Voices of Experience: 7 Things Chipper Taught Me About Life and Business

A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. ~ John Grogan, Marley and Me

Tom Simon is an entrepreneur who lives in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Like so many of us who give our hearts to a dog to love, he did not realize all that his companion had taught him until after he was gone. Here Tom shares some of the valuable lessons about life and business that he learned from Chipper, his beloved Golden Retriever.

We dug his grave on Tuesday in a spot close to the lake. On Wednesday I had my head on his chest to hear the final beat of his heart. Chipper was a large beautiful Golden Retriever, born about the time I started my business15 years ago. I fully expected the tears would flow as we buried him. What I did not expect was the realization that night how important waking up to him was to me. I must admit I had the most empty, aching feeling that something so essential to my life has ended.

After a day of thinking about him, and how he affected my life, I came to understand that through the years Chipper was the one constant in my day to day struggles every entrepreneur knows well. I began to understand what he taught me about life and business.

Caregiving and Hospice, December 21 - December 27, 2014

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

Working With End of Life Requires Self Care, http://j.mp/1E4uAyV « Barbara Karnes Books, Inc.

Terrific piece! 'Hospice? I’m way better than that': The human touch of palliative care, http://j.mp/1GOZtFs « Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

When discussing cancer treatment, the approach matters, http://j.mp/1AM0Sci « Kevin MD

Understanding and Managing Grief, December 21 - December 27, 2014

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

Feeling Profound Loss After a Death Means the Person Had a Profound Impact, http://j.mp/16T4vEn  « Maria Shriver

Beautiful! Winter's Light, http://j.mp/1x5OW5R « Widower's Grief

On coping with holidays in grief: The Art of Regrouping, http://j.mp/1zhLqSR « What's Your Grief?

Coping with Pet Loss, December 21 - December 27, 2014

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

Pet hospice, a new aspect of veterinary medicine, helps loved ones on final journey http://j.mp/1t5ru3w « TribLive

Your feedback is welcome! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question, or share a tip, a related article or a resource of your own in the Comments section below.
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My Wishes For You This Christmas

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. ~ Calvin Coolidge

My wishes for all of you this Christmas, and throughout the coming year:

May you feel gratitude for the blessing that you have shared part of your life with your loved one.

May you be embraced by the invisible presence of your beloved.


May you give to yourself the same measure of love you have given to your beloved.

May you be wrapped in the warmth of your precious memories.

May you feel joy each day, if only for a moment.

May you have hope that your life holds gifts yet to be discovered.

May you find all the support you need, and take comfort in knowing that you don’t walk this path alone.

May you have peace and love in your heart, as you honor the spirit of Christmas and try to keep it all year long.

May you continue to share the energy of your love with others.

Wherever you may be in your journey, know that I am thinking of you and sending my heartfelt wishes that your days are filled with peace, healing and love.


~ Marty Tousley ~


Your feedback is welcome! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question, or share a tip, a related article or a resource of your own in the Comments section below.

If you’d like Grief Healing Blog updates delivered right to your inbox, you’re cordially invited to subscribe to our weekly Grief Healing NewsletterSign up here


Related Articles:

Caregiving and Hospice, December 14 - December 20, 2014

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

Outstanding interview with author Stan Goldberg on his newest book, "I Have Cancer," aimed at caregivers http://j.mp/1sL1Kcs « YouTube

Midwives for the Dying, http://j.mp/JVeGfZ « The Atlantic

Palliative Care: It’s About Easing Suffering, http://j.mp/16zsuIz « U.S.News and World Report

Understanding and Managing Grief, December 14 - December 20, 2014

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

On stillbirth: Beyond Closure with Nancy Berns at TEDxDesMoines, http://j.mp/1zhyEZO  « YouTube

Parent Loss: Continuing Their Song, http://j.mp/Y5m9J4 « Grief Healing Blog

In Grief: Responding to "How Are You?" http://j.mp/HlUWks « Grief Healing Blog

When Words Matter: Tips On Writing A Condolence Letter

Source
A letter of condolence provides the opportunity for a very special form of writer/reader inter-connection, one that proclaims simply, 'I acknowledge your loss, and, in some measure, I share your pain.' This is the essential human message in all letters of condolence. ~ Leonard M. Zunin, MD and Hilary Stanton Zunin

A reader writes: I would like to know if you could assist me in writing a letter of condolence.

