New Year Resolutions in Caregiving and Bereavement

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'That which does not kill me makes me stronger' is not a law of the universe. What it can be, if we so choose, is a resolution.
~ Julian Baggini

Resolutions for Caregivers
In keeping with her goal “to offer encouragement, empathy, education and effective strategies to enrich your life as a caregiver,” registered nurse and caregiver Shelley Webb of the The Intentional Caregiver suggests Ten Caregiving Goals for The New Year. I encourage those of you in the caregiving role to visit Shelley’s helpful Web site, and take her practical suggestions to heart.

In the same spirit, I offer the following suggestions for those who are coping with the loss of a loved one:

Resolutions for the Bereaved

Caregiving and Hospice, December 22 - December 28, 2013

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

NHPCO Responds to Washington Post, http://j.mp/1dfy9Tl « National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

Medicare rules create a booming business in hospice care, http://j.mp/1cEEk4U « Washington Post

Nonsensical rules are binding the hands of caregivers, http://j.mp/1cEOVga « Kevin MD

Understanding and Managing Grief, December 22 - December 28, 2013

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

Friday Favorites: December 27, 2013, http://j.mp/K9Dlxj « What's Your Grief?

HFA's Helping Adolescents Cope with Loss webcast, April 10, 2014 http://j.mp/18OvDUC « Hospice Foundation of America

Grief Is Forever (and That's OK), http://j.mp/JhMQug « Modern Loss

The Spirit of Christmas

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Every time a hand reaches out
to help another ~
that is Christmas.
Every time someone puts anger aside
and strives for understanding ~
that is Christmas.
Every time people
forget their differences
and realize their love for each other ~
that is Christmas.



Wishing you
the spirit of Christmas
which is Peace ~
the gladness of Christmas
which is Hope ~
and the heart of Christmas
which is Love ~

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Is Grief Ever Resolved?

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Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. ~ Abraham Lincoln

A reader writes: Maybe I'm not a good example of surviving this loss. It still hurts, maybe a little duller but it still can bring me to my knees. The life I had with my partner is so drastically different than life today, that's what's so hard to cope with. The kindness, love, acceptance, support, encouragement, laughter has completely been removed from my existence. Is grief ever resolved?

Caregiving and Hospice, December 8 - December 21, 2013

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

Series: When is it time for a nursing home? The Decision, http://j.mp/1krC6I2 « Kansas City Star

Dear lawmakers: Why aren't doctors involved in health care reform? http://j.mp/1bWjl7l « Kevin MD

When end of life care becomes a confrontation, http://j.mp/19hFyTd « Kevin MD

Understanding and Managing Grief, December 8 - December 21, 2013

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

Guilt: My Constant Companion, http://j.mp/1fM9aaz « Modern Loss

Friday Favorites: December 20th 2013, http://j.mp/19YaW3N « What's Your Grief?

New Holiday Traditions for Widowers, http://j.mp/1dWXRus « National Widowers' Organization

Coping with Pet Loss, December 8 - December 21, 2013

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

The Ghosts of Christmas, http://j.mp/1bglc79 « HowToVetWisdom

Hospice care offered to ill pets, grieving owners, http://j.mp/18Z8iQI « The Blade

The Good, the Bad, and the Holidays, http://j.mp/1bzUM3x by « HowToVetWisdom

Finding Crying Time in Grief

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Sorrows which find no vent in tears may soon make other organs weep.  ~ Sir Henry Maudsley

A reader writes: My sister has been very sick and only recently recovered from a serious illness, thank goodness. Thursday will be three months since my big brother died. And last night I found myself crying—really crying—for the first time. Maybe it’s because I can breathe a little easier now that my sister is more out of the woods. I've always been a caretaker. I've always put everyone I love before myself. I did that for my big brother when he was alive. And I'm doing it for my sister. I couldn't save my big brother, just as I couldn't save our father. I cried for a good couple of hours last night. My husband tried to console me, but either I just wouldn't allow it, or he was doing it wrong. I don't know really. All I know is that my big brother is gone and I'm having a hard time with his loss. He was my big brother and meant the world to me. His passing is hitting me hard.

Anticipating the Death of a Cherished Pet

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What greater gift than the love of a cat.
~ Charles Dickens

A reader writes: My beloved 19-year-old Tabby cat is still with me but for how long, I do not know. He has a tumor and can't move that well since he pretty much drags his back legs. He is now having problems going to his litter box. He tries but has a hard time. I know I’m being selfish but I can't bear to lose him. I have been crying for three days straight, trying to give him all the attention he deserves. He looks forward to eating so I know there is some joy in this world for him but I also know his time is short.

Caregiving and Hospice, December 1 - December 7, 2013

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

10 Top Pieces of Advice You Must Read Before a Long Hospital Stay, bit.ly/Y4gkyY « Brainstorm

10 Components of Quality Hospice Care, bit.ly/1aH4EVn « National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)

The Dementia Caregiver: Improving their Mental Health and Quality of Life,  http://j.mp/1cqYEVo « GeriPal

Understanding and Managing Grief, December 1 - December 7, 2013

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

Holidays reality check: Totally Scrooged, http://j.mp/IywooV « Widow Chick

When grief collides with holiday stress: Through the Grief Lens, http://t.co/TDzS2NymJo « Navigating Grief

The Tragic Death Of The Funeral, http://j.mp/1f6eBRi « The Federalist

Coping with Pet Loss, December 1 - December 7, 2013

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

Helping a child cope with petloss, http://j.mp/1iDAD2L « The Oregonian

Owners Opting For Pet Hospice For Their Animals’ Last Days, http://j.mp/18kH2ZW « CBS Sacramento
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Meditation: Helpful to Those Who Grieve


It is only through holding our own broken hearts and wounds in an attentive and compassionate embrace, that we can, over time, move through our grief to some stage of peace and resolution.  ~ Brad Hunter

Research studies confirm that the practice of meditation and mindfulness changes our brains and our lives; reduces pain, anxiety, confusion and stress; boosts the immune system; and increases concentration, focus and compassion, among its many other benefits. In addition, the practice of meditation and mindfulness can assist us in healing our grief, because it helps us live in the present moment...where our grief resides.

Caregiving and Hospice, November 24 - November 30, 2013

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

Palliative care can alleviate pain, suffering for patients with life-threatening illnesses, http://j.mp/1inleDH « The Wichita Eagle

Therapy dogs offer furry healing only a four-legged friend can provide,  http://j.mp/ImfzxA « The Oregonian

Lovely: A Word from the Wise, What Seniors are Thankful for this Thanksgiving, http://j.mp/17V4bSv « Caregiving Cafe Blog

Understanding and Managing Grief, November 24 - November 30, 2013

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

Lessons About Human Nature and Grief From My Work With Chemically Dependent Individuals, http://j.mp/ItIAXR « The Grief Toolbox

Friday Favorites: Articles About Grief, http://j.mp/199nHYT « What's Your Grief?

Understanding Survivors of Suicide Loss, http://j.mp/1b3YUbF « Psychology Today

Coping with Pet Loss, November 24 - November 30, 2013

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

All Dogs May Go to Heaven. These Days, Some Go to Hospice, http://j.mp/1fTLdAB New York Times

MU program helps people deal with grief after a pet’s death, http://j.mp/1byq2Cs « Columbia Daily Tribune

Veterinary hospice allows pet owners to say goodbye at home, http://j.mp/19WTDPw  St. Louis Post Dispatch 
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