Caregiving and Hospice, June 20 - June 26

From Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
  • Excellent commentary on NY Times article on Delirium | GeriPal - Geriatrics and Palliative Care Blog, http://bit.ly/daTR4c
  • Questions To Ask Before You Hire A Companion Agency For Your Elderly Parents, http://dld.bz/hTJW

Understanding and Managing Grief, June 20 - June 26, 2010

From Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
  • Outstanding interview with Ron Villano on how grief differs for men | Open to Hope Foundation, http://bit.ly/bjS7uh

Coping with Pet Loss, June 20 - June 26

From Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

After Death Communication

Image Source
Of all the various ways that grief can express itself, perhaps one of the most unsettling is to experience the presence of a lost loved one some time after the death has occurred.  When one so dear to us is gone, it can be very hard to accept that the individual is really dead.  We may think about and dream about our beloved much of the time, and it may seem as if everything around us is a reminder of the one we have lost.  Sometimes we may think we've seen, heard or been touched by the individual--or even that we've received a symbolic communication or message from the one who has died, in the form of a meaningful signal or a vivid dream that appears very real.  Some people find this to be very frightening and disorienting, while others find it to be quite helpful and even comforting. Known as an ADC, or after-death communication, such a mystical experience is by no means abnormal, nor does it forecast a complicated grief reaction.  While some may find them distressing, it is generally believed that such mystical experiences have great power and personal significance for the mourner and may be an important, if not vital, part of healing.

Nowadays grief counselors are encouraged to support, enable and empower grief-stricken individuals to maintain their loving connections with their deceased loved ones. In the official newsletter of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, for example, licensed grief counselor Jane Bissler advocates for parents needing to maintain a bond with their child who has died, and calls upon bereavement professionals to include this in our practice. "Helping these bereaved parents to know the significance of continuing bonds is our new responsibility," she writes. "Nor is it enough for them to know about it. It is imperative that they also be taught how to create a new relationship with their child rather than letting it go." ("My Child Has Died, and So Have I! Grieving the Loss of An Adolescent Child," The Forum, January 2009).

In a study reported in OMEGA—Journal of Death and Dying (Volume 59, Number 2 / 2009), researchers examined subjects’ accounts of post-death encounters and their positive effects on the bereaved. Their findings: The encounters profoundly affected the participants’ beliefs in an afterlife and attitudes toward life and death, and had a significant effect on their grief. Finally, post-death encounters had a healing effect on the participants by contributing to a sense of connectedness with the deceased. We conclude that health care professionals and counselors should be educated about post-death encounters so that the bereaved can share their experiences in a supportive and understanding atmosphere.

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© by Marty Tousley, RN, MS, FT, DCC

Caregiving and Hospice - June 13 - June 19

From Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing): A treatment to take the stress out of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, http://bit.ly/cZU382

Father's Day, 2010

From Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Understanding and Managing Grief - June 13 - June 19

From Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
  • Bereavement photographer lovingly records dying babies’ short lives - chicagotribune.com, http://bit.ly/ag5Jkk
  • Haunting, tragic post: Nightmares Have Taken the Place of Dreams | GrievingDads.com Project, http://bit.ly/9VaQjn

Coping with Pet Loss - June 13 - June 19

From Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:: 

News of Interest - June 13 - June 19

From Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

News from Gift From Within: PTSD Resources for Caregivers and Survivors

The following information comes to us from Joyce Boaz, Executive Director of Gift From Within, the international non-profit organization for survivors of trauma and victimization.  With the trailer below, she introduces Striking a Chord, a new music documentary by Susan Cohn Rockefeller (to be released later this year), about US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and the healing power of music:



From Gift from WithinWhat's the effect of four deployments on an American soldier? Susan Cohn Rockefeller's new documentary Striking a Chord is a window on that world, where troops maneuver between constant threat and crushing boredom. It's also a look at how music can provide some relief and a return, however brief, to normalcy. The backdrop to the story of Striking a Chord is the somber reality of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and its devastating and isolating effects. Striking a Chord reminds us that when our soldiers return home, they need special care and attention; PTSD is a disorder that many veterans are ashamed to speak about. Yet it's all too common, and, as the film shows, music can provide a way to begin the healing process.

Joyce also announces a new article from Gift From Within entitled Understanding Complex Trauma, Complex Reactions, and Treatment Approaches, by trauma expert Christine A. Courtois, PhD. Written primarily for beginning therapists and practitioners, the article includes an overview of what constitutes complex traumatization; common initial and long-term responses and symptoms; and their diagnostic conceptualization as complex PTSD or DESNOS (Disorder of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified). An overview of treatment sequencing and stages is included, along with a bibliography by Christine Courtois.

Additionally, due to the overwhelming positive response to its first group of webcasts, Gift Form Within has decided to produce more of them, and sometime in July 2010 will present new educational webcasts featuring its Founder, Dr. Frank Ochberg.  The programs will be of interest to trauma survivors, clergy, therapists and camp counselors.

© by Marty Tousley, CNS-BC, FT, DCC  

Twitter Selections, Week of June 6 - June 12

Recommended reading, from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

On Caregiving and Hospice:
On Understanding and Managing Grief:
  • Healing Grief | Interview with Dr. Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD | Finding Meaning in Loss, http://bit.ly/bnqbOM
  • Students of AMF E-Newsletter - June 2010: supporting grieving college students, http://bit.ly/d1rWbG
  • Families With a Missing Piece: Later Effects of Parent's Early Death | WSJ.com, http://bit.ly/8XO70n
  • Catherine Tidd: No ‘Shoulds’ in Grieving a Spouse’s Death | Open to Hope Foundation http://bit.ly/cvbExs
On Pet Loss:
Other Recommended Listening, Viewing, and Reading: 
  • Gulf oil spill: "There is no more urgent task this summer than waking Americans from this collective state of denial," http://bit.ly/c2IvbR

A Band of Sisters

The video clip below features actresses AJ Cook and Blythe Danner telling the story of Taryn Davis, founder of the American Widow Project and Viet Nam-era widow Glenda Carter, at the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, DC on May 30, 2010. It emphasizes the value of finding mutual support, and gives poignant testimony to Rabbi Earl Grollman's observation that "grief shared is grief diminished."

Selected Tweets, Week of May 30 - June 5

Recommended reading, from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

On Caregiving and Hospice:
On Understanding and Managing Grief:
On Pet Loss:
Other Recommended Listening, Viewing, and Reading: 

Selected Tweets, Week of May 23 - May 29

Recommended reading, from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

On Caregiving and Hospice:
  • Paula Span: Elderly Spouses Face Hurdles When Caring For Themselves, Ill Loved Ones, http://bit.ly/cVuEZm 
 
On Understanding and Managing Grief:
  • Mary Jane Hurley Brant: What it Means to Grieve a Loss | Open to Hope Foundation http://bit.ly/diS8Kg
  • Frank Bingham: Living example of surviving personal tragedy « RISE of Your Life Blog http://bit.ly/d0RLCs
 
On Memorial Day: 


On Pet Loss:

Other Recommended Listening, Viewing, and Reading:
  • Useful, practical, uplifting 20-minute podcast: Transforming Losses with Guest Ligia Houben | Open to Hope Foundation, http://bit.ly/9Ot0nz 

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