My response: I think this is a very important question, and I commend you for asking it. With our busy lifestyles nowadays, electronic communication alternatives such as cell-phones, texting and e-mail have made letter-writing seem like such a daunting task for so many of us, if not a forgotten art altogether. Yet in times of sorrow, few things are more appreciated than a handwritten note, which can be held and read by the recipient, then saved and re-read over and over again.

Caregiving and Hospice, December 7 - December 13, 2014

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

Facts About Senior Care Costs, http://j.mp/1zjE97P « Caring.com

Conscious Living and Dying: What Really Matters ~ Presentation by Karen Wyatt, MD, http://j.mp/16juDrN « SlideShare

How to Be A Good Friend to Someone With Cancer, http://j.mp/1DchqQ3 « What Next

Understanding and Managing Grief, December 7 - December 13, 2014

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

Grief Healing: Resources for Young Widow(er)s http://j.mp/1nQhHP0 « Grief Healing Blog

Helping Another in Grief, by Grief Counselor Marty Tousley, http://j.mp/1zjbhwj « Healing eBooks

Finding Christmas and Peace after the Death of a Child, http://j.mp/1zKF5Dk « Open to Hope

Coping with Pet Loss, December 7 - December 13, 2014

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

Pope Francis Says There’s a Place for Pets in Paradise, http://j.mp/1wME1zR « TIME

Beautiful! On Losing a Dog,  http://j.mp/1Ghfdz2 « Marking Our Territory

"This Sweet Man Just Lost His Beloved Dog. What He Wrote Afterwards Completely Destroyed Me," http://j.mp/1AfGAr0 « Reshareworthy

Pet Loss: Cat With FIV Euthanized Too Soon ~ Guilt Follows

Photo © Tony Northrup 2014
Only good people feel guilty.  ~ Rule 56, The Rules of Life by Richard Templar

A reader writes: For the last several months, I have been feeding a stray cat who started living in my yard. Since I already have two cats, I decided I’d try to find him a home, but if I couldn’t, I would take him as well. I bought an insulated kitty house and pet bed, and put out food for him in the yard every night. For the last few weeks, after work I would go straight to the yard and pet and play with him. He was very sweet and I got very attached to him. My friend said he would try to take him in, and we agreed that if it didn’t work out (he has one other cat) I would take him myself. As I drove the cat over to my friend’s house last night, he was crying and scared, but I kept reassuring him, "Don't be afraid buddy, I'm taking you to your wonderful, loving, warm new forever home." My friend called me this morning, crying hysterically and saying he’d just had the cat put to sleep.

Caregiving and Hospice, November 30 - December 6, 2014

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

Doctors Tell All—and It’s Bad, http://j.mp/1rYEgWB « The Atlantic

As Palliative Care’s Importance Grows, UCSF Nursing Expands Training, http://j.mp/1z5zkQj « UCSF

A New Way to Love: Spouses Become Caregivers as Alzheimer's Progresses, http://j.mp/1yUwaxQ « Deseret News

Understanding and Managing Grief, November 30 - December 6, 2014

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

Getting Through What You Can't Get Over, http://j.mp/129Op6C « Ezine Articles

My Mother's Appetite, http://j.mp/1vqa0yz « The Manifest-Station

Lou LaGrand: Developing a Routine for Refocusing Attention When Mourning, http://j.mp/12s9xEV « Ezine Articles

Coping with Pet Loss, November 30 - December 6, 2014

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

Mourning a pet isn’t what it used to be, http://j.mp/1z3cUz4 « The Boston Globe

Goodbye, Bear, http://j.mp/1pICpUr « Huff Post Green

Delayed Grief Goes Unresolved, Negatively Impacts A Marriage

We can endure much more than we think we can; all human experience testifies to that. All we need to do is learn not to be afraid of pain. Grit your teeth and let it hurt. Don't deny it, don't be overwhelmed by it. It will not last forever. One day, the pain will be gone and you will still be there. ~ Harold Kushner

A reader writes:
I lost my father in 2002. It was an unexpected death. I mourned some at the time, but mostly I pushed it down - diving into whatever distractions possible...my mom, details, arrangements, whatever I could. He was my rock and main branch of support in a lot of ways....we were always very close.

