUC on North Sound Road.

“Often, people attend the group meetings for weeks or just on occasion as they feel they need to attend,” explained Mr. Delaney.

“There is no obligation attached to attending the group. The service continues to be provided without any fee due to the ongoing support of HospiceCare and their generous benefactors,” said Mr. Delaney.

Full Circle meets again on Wednesday, 21 December. It will not meet the following week but will resume on 4 January and every Wednesday in the new year.