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Gimli support group offers help for those grieving

Dave Baxter/For Interlake Publishing

A support group in Gimli has been set up to help those who have lost loved ones, and let those who are grieving know that they are not alone.

“Grief takes an awful lot out of a person physically, mentally and emotionally because you don’t know if what you’re going through is normal,” Gimli Bereavement Support Group facilitator Denise Wenzel said.

“To be in a setting with other people going through the same thing gives you a sense of community. I believe one of the most important things about this is to let people look across the room and see there is someone else going through the same thing.”

Wenzel is facilitating the new Bereavement Support Group in Gimli, a free eight-week group starting on April 24 that will offer support to residents of all ages who have lost loves ones, and are seeking support.

“It will take people through the grief journey together so they can learn a little more about themselves, deal with the emotions and know what they are feeling and going through is normal and it’s OK,” Wenzel said.

Wenzel said the group could be helpful for anyone of any age who has lost a family member or close friend. She said she knows from personal experience the way that grief can take over a person’s life.

“I’m doing this because I have personal experience with grief,” Wenzel said. “I lost my son about 12 years ago and I attended a group like this, and I found it to be immensely helpful.”

Wenzel is inviting people of all ages from Gimli and the surrounding areas who have lost relatives or close friends.
She said she also understands that every person will deal with grief in their own way.

“Nothing really prepares you for that kind of loss,” she said. “You sometimes can think ‘Am I going crazy? Is this normal?’  

Wenzel said that for this type of group it is suggested that people be at least six months into their “grief journey” before they begin attending.

She added that for those who have lost loves ones and suddenly live alone, the group can help take away some of those feelings of loneliness and isolation. 

The Bereavement Support Group in Gimli begins April 24, and runs for eight Mondays from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Gimli New Horizons Centre at 17 North Colonization Road in Gimli.

Wenzel said if someone can’t sign up before the first session on April 24 they are invited to start up with the group at the second session on May 1.
Anyone looking to sign up for the group or get more information can call 204-642-7909.

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