Caregiving and Hospice, November 23 - November 29, 2014

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

"We signed 4 DNR orders this month and you're telling me you did CPR on her?" http://j.mp/12feHEl « It's OK to Die

Who Will Speak for Superheroes When They Get Sick? http://j.mp/1v0VUZ9 « Pallimed

Dealing with Discouragement in Caregiving, http://j.mp/1rrrRtZ « The Caregiver Space

Understanding and Managing Grief, November 23 - November 29, 2014

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

Give Thanks for the Teachings of Trees, http://j.mp/1xYBZwd « Elaine Mansfield

Brilliant: What No One Ever Told Me About Grief, http://j.mp/1vJMfr7 « Open to Hope

Random Acts of Kindness, http://j.mp/1vSNIMH « Open to Hope

Grief Healing Notified of HONcode Certification!

I am pleased to report that both the Grief Healing Blog and the Grief Healing Discussion Groups Web sites are fully compliant with Health on the Net Foundation’s HONcode. We've recently been notified that both sites continue to be HONcode-certified, which entitles us to display the HONcode seal on the sites’ home pages through November 2015.

Health On the Net (HON) was founded to encourage the dissemination of quality health information for patients and professionals, and to facilitate access to the latest and most relevant medical data through the use of the Internet. The Health On the Net (HON) Foundation is a non-governmental organization, internationally known for its pioneering work in the field of health information ethics, notably for the establishment of its code of ethical conduct, the HONcode—the oldest and most trusted code for medical and health-related information available on the Internet.

Caregiving and Hospice, November 9 - November 22, 2014

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

Hospice is an ally for patients with dementia and their caregivers, http://j.mp/1r6NV7C « NJ.com

A letter to Dr. Oz for his inbox, http://j.mp/1FbW02Z « Kevin, MD

Lessons from the Stage: A Lesson About Patient Communication Learned in an Improv Class, http://j.mp/1tn8wV3 « GeriPal

Understanding and Managing Grief, November 9 - November 22, 2014

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

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day - Letter to a Father http://j.mp/1AyCf5Z « AfterTalk

8 Tips to Help Someone Grieving During the Holidays, http://j.mp/1ta50hv « eHospice

Equine Therapy: Using Horses As A Healing Tool, http://j.mp/1xJsCAl « Philippi Center

Coping with Pet Loss, November 9 - November 22, 2014

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

We Talk Pet Hospice and Palliative Care with Coleen Ellis, http://j.mp/1uqEBQL « Catster

A Tribute to Sophie, My Fur Kid, http://j.mp/1zLa2Zg « Jim Joseph, HuffPost Healthy Living

Coping with the Holidays: Suggested Resources 2014

Source
[Most recent update: Sunday, December 28, 2014]

Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?  ~ Charlie Brown

A reader writes: I'm in a very bad place. Numbness is still huge. But pain is in my heart too. The holidays are weighing on my heart so heavily. It's very hard to get up every day. And very hard to get through very dark long lonely nights. Honestly the only reason I am functioning for the holidays is for my two grandsons. They are the reason I still breathe in and out each day. I look at their faces and they are the reason to keep trying. It's so hard though to put on a smile. It's so hard to breathe in and out. Do you have any special tips on coping with the holiday season?

Veterans Day 2014

Our country has established two holidays ~ Veterans Day and Memorial Day ~ to honor the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States. Unlike Memorial Day (the day we set aside to remember and honor military personnel who died in the service of our country), Veterans Day is intended to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military, in wartime or peacetime, as well as those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. Veterans Day is our opportunity to thank Veterans and their families for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served ~ not only those who died ~ have sacrificed and done their duty.

Caregiving and Hospice, November 2 - November 8, 2014

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

5 Signs of Alzheimer's That Sometimes Show Up Before Memory Loss, http://j.mp/1sr6Een « Caring.com

Approaching the Question of Faith or its Absence in End of Life Care, http://j.mp/1wwdGDJ « Barbara Karnes Books, Inc.

With gratitude to nurses everywhere: Big Medicine, http://j.mp/1tWJpNy « Rx for the Soul

Understanding and Managing Grief, November 2 - November 8, 2014

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

Grief In The Second Year: Finding Your Way, j.mp/wRiJJS « Grief Healing Blog

Covering the Basics of the Brain, Grief and Music, http://j.mp/1tqENub « What's Your Grief?

