|POMC local Chapters hold monthly meetings, provide a telephone network of support, supply information about the grief process, organize a speakers bureau and provide accompaniment for survivors who attend court proceedings. Many Chapters publish their own newsletter.
In areas where there are not enough members to sustain a Chapter, contact persons provide much of the same level of support.
Most meetings begin with introductions and each survivor telling of his/her loss. Often there is a topic to guide discussions such as the grief process, the criminal justice system or favorite memories. Usually meetings revolve around group member's own knowledge and experiences but occasionally outside speakers are invited to present information and to learn from survivors.
One member said "In the meetings, people are so supportive, you don't have to be afraid to say what you feel. No one is there to judge your feelings or to persuade you to think differently."
A reporter described a meeting in Wisconsin: "These mothers and fathers talked about their feelings of anger, hopelessness, bitterness and their seemingly endless grief. No one told them 'Forget about it' or 'You should be over that by now'.
As members help one another by sharing experiences, feelings and insights and by allowing others to do the same, their grief is somehow lessened.
PERMISSIONS AND GROUND RULES
FOR POMC SUPPORT GROUP MEETINGS
Grief is a part of life.
It is not a pathological illness.
This is a safe, welcoming place.
What is spoken here stays here.
Share only as much as is comfortable for you.
Listening to others is a good growth experience, too.
If you feel pressure to talk and don't feel like it, say so.
Your story is true and unique and not open to comparison.
Your grief is unique to you.
We will avoid giving advice.
We will listen and not interrupt.
Each of us has equal time, we do not monopolize.
Your spirituality and belief system is yours and is to be honored.
The group will begin and end on time.
Thoughts and feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are.
This is a support group, not a therapy group.
Support means we will walk with each other.
We will not try to change you or how you feel.
Anger, depression and other feelings are real.
We will simply be here beside you.
Submitted by the Northeastern Kentucky/Carter County Chapter of POMC