post by IFD Instructor, Jerry Herauf, March 23, 2023
Grief can be a lonely place, and those who care for persons who are grieving often find themselves at a loss. A BeADisciple course I facilitate, Helping Others Grow Through Their Grieving, has been of great help to many who minister to the grieving and/or their friends and family, guiding them to grow during this difficult time.
Leading this course has been an awesome experience, largely because it uses the book Understanding Your Grief, by Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD. Dr. Wolfelt is known nationwide for his compassionate messages about healing in grief. It presents a knowledgeable and heartfelt grieving process our author shares out of his own experience following his father’s death in 1999.The loss touched him so deeply that he has gone on to write 50 books on grieving, as well as founding and directing a Center for Loss and Life Transition in Fort Collins, Colorado.
“The book is a valuable resource, and I am glad to have been introduced to it through taking this course,” online learner Mary Ellen said. In fact, many learners in my course have said they plan to share this resource with others who are grieving.
Learners use lessons from the book and accompanying journal to interact with one another on the Blackboard discussion board and in four required Zoom meetings held on Wednesday evenings during the four-week course.
I have had some great interactions in the course with learners! Cindy said “I am so glad that I decided to sign up for this class! It has taught me so much more than I ever expected. I wish that I had this type of resource long ago. I now feel better equipped to interact with others who are grieving. I will also continue my own grief journey with greater insight into what is going on with my emotional, physical and spiritual self. It has been a blessing to meet all of you and share our grief journeys and stories.”
If you regularly work with and love people who are experiencing grief, this course may be a great option for you. It will be offered again April 17 to May 15.
I will leave you with these words from Cynthia: “My dear classmates, this has been a remarkable journey for me, filled with many learnings that I will apply going forward. Your presence in this course has made the journey easier for me. I thank you for your willingness to share openly and for your support of my thought. I pray God’s blessings upon each of us as we move towards reconciliation.”
Blessings to you upon your own life journey!
Jerry Herauf, BeADisciple Instructor
PS – I had a great trip with my son! I’ll be back with Psalm 26 next week. Lisa
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Jerry Herauf (M.A., M.Div.) trained and ministered in the Jesuit community for 18 years before continuing his lay service in publishing, pastoral care, and bereavement ministry for more than four decades.
He has been chaplain and director of pastoral care ministries in hospitals and long-term care facilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania over the past 20 years. He currently is PRN (as-needed) hospice chaplain with Revolutionary Home Health and Hospice in Allentown and Eynon, Penn., and facilitates seminar courses and bereavement support groups online and in-person.
Jerry is a spiritual counselor, certified by the Jesuit Spirituality Center (Guelph, Ont.). He has directed retreats ranging from one-on-one counseling to Ignatian retreats lasting up to 30 days, as well as those taking place in everyday lives. Of all his ministries, he has found his work among the grieving to be one of the most poignant.