Insightful! On remembering the whole story in grief: Olive, http://j.mp/1ol23On « Grief Watch

Voices of Experience: Looking Back

Jim Gorman
By Anne M. Gorman

The only time you should ever look back is to see how far you've come.  ~ Unknown

Anne Gorman and her beloved Jim were married for 40 years until his death on May 25, 2012 from Alzheimer’s disease. With the help of their Hospice of the Valley team in Phoenix, Arizona and the private nurse they hired, they were able to prepare ~ as best as one can in such circumstances ~ for the end of his life, and to fulfill his wish to die at home. Anne decided to mark the 29-month anniversary of Jim’s death by taking a careful look back at her own grief journey: remembering where she was in the beginning, noticing how far she’s come, and pondering what she has learned in the more than two years since her beloved died. She agreed to share her insights here, with the hope that the lessons she has learned will inspire others as they find their own way through grief.

Caregiving and Hospice, October 26 - November 1, 2014

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

Why Hospice Social Workers Should Assess Pain, http://j.mp/10I388J « Pallimed

The Right—and Right Time—to Die: How Doctors Should Help, http://j.mp/1FVeiHf « TIME

Don't just do something, stand there... why it's too soon for talk of physician aid in dying, http://j.mp/1sE7zXI « GeriPal

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 26 - November 1, 2014

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

Lovely: On the Ways Life Changes For A Surviving Spouse: La Belle Indifference, http://j.mp/1G3dq3m « Washingtonian

Scrabble, the body, and grief: a long story [but a good one!], http://j.mp/1tpVrgU « Refuge in Grief

Halloween and Grief – When The Nightmare Is Too Real, http://j.mp/1zkQt9V « Refuge in Grief

Coping with Pet Loss, October 26 - November 1, 2014

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

Don't Go: In Praise of the Occasional Wallow, http://j.mp/1uhoyGA « Will My Dog Hate Me?

Death of a Pit Bull, http://j.mp/1tsDZrX « Spirit Scraps

Remarriage in Widowhood: How Soon Is Too Soon?

Source
Many individuals approach marriage, even remarriage, with a “let’s get married and work out the details later” attitude. In fact, most remarrying couples have known each other less than 9 months. Couples remarry long before they have finished grieving their losses, worked through their issues or developed a healthy single lifestyle.  ~ Drs. Jeff and Judi Parziale

A reader writes: My dad remarried recently to a woman he met four months after my mom's passing. I am 36, so part of me feels like I shouldn't be so childish about this--however--they are an extremely insensitive twosome. My father will not speak of my mom; it's as if she never existed! He says constantly that he wouldn't change one thing in his life as it is today for anything. I don't know what my question is, or how you can help, but I am just so angry! I feel so locked in and closed off. How do you get through the anger? How do you start to deal with the rage of it all? Is it wrong to fess up to him and tell him how upsetting I find all of this?

Caregiving and Hospice, October 19 - October 25, 2014

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

Hospice Helps People LIVE the Best They Can, http://j.mp/1taeHQV « Moments Of Life

Brilliant. An Ebola parody that educates. Watch why it should go viral. http://j.mp/1wqGZJ4 « Kevin MD

How to Talk to Your Kids About Ebola, http://j.mp/1wqtRnh « TIME

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 19 - October 25, 2014

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

Insightful: Grieving Without God, http://j.mp/ZRbFFo « Alive in Memory

The Grief Journey-What To Pack, http://j.mp/1zpNSww « The Grief Toolbox

Child’s Eye View of Death: The Power of Picture Books to Explain, http://j.mp/1wa3Bxj « The Guardian

Coping with Pet Loss, October 19 - October 25, 2014

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

Our 15-Year-Old Cat Taught Me Something about Grief, http://j.mp/ZRg5Mz « Stunned by Grief

Portland woman comforts grieving pet owners, http://j.mp/1ru8KsA « KOIN 6

Paying Tribute to My Peeps, http://j.mp/1ykAw0a « Modern Loss

In Grief: Support Groups vs. Individual Counseling

Source
A reader writes: My husband died on a hospice service six weeks ago. I feel very comfortable on your online Grief Healing Discussion Groups site, and have already received great support from the people there. They encourage and inspire me. I'm learning a lot from those who've inhabited this world of grief longer than I have. That's why it would be good to hear your thoughts on the following issue. 
          The forum helps me, but I feel I need additional counseling. I met individually with a grief counselor from the hospice where my husband died and she encouraged me to come to one of their local support group meetings. I went, but hearing the other group members' sad stories made me feel uncomfortable, and even more depressed than I already was.

