Wayne and Linda Taylor with the help of Dixie Painter will be hosting GriefShare, a support group for those dealing with grief. (Photo courtesy of GriefShare)
Wayne and Linda Taylor with the help of Dixie Painter will be hosting GriefShare, a support group for those dealing with grief. (Photo courtesy of GriefShare)
VAN WERT — When Wayne and Linda Taylor lost their life partners to death many years ago, they felt like their lives had stopped and they were uncertain about what the future held for them. At the time, neither even thought of going on with another partner, let alone using their crushing experience to help lift up many others like them that needed encouragement and assistance.

On March 7, the local couple will begin their 14th session with a support group known as GriefShare. The session consists of three components: a video with encouraging information-packed videos featuring leading grief recovery experts, small group discussion about the weekly video content and journaling and personal study exercises that reinforce the weekly session topics.

Sessions will be held on Tuesday evenings through May 30 at Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Chapel located at 1155 Westwood Drive in Van Wert.

In addition, Dixie Painter also assists with the group. Painter has worked through the painful grief of the loss of a son and brother.

Following the loss of her husband, Mike Knodel, 14 years ago, Linda had a close friend, Sandy, who sent her a card with the encouragement, “just take one step at a time.”

“We met once a month and shared with each other,” said Linda. “At first I thought, ‘how do I live like this?’ Then I started going out with widows.

“I went to my pastor at the time, Clark Williman, at Calvary Church and said, ‘we need to start something for widows.’ He got material for me,” noted Linda. “When I talked with him about leading the group, he said, ‘Linda, I haven’t been through that, you have. You should do that.’”

Initially, a group of five widows started meeting together, but it quickly increased to 12. The basis of their study at the time was “Dealing with Losses of Life” by Dr. Norman Wright.

In time, she and Wayne met and were married. The church they attended in Michigan, where they were living at the time, had a great need for a grief group. It was then that the Taylors heard about the program GriefShare and teamed up with their own hurt emotions to begin leading the special grief sessions.

The couple eventually moved to Van Wert to support members of Linda’s family with need.

Wayne said that by the time they moved to Van Wert, they had already done three sessions in Michigan.

“Through this we all discovered that God still has a special plan for our lives,” said Wayne.

“My life was so wrapped up in my own personal care that I didn’t know who I was,” said Linda. “I began to discover that my life identity is fully wrapped up in Christ. I had to find this whether married or single.”

Wayne said that he will never forget a note they received from a widow that came to one of the sessions. She was really hurting over the death of her husband.

“Her husband was dying; he didn’t want any treatment. In fact he refused treatment,” said Wayne. “He died next to her in bed. She was so angry when she came to GriefShare.”

“She told us that GriefShare was a watershed moment in her experience with grief,” continued Taylor. “She said she had learned to celebrate what we have now and not what we used to have.”

For information, call 419-605-2247 or contact ldtaylor1947@yahoo.com.