Monday, February 25, 2013

Coping with Cumulative Losses

Source
A reader writes: I lost my brother to brain cancer five months ago. After the funeral, I headed to my best friend's home (in another state) for our annual visit. Her dad had been in a nursing home for Alzheimer's for the past 7 years. The day that I’d intended to return home was the day that he passed away. So, I stayed for that funeral too. Barely two months later, this same friend’s mother (who for years has been like a second mom to me) suffered complications during surgery and developed a blood infection. I rushed back to my friend’s home and arrived in time to see her mom, although she was in already in a coma. She died two days later. Okay - that's three major deaths within three months. I feel as if I can't breathe. I don't know anyone who this has happened to. Many people have no idea what I'm going through because the deaths of my friend's parents “don't count” for me. People think that I don't have a “right” to grieve these deaths. They aren't my “in-laws” and they aren't technically related to me. Tell that to my broken heart. So, I thought that I would write and see if you could say a few words that might help me.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, February 17 - February 23, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Therapy Helps For Traumatized Caregivers, http://nyti.ms/XFbBCP from @PureEssenceLabs via @nytimeshealth

Reclaiming Your Life: National Email Newsletter for @LeezaGibbons Memory Foundation, http://conta.cc/15Cmj1x

Euthanasia’s Euphemisms, http://shar.es/j3ta2 via @_lizzy_ « First Things

For the hearing impaired: How to Turn On Subtitles When Watching Movies at Home, http://j.mp/XHWJU6

Hospice: transitioning from a curative medical model to a life-enhancing one, http://bit.ly/ZmRQQF via @hospicepharmacy

Understanding and Managing Grief, February 17 - February 23, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

When the Loved One You Cared For Dies, What Comes Next? http://ow.ly/hYBqH via @NextAvenue

Being Stoic for Spouse's Sake Comes at High Cost, http://j.mp/YIuyE2 via @HotWidow

Study finds being stoic after child loss not good for marriage, http://ow.ly/hXcZC via @routledgemh

Don't turn the experience of grief into the mental disorder of depression, http://j.mp/XKI2Qk via @AllenFrancesMD

Child Loss: Grief Makes You a Liar and I've been lying to everyone in my life, http://j.mp/159b53k

Coping with Pet Loss, February 17 - February 23, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Animals grieve, too: Left Behind to Carry On, http://j.mp/UzFfL2 « Two Old Horses And Me

What a stupid world, pic.twitter.com/Pd901s4G3R via @WhatsYourGrief
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Teen Struggles with Reaction to Dad's Death

Source
A reader writes: My dad died a little over two weeks ago. He was not sick. He was caught in an undercurrent and drowned. I did not witness it but I heard the stories and have been there enough to be able to picture it. He was not an amazing dad; he worked a lot to provide for us and that's how he showed his love. I started school the Monday after it happened (he drowned on Friday and they found his body on Sunday). I am not crying that much. I can still have a good time. I feel guilty when I do have a good time. I'm worried about not dealing with it because I have a history with very bad depression and have been on 100 mg Zoloft for a while now, so what is wrong with me? My dad just died and life is still going on like normal and a lot of the time I feel relatively normal and am not crying that much. How to deal with it and what is wrong with me????

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, February 10 - February 16, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Official statement: San Diego Hospice intent to close, http://j.mp/VnkTGA

Hospice pioneer reflects on San Diego Hospice closure, http://j.mp/VmYh6C via @rhgerard

Former San Diego Hospice RN asks, "Since When Did the Government Expect Precision in Deciding Death?" http://bit.ly/XcCNbK via @MDelaCalzada

Prognosis: Weeks to Months – On the End of an Era at San Diego Hospice, http://j.mp/VW3XXs « PALLIMED

Coming to Grips with End-of-Life Care, http://j.mp/WwgihT « TEDMED Great Challenges

Understanding and Managing Grief, February 10 - February 16, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Children in Cemeteries, http://j.mp/ZhL1DK  The Family Plot Blog

Grief Chronicles: Poetizing, not pathologizing, http://j.mp/YxQ10Y by @RobertStolorow via @JeanWolfePowers

The Fatigue of Grief, http://j.mp/Urwy5p by @lindanedelstein

Using photography to deal with grief, plus a chance to win a $25 giftcard to Shutterfly, http://j.mp/XWourg « What's Your Grief?

Thoughtful coverage on grief in our digital age, http://j.mp/Ynm8Sd by @StephMBuck @mashable via @WhatMattersNow

Coping with Pet Loss, February 10 - February 16, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

No Regrets, http://j.mp/UntsiK « Two Old Horses and Me

Grief Shared, http://j.mp/VTUOyJ  « Two Old Horses and Me

The Rainbow Bridge and a Glass of Water, http://j.mp/X7bJfh « New England Pet Hospice
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Thoughts Of Suicide in Grief

Source
A reader writes: My beloved died earlier this month, and I can't stop thinking about ending this hell. I know I should stay here for my kids - they don't deserve to lose yet another parent and would be devastated. But I can't see going on like this. Even for one more week. It's just impossible. I'm on antidepressants and sedatives, but I still feel frantic with pain, grief and loneliness. Is this normal? Will I make it? Should I even make it? Or would it be easier to just quit now? I can't even bring myself to pick up the phone and talk to anyone.