Caregiving and Hospice, October 12 - October 18, 2014

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

Palliative Care by the People, for the People: A Call for a New Grassroots Movement, http://j.mp/1vrWJd5 « Huff Post Healthy Living

Breast Cancer: Survivors' Wisdom for the Newly Diagnosed,  http://j.mp/1vJsYWv « Huff Post Healthy Living

Outstanding! What Health Care Professionals Need to Know about Physician-Assisted Dying and Euthanasia, http://j.mp/1DixL2h « Canadian Virtual Hospice

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 12 - October 18, 2014

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

On Dating (or Not): Sit With It, http://j.mp/1rNgFko « Widow's Voice

Anticipatory Grief: Chronic diseases come with a new "normal," http://j.mp/1t0xm2u « The Caregiver Space

Ambiguous Grief: Grieving Someone Who Is Still Alive, http://j.mp/11yFLyr « What's Your Grief?

Coping with Pet Loss, October 12 - October 18, 2014

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

I Killed My Cat, http://j.mp/1xWdQmB « Anything's Possible - Even Joy

Make Decisions about Pet Cancer, http://j.mp/1yH0o9y « Veterinary Wisdom Pet Parents

8 Ways to Face Financial Challenges When Caring for Your Pet, http://j.mp/1rf1d0D « Veterinary Wisdom Professionals

Child Loss: Supporting A Sibling In Grief

Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heal them.  ~ Leo Tolstoy

A reader writes: My 6 year old niece died suddenly a month ago. She was a completely healthy, strong little girl, until all of a sudden she wasn't. She had been sick for a few days with a low grade fever and a headache. Her parents thought it was just the bug going around. One morning she woke up still complaining of her headache, but asking her parents if she could still go to her cheer competition the upcoming weekend. She was so excited about it. She fell back to sleep. When her father went to wake her an hour or so later, she started seizing. He rushed her to the hospital, where she continued seizing until at one point she stopped breathing and was intubated. She never woke up from that point. Once many tests had been run we were told that she was brain dead and she died from bacterial meningitis.
          That was a month ago. I'm looking for guidance on how to support my sister. She has been completely devastated by this, understandably. Her children are her world. She has another son who is 12 and she's trying to be there for him, but I can tell she is in complete agony. I've never seen someone in such pain. She and her husband are dealing with their grief in such different ways and I think she feels very alone.

Caregiving and Hospice, October 5 - October 11, 2014

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

A Call for Maternalism in Medicine, http://j.mp/1stECDP « GeriPal

No Risky Chances: The Conversation That Matters Most ~ Terrific excerpt from Atul Gawande's new book, Being Mortalhttp://j.mp/1rmd5xt « Medical Examiner

Palliative Care gets Boost from IOM, Gawande, http://j.mp/ZTsNLg « Hospitals and Health Networks

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 5 - October 11, 2014

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

In Grief: Dreading The Anniversary Date of A Loved One's Death, http://j.mp/1pVEyuE « Grief Healing Blog

After-Death Communication: A List of Resources, http://j.mp/fiWZXV « Grief Healing Blog

A Poet On Losing HIs Son: Edward Hirsch, Author Of Gabriel: A Poemhttp://j.mp/1slppmS « NPR

Coping with Pet Loss, October 5 - October 11, 2014

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

Pet Loss: When A Pet Goes Missing, http://j.mp/1vGRVi3 « Grief Healing Blog

Pet Loss: When A Pet Goes Missing

Source
A reader writes: I can't stand it. My boxer dog ran from my pet sitter and did not return. I have posted ads, sent out fliers, visited pound, websites, done everything. It has been 6 weeks and I thought I was over him, but I am not. How do I get closure? How long does it take? I had him for 8 loving years and he was closer to me than any friend I ever had. I pray God to lead me to him. What do I do?

My response: I'm so sorry to learn that your beloved boxer disappeared six weeks ago, and I can only imagine how devastating this must be for you. Because this kind of loss can be extremely difficult, it is not at all unusual that you would be feeling and reacting the way that you describe.

