GriefShare: A guided journey

March 2013 Posted in Community
GriefShare classes begin
Wednesday, April 3, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Oak Street Church, 502 Oak St. Silverton
For information or to register,
call the church at 503-873-5446;
Lynne at 503-910-0525 or
email Lynne at

To learn more about GriefShare,
The classes are free.
There is a $15 fee for
the workbook.

By Kristine Thomas

Silverton resident Lynne Sacher Rice doesn’t want anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one to navigate the nightmare on his or her own.

That’s why she decided to facilitate GriefShare, a grief recovery support group.

“GriefShare teaches you the tools to overcome what you are going to go through and what to expect in your personal journey of grief,” she said.  “Grief is a natural process except that everyone’s journey is unique and different.”

Rice wants to help people who have lost a spouse, sibling, child or parent by providing them with the support and resources they need. She wishes she had known about GriefShare after the unexpected death of her husband, Kurt Sacher, on Sept. 1, 2007. They had been married for 30 years.

“I knew there had to be a better way to go through grief than the way I went through it with my head down,” she said. “My grief devastated and almost destroyed me. I didn’t go to any groups. I didn’t feel I had time to take care of myself.”

Last year, Rice held the first GriefShare class. She invites people to attend the next session begining Wednesday, April 3, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Oak Street Church, 502 Oak St., Silverton.

According to its web site, GriefShare is a nondenominational group and features biblical teachings on grief and recovery topics.

Rice said each session is “self-contained” so people do not have to attend in sequence. She encourages people to come to the first session and learn more about the program.

“Whether you believe in Jesus or not, it is a foundation to help people through their grief,” she said.

Rice said she received positive feedback from members of the first group. Many told her they realized by participating that what they were experiencing was normal.

Whether a person’s loss happened a few days, a few months or several years ago, Rice said she encourages them to attend to a meeting.

“It doesn’t matter how old your grief is,” she said. “Grief doesn’t go away. You learn to live with it and it can hit you in places when it is unexpected. This class teaches you to deal with grief in a healthy way.”

When she hears about someone in her community who has lost someone they deeply love, she said her heartbreaks. She knows they will attempt to endure dealing with grief on their own. She hopes they will  find support – whether it’s through their church or a grief support group.

“If you try to do this alone, the grief will rip you up from the inside out and kill you,” Rice said.

Now remarried to David Rice, she works at Canyonview Camp and facilitates retreats at the Christian Renewal Center.

“When Kurt passed away, I came back to the house, looked out the window and thought, ‘who I am without Kurt?’ Losing him was like losing half of me,” she said. “The Lord told me I would go through hell for two years before I came around to help other women.”

Rice says she’s grateful for the support she received from her friends and family. However, she said, there’s something about being able to talk with someone who has lost a loved one, because he or she understands a little more about the experience. GriefShare provides people an opportunity to share and learn from one another.

GriefShare is a better way to deal with grief than how she experienced it, Rice said.

“This is Jesus’ way to teach them how to survive. I believe I went through this to be able to really help people who have lost someone like I did,” she said. “Because I have been through and felt every emotion that they are going through and will go through, I can help others through my loss. It’s my job on Earth now to help others.”

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