People all over the world commemorate their loved ones with ceremonies that reflect their religious or cultural attitudes toward death. Just as we have rituals for other passages of life, we need a ritual for death - one of the most significant of all passages.

The funeral ritual helps the survivors begin to heal emotionally. When someone we love dies, we experience grief. Even though it hurts, it is not something to avoid. Grief is part of the healing process that allows us to separate ourselves from the deceased person and go on with our lives. Funerals stimulate mourners to talk about the deceased, one of the first steps toward accepting the death. The funeral brings together a community of mourners who, by supporting each other, can help themselves through a difficult period.

To be able to resolve their grief, mourners need to accept the reality of death not only on an intellectual level, but on an emotional level as well. However, once the funeral is ended, the journey to emotional acceptance and healing is just beginning. An important step in grieving is expressing the emotions that may accompany death: anger, guilt, fear, sorrow, and depression.

Since 1989, Lakeview Funeral Home has offered continuing Grief Recovery Support Group to assist in the important steps of healing and acceptance of the death of a loved one. Those who are dealing with issues of loss are invited to participate in our Group to explore positive alternatives for coping with the memories and feelings of loss.

Watch our story sharing the start of our Grief Recovery Support Group                          produced by 30 Good Minutes.

Over the years, this Group has been the transitional bridge to dealing with the death of a loved one and the ability to work through the grief and facilitate the healing. Led by Kris Hallowell, a Certified Grief Recovery Facilitator, meetings are held two Mondays each month from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Participation in the group is free of charge and there is a fee for The Grief Recovery Handbook that assists in moving through the various phases of grief. This is an ongoing group and participants are welcome to attend at any stage of the grieving process or as continued support in dealing with the loss of a loved one.

With empathy and compassion, Kris Hallowell and Donna Hachiya are able to guide the group participants through this journey. As Certified Grief Recovery Facilitators, Kris and Donna have been taught how to navigate through the various depths of grieving and acceptance of loss. The added support of group members who are moving along this process provides a foundation of support and caring for new participants.

As part of serving our community, the Lakeview Funeral Home sponsors an Annual Memorial Service, held each year in December. This event consists of a memorial service and social gathering to commemorate those who have died over the past year(s). By bringing together the family and friends of the deceased, it is an opportunity to share our thoughts and memories of our loved ones and to reconnect with members of the community who have traveled similar paths of dealing with loss and grief.