Caregiving and Hospice, September 28 - October 4, 2014

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

New Rules For End of Life Care DVD by hospice nursing expert and author Barbara Karnes RN, http://youtu.be/43BxrLIF4BY « YouTube

At Dr. Jay's Suncoast Hospice clinic, East meets West, http://j.mp/1nSS4QB « Tampa Bay Times

When Patients Refuse The Hospice Chaplain, http://j.mp/1E5rRCM « Pallimed

Understanding and Managing Grief, September 28 - October 4, 2014

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

Finding Grief Support That is Right for You, http://j.mp/zCUOOB « Grief Healing Blog

Funeral etiquette: Why some people behave so badly, http://j.mp/1pv8hGx « Detroit Free Press

A child's perspective: Death Is A Very, Very Long Time, But Not Forever, http://j.mp/YUM6SW « GriefMinister.com

Coping with Pet Loss, September 28 - October 4, 2014

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

Living in the Moment With Our Dogs, http://j.mp/1E4Anlu « Huffington Post

Pet Hospices: Teaching Old Owners New Tricks, http://j.mp/1rGP8EH « Bainbridge Island Review

Surviving a Child’s Homicide

Parents of Murdered Children, Inc.
When working with families and friends of people who have been murdered I find that the operative verb is never died but was killed . . . Being killed is seen as different from dying; it's unnatural, a form of theft, an act of taking something from you and your loved ones. What is taken is a person's life and all of its promise for future joy and happiness, companionship, and accomplishment. It is the most precious commodity one can steal and the greatest loss one can suffer.  ~ Helen Fitzgerald

A reader writes: I’m writing this letter in hopes of finding some peace. It will be three years next month that my son was murdered. He was only 18.

Caregiving and Hospice, September 21 - September 27, 2014

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

A Twisted Argument Against End-of-Life Care, http://j.mp/1vnSwVw « Kevin MD

New Chat and Forum for Caregivers, http://j.mp/1qEDyGj « CareGiving.com

The Dual Process Model of Grief, http://j.mp/1slPwfk « What's Your Grief?

Understanding and Managing Grief, September 21 - September 27, 2014

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

The Jewish Mourning Tradition of Shiva, http://j.mp/1yuyQFg « SevenPonds Blog

National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims, http://j.mp/YnakFi « Grief Digest Magazine

Supporting Angry Bereaved Children, http://j.mp/1t33TPY « Kids' Grief Relief

Coping with Pet Loss, September 21 - September 27, 2014

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

A happier ending for dying pets and their owners, http://j.mp/1t4GjT3 « The Boston Globe

Anticipating the Death of A Spouse

In order to get from what was to what will be, you have to go through what is.  ~ Unknown

A reader writes: My husband has advanced-stage lung cancer, and I have to face the inevitable that he will die soon. It’s been 8 months; we’ve been married for 20 years. I’m sure that it’s normal, but the thoughts that are running through my head are driving me insane. I keep envisioning myself starting relationships with other men. I feel guilty like I’ve already moved on with my life. It’s survival instinct too, because I can’t support my kids on my own and I’m trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I love my husband dearly. I want to be focused on the present. How do I do that?

Caregiving and Hospice, September 14 - September 20, 2014

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

Comprehensive, authoritative response to recent hospice media coverage, http://j.mp/1unncFL « National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care

Hey Dr. Emanuel: you might not want to die when you're 75! http://j.mp/1mmDD6g « GeriPal

How to Ensure Care for Your Pets, http://j.mp/1DnkCWA « Delaware Hospice

Understanding and Managing Grief, September 14 - September 20, 2014

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

The Obligation to Replenish When Mourning, http://j.mp/1rqkyAC « Ezine Articles

Growth and Grief Resources (in print), http://j.mp/1wwSID0 « What's Your Grief?

New book to help children express feelings, navigate difficulties: The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm, http://j.mp/1r7x0Un « Amazon

Coping with Pet Loss, September 14 - September 20, 2014

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

Goodbye to Jumpy: Lessons for the Health System, http://j.mp/1soEiRb « Aging Today

End of Life Care for Pets: A Guide, http://j.mp/1uDHwFg « SquadFiftyOne

Disaster Preparedness for Your Pets, http://j.mp/1pgJHIl « Spot Speaks

Should Our Dad Be Told That He's Dying?