My response: My friend, you say you're having thoughts of suicide and you can't stop thinking about ending this hell. Keep in mind that whatever thoughts and feelings you're having are neither right or wrong, good or bad, and they're not always rational – they just are, and for your own mental health it's important to acknowledge them and express them. I want to commend you for doing exactly that: acknowledging and expressing your thoughts of suicide. Many if not most grieving people have those very same thoughts, but they are terribly afraid to share them for fear of being regarded as over-reacting or crazy, or for fear of scaring other people.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, February 3 - February 9, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Stunning! My Mother's Blessing: Touching Hearts with an Alzheimers Patient, http://j.mp/11UYrGl

Animal therapy volunteers bring joy to hospice patients, http://dlvr.it/2wJnL3 via @hospice_news

Jeanne Dennis: Hospice: End-of-Life Conversations When the End Is in Sight, http://j.mp/WyZ9FV

Helpful! Top Ten Tips For Surviving A Long Hospital stay, http://j.mp/14YytS0 by @bringingcomfort

Death Cafes get people talking about end of life, http://j.mp/11Vc6gw ~ Excellent work by ADEC's @_lizzy_via @hospice_mktg

Understanding and Managing Grief, February 3 - February 9, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Mom reflects on Miscarriage "It's a grief that never leaves you," http://ow.ly/hrUUM via @VillageMemorial

On Grief and Marriage: Lessons From Downton Abbey, http://j.mp/WN8Yj7 by Elisabeth Joy LaMotte, LICSW

Inspiring: Another Anniversary, http://j.mp/VNNZLL « Widow's Voice

Grief and Mindfulness: Spending Time in the Present, http://j.mp/ULcV9J by @WhatsYourGrief

Excellent! How To Talk With Someone Who Is Grieving, http://j.mp/YP8xI1

Coping with Pet Loss, February 3 - February 9, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Touching and true: Freedom is Nothing Left to Lose, http://j.mp/WTGUdV « Widow's Voice

Weighing the End of Life, http://j.mp/XCLWJJ « New York Times
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Monday, February 4, 2013

Parent Loss: Continuing Their Song

Source
[Updated September 18, 2017]

Be keepers of the memories. If their song is to continue, then we must do the singing. ~ Elaine Stillwell

A reader writes: When I found out that no more could be done for my beautiful dad, I realized how lucky I was that I had no bridges to build with my father. When I needed him he was always there: always letting me know he loved me, guiding but not controlling me, watching but never judging me, holding but never smothering me—not necessarily agreeing with me but always listening, always hearing me. The bridge was always there. I realized that the knowledge of his illness gave us the most precious gift and I embraced it with all my heart: TIME!! Time to say our goodbyes, time to thank him for being my dad, time to let him know he will live on in every breath I take, time to let him know it was ok—that he wasn`t deserting us or abandoning us. Time to look straight into his beautiful blue eyes and let him know he got it right. When he died, I felt as if at 50 years of age I’d suddenly turned into a ten- year old little girl who needed her daddy.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, January 26 - February 2, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

WHAT's Unfrazzle All About?? http://on.fb.me/WqkrR7 by @Unfrazzle

Cancer Caregiving 101: Using Social Media Tools to Build Support, http://ow.ly/hfqxu via @blestbutstrest

Must listen: Myths and Misunderstandings about Hospice, http://fb.me/2dqCkQLRG via @NHPCO_news

Dr. Ira Byock Urges Portland Audience to Talk About End-of-Life Care, http://j.mp/WHPWrk via @NHPCO_news

Film Review: “Dying Wish” the Documentary  http://j.mp/VA7APp « Seven Ponds Blog

Understanding and Managing Grief, January 26 - February 2, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Moving! Just Do It (without Regret)! http://j.mp/UdTxlJ « New England Pet Hospice

How to Give Away the 'Give Away' Pile: Selling and Donating Old Items, http://j.mp/X2QLfk by @WhatsYourGrief

Sorting Through Belongings After Death: Working with Family, http://j.mp/WFvnPj by @WhatsYourGrief

"The Horse on the Dining Room Table," http://tinyurl.com/b2w2wk8 fable by Richard Kalish via @dhstratton @JillFavero @deniswright @roshart

How Long Do We Grieve? http://j.mp/11kC9xs « Maria Shriver

Coping with Pet Loss, January 26 - February 2, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Replacing a Pet Who Has Died: When Is It Time? http://j.mp/WvSGrA « Grief Healing Blog

When you are still suffering years after the death of your pet, http://buff.ly/Wq0oGJ by @MarianneSoucy

Veterinarian explores what we can learn about end-of-life choices for animals, http://j.mp/WaUmdQ
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