Grief is one of life’s toughest journeys. Sara Dykstra has felt that pain and wants to help others who have lost loved ones to death. She will lead a 13-week Christian-based “GriefShare” ministry at Grace United Methodist, in Geneseo, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays, beginning Oct 11.

Grief is one of life’s toughest journeys. Sara Dykstra has felt that pain and wants to help others who have lost loved ones to death. She will lead a 13-week Christian-based “GriefShare” ministry at Grace United Methodist, in Geneseo, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays, beginning Oct 11.

The class will continue through November, with a special holiday session in December, and resume in January.

“I am looking forward to sharing this program with others who have lost a loved one,” Dykstra said.

She knows the pain of losing someone close. Her father, Grady Usrey, passed away last year after being diagnosed with a terminal illness eight months earlier.

“My dad was my best friend, the rock in our family, and to watch him struggle to breathe and become weak, was devastating. He passed away on his 67th birthday, about 45 minutes after I left his house.”

Even before her father became ill, Dykstra spoke to him or visited him daily which left a huge void in her life with his absence.

“I felt very alone, as none of my friends had suffered the loss of a parent. It was new territory,” she said. “The entire process was very isolating, and I needed something to help me see the bigger picture.”

She attended the GriefShare program offered at First United Methodist Church, in Geneseo, in the fall of 2014, and said she found it very helpful.

“The group provided a place where I could be open about my loss and honest about how much I was struggling with my grief,” she said. “The videos are insightful and the workbook is very beneficial.”

Each session of GriefShare has three elements:

• Video seminar with experts where the group watches a video seminar featuring top experts on grief and recovery subjects.

• Support group discussion with focus – After viewing the video, group members will spend time a s a support group, discussing what was presented in that week’s video and what is happening in their lives.

• Personal study and reflection – participants are able to use their workbook during the week for further personal study of the grieving process and to help sort out emotions through journaling.

“Going through loss has made me a better person, and I am now able to reach out to others who are grieving. It is hard, and more days than I like to admit, my grief still takes hold of me. It is hard to accept that my dad is gone, but I have to get up and keep moving forward, because I still have a life to live.

“Grief does not go away or get easier, it just changes over time,” Dykstra said.

The program is open to the public. Advance registration is encouraged and may be made online at www.geneseograce.org or by contacting the church office at 944-4208. Participants also can register at the first session.