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Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
Aldous Huxley

A reader writes: We know my dad is dying of cancer but apparently he still isn't aware of the truth. I don't find this to be right. I believe he should be told so if he has things he would like to say or do he can say or do them. I don't find that my stepmother is being fair with him. She has been a tough one to deal with during all this. She doesn't even tell us girls what is going on with our father. I was angry with her for this, but I have accepted that this is just her way for whatever her reasons. My stepbrother has called to tell me that hospice is dropping more and more hints, the signs of his end are more obvious, and it is really only a matter of time now. My sister and I have decided to visit him for the last time and say our goodbyes. Is there something you can share with me on coping with this being the last time I will probably see him alive? Should I say something about him not going to pull through this one?

Caregiving and Hospice, September 7 - September 13, 2014

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

Draw the Lines: The Art of Setting Boundaries, http://j.mp/1tPLHij « Pallimed

The Story of Your Life Carries Great Power, http://j.mp/1us1eU4 « It's OK to Die

The Caregiving and Meditation Connection, http://j.mp/1uzi02I « Maria Shriver

Understanding and Managing Grief, September 7 - September 13, 2014

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

Helping Another in Grief, http://ow.ly/AVmpy « Healing Ebooks

Friday Favorites: September 12, 2014, http://j.mp/1BzSjCo « What's Your Grief?

The 9-11 Effect, http://j.mp/1ByxN5c « Widow's Voice

Coping with Pet Loss, September 7 - September 13, 2014

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

Sunday 9/14 is National Pet Memorial Day, http://j.mp/1qPlBs9 « Grief Healing Blog

5 Strategies for Surviving the Loss of a Pet, http://j.mp/1qTgPdc « Vetstreet

How to Heal Your Heart: Dealing with Pet Loss the Best Way I Know How, http://j.mp/1lXT04N « Living the Dream

Pet Loss: National Pet Memorial Day

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September 13 is National Pet Memorial Day.

Is it appropriate, you may ask, for people to memorialize a cherished companion animal? 

Some may think that conducting rituals, funerals or memorial services for dead animals – and setting aside special days to remember them – is a frivolous waste of time and money, and those who engage in such practices must be eccentric and strange.

But the fact is that elaborate funeral arrangements and lasting memorials have been used to honor beloved departed pets for thousands of years.

In Grief: Feeling Disconnected From Feeling Bad

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To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.  ~ Oscar Wilde 

A reader writes: I have a dilemma that I am hoping you can remedy. Three years ago, my father passed away and two months later my mother was diagnosed with cancer. To make a long story short, my sister and I stayed upbeat and positive for our mother's sake, but she kept having one thing after another until finally she was deemed terminal. We took care of her with the help of Hospice 3 days a week, but were her sole caregivers until she passed away last April. We cried when our father passed away, but quickly stopped grieving when Mom was diagnosed.

Caregiving and Hospice, August 31 - September 6, 2014

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

Hospice patient’s caregiver as advocate,  http://j.mp/1CAqwTP « Caring with Confidence

On living with Alzheimer's disease: The Genius of Marian, airing on PBS on Monday, September 8, http://j.mp/1oOR35G « POV | PBS

CME Credits Offered for Medical Professionals: The Genius of Marianhttp://j.mp/1rQKKX3 « POV | PBS

Understanding and Managing Grief, August 31 - September 6, 2014

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

Grief and Home Decor: Thanks For The Memories, http://j.mp/1BixoUv « Build Direct Blog

Grief In The Second Year: Finding Your Way, http://j.mp/wRiJJS « Grief Healing Blog

Armchair Analysis: Was Your Relationship 'Good' Enough to Warrant So Much Grief? http://huff.to/1m33QBx « HuffPost Healthy Living

Coping with Pet Loss, August 31 - September 6, 2014

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

There is no timetable for the grieving process, http://j.mp/1ta4L6O « The [Shreveport, LA] Times

Lost: What to Do If Your Dog Goes Missing, http://j.mp/1lHIIWP « Cesar's Way

Helpless??? On anticipating the grief of pet loss, http://j.mp/1tTeZuI « Personal Growth and Grief Support Center

Pet Loss: Why Does It Hurt So Much?

