Downeast 12-Step Bereavement Support Group – Meeting Format

Downeast 12-Step Bereavement Support Group – Introduction



noun: bereavement; plural noun: bereavements

the action or condition of being bereaved.

“there is no right way to experience bereavement”


Time: 12 PM to 1PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Thursdays

ATTEND BY ZOOM Just click the highlighted URL.   


Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 827 2513 8780

Passcode: 721241

Dial : +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)


Welcome to the Downeast 12-Step Bereavement Group, based on the Fellowship of the Spirit 12 Step Program. 

NOTE (not read): In this Fellowship, we expand our definition of God to include Higher Power, Good Orderly Direction, Universe, Great Spirit, Creative Intelligence, etc. We do not need to consider another’s conception of their Higher Power — our own personal conception, however inadequate, is sufficient to make an approach and effect contact with a Higher Power.* 

Our primary purpose is to provide a way for interested people to study a 12-Step program and gain a new relationship with their experience of the loss of a loved one.

We welcome everyone and anyone can speak.

Today we will be reading from HEALING AFTER LOSS by Martha Whitmore Hickman. We will also read a preselected poem.

We are not affiliated with any organization such as A.A., Al-Anon, OA, NA or other 12-Step groups, but we conduct our meetings following their principles and tenets. Our focus is on those whose lives have been affected by the loss of a loved one.

Primary among our principles is the concept of anonymity. We ask that you do not repeat anything you see or hear at this meeting to anyone who was not present. The physical and emotional well-being of many participants depends on anonymity. 

Would all of you please join me in a moment of silence followed by the Third Step Prayer, found on page 63 of the Big Book, 2nd paragraph: 

God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life. 

May I do Thy will always!

We will now go around the circle and introduce ourselves using our first name only and, if you would like, the name of your loved one(s), the subject of your grief, and your relationship to them…

Hi, my name is ___(your first Name)______and I am the ___(mother/father/sister/brother, son/daughter, friend, etc.)____ of __ (first Name of loved one)___.


Would all those who care to, please join together in saying the “Set Aside” prayer by repeating after me:

God, please help me to set aside everything I think I know, about 12 Step programs, my grief and my recovery, for an open mind and a new experience.


We recognize there are many worthwhile ways to study the Steps and ask that if you have never considered doing the steps give it a try and see if it appeals to you. May your practices of the Steps, in whatever method you choose, help you to achieve the serenity you desire.


We will now read the 12 Steps with each person reading a Step when their turn comes.

If you feel uncomfortable doing this, please say “Pass”.

These steps are an adaptation of those in the AA Big Book, AlAnon “Courage to Change” and those found at Grieving Anonymous —

Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over our loss — that our grieving and lives had become unmanageable.

Step 2– Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Step 3– Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.

Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless inventory of all unresolved matters pertaining to our loss.

Step 5 – Admitted to God,ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of those unresolved matters, emotions and conflicts. 

Step 6–  Were entirely ready to have God remove these conflicts.

Step 7 – Humbly asked God to remove these conflicts and the torment of loss.

Step 8– Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and/or the subject of our loss and became willing to make amends to them all.

Step 9  – Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step 10 – Continued to take personal inventory and when we felt grief or loss, promptly admitted it. 

Step 11 – Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.

Step 12 – Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others who have experienced loss and struggle with great grieving in their life and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

SOURCE — AlAnon, AA &


The format of the meeting is that we each read one of the pieces from today’s reading. If you do not wish to read, please say “pass.”  If it is a longer reading, we each read one paragraph and then say “pass”.

After we have finished the reading(s) for today, each person can share their experience, strength and hope about what we read, or discuss passages that were meaningful to them. 

We encourage the use of ‘I’ statements rather than ‘You’ statements, and speaking only about one’s own experience, strength and hope. Please avoid crosstalk and engaging in back-and-forth conversation during this part of the meeting.  Be mindful of the size of the group and limit the time of your sharing so that all who wish to may share. Also know that there is no obligation or expectation to share.  Please feel safe and comfortable to share or not as the Spirit moves you.


This week we will be reading from HEALING AFTER LOSS

We will also read  a selected poem e-mailed prior to the meeting.

After the reading the meeting will be open for discussion by anyone present.

Who would like to begin this week’s reading?

Who would like to read the day’s poem?


There are no dues or fees to belong to our study group. We are self-supporting through our own contributions. This is a ZOOM Meeting and so our expenses are limited at this time.

In closing, I would like to say that the opinions expressed here were strictly those of the person who gave them. Take what you like and leave the rest.

The things you hear are spoken in confidence and should be treated as confidential. Keep them within the walls of this room and the confines of your mind.

Talk to each other, reason things out with someone else, but let there be no gossip or criticism of one another. Instead, let the understanding, love, and peace of the program grow in you one day at a time.


A few special words to those of you who haven’t been with us long: Whatever your problems, there are those of us who have had them too. If you try to keep an open mind, you will find help. You will come to realize that there is no situation too difficult to be bettered, and no unhappiness that is too great to be lessened.

We aren’t perfect. The welcome we give you may not show the warmth we have in our hearts for you. After a while, you’ll discover that though you may not like all of us, you’ll love us in a very special way — the same way we already love you.

Phone List

We have a phone list available. Please ask for that email, and/or to be included on it.


Are there any announcements?

Could we have someone volunteer to lead the meeting next week?

Concluding Prayers

For all who care to join us, we will now recite the “Prayer for Today” followed by  the Serenity prayer. 


God, make me an instrument of Thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.



God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Let Thy Will, Not Mine, Be Done.


“* For more in-depth discussion on this, refer to Chapter 4 of the AA Big Book.



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