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It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch.  ~ Anonymous

People I've encountered in my practice as a grief counselor are often shocked to discover how devastated they feel when their pets die. Statements such as “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I didn’t feel this bad when my grandmother (acquaintance, friend, relative) died” are common. And so the question arises, Why do so many of us feel the loss of a companion animal so intensely—and is it normal to feel this way?

Caregiving and Hospice, August 24 - August 30, 2014

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

Callene Bentoncoury: Hospice enhances life for the dying, http://j.mp/1lnn1uu « Arizona Daily Star

How to Complain to Medicare, http://j.mp/1qEX0XI « The New Old Age

Confessions Of a New Cane User, http://j.mp/XU6298 « The Intentional Caregiver

Understanding and Managing Grief, August 24 - August 30, 2014

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

Solving the Problem of Grief: The Solution Is Not What You Think, http://j.mp/1Cdaxeh « HuffPost Healthy Living

The War on Grief, http://j.mp/Z22T7t « HuffPost Healthy Living

25 Years After Losing My Father to Suicide, Sadness Resurfaces, http://j.mp/1otsHy4 « HuffPost GPS for the Soul

Coping with Pet Loss, August 24 - August 30, 2014

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

End-of-Life Care: How to Help Pets -- and Owners, http://j.mp/1svfY1u « VetStreet

Anticipatory Grief and Mourning: Suggested Resources

So off they went together. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place in the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.  ~ A. A. Milne

A reader writes: I am the mother of a 6-year-old with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). His life expectancy is 20 years old. I am also an LPC intern currently working as a crisis counselor for disaster victims. I am interested in specializing in grief, learning more about anitcipatory grief, and assisting other families that are dealing with expected loss. I see anticipatory grief as largely overlooked in the grief and loss field. What are the best resources for those experiencing anticipatory grief?

Caregiving and Hospice, August 17 - August 23

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

Valuable Lessons: 10 Pieces of Advice From a Young Caregiver, http://j.mp/1vdIpCX « HuffPost Healthy Living

New senior living website, http://j.mp/VI9sd7 « Be.Group

5 Things To Remember When A Friend is Grieving, http://j.mp/XsHVxY « Maria Shriver

Understanding and Managing Grief, August 17 - August 23

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

Dave Brown's cartoon commentary on the horrific death of journalist James Foley,  j.mp/1mDDvKq « Twitter

Overdose Awareness Day 2014 is Sunday, August 31, http://j.mp/1ABiurQ « What's Your Grief?

Summing It All Up: Writing An Obituary, http://j.mp/1rorpw2 « Caring with Confidence

Coping with Pet Loss, August 17 - August 23

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

Touching, insightful article about her dog's last days: Going Home, http://j.mp/1AETBf2 « Savvy Self Growth

Second Installment: Jack's Special Last Day, http://j.mp/1qxLWYB « Savvy Self Growth

Third Installment: Jack's Final Car Trip http://j.mp/1ziwgx2 « Savvy Self Growth

Grief: Understanding The Process

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Grief will make a new person out of you, if it doesn't kill you in the making.  ~ Stephanie Ericsson

Few of us are prepared to face the excruciating pain associated with the death of a loved one. We think we cannot bear it, that to feel such sorrow is abnormal, as if we're going mad. Yet loss is a natural part of life's cycle of growth, decay and rebirth. We know that when someone dearly loved is lost, certain feelings and reactions will be experienced by most people. Still, there is no rule book that works for everyone, because how we experience grief ~ and for how long ~ is uniquely personal and distinct. Finding your way through grief successfully requires some knowledge and understanding of the grief process, and a willingness to do the work of mourning.

Caregiving and Hospice, August 10 - August 16, 2014

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

Communicating with the hospice patient with dementia, http://j.mp/VnABC6 « Caring with Confidence

Excellent description of the hospice chaplain's role: A Hospice Chaplain's Tale, http://j.mp/1l6i21r « Jewish Journal

Depression is a Duplicitous Asshole, http://j.mp/1oIq4Nz « The Manifest-Station

Understanding and Managing Grief, August 10 - August 16, 2014

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

Robin Williams Didn't Kill Himself, http://j.mp/1pn5LVG « PopChassid

Pause and Think Twice Before You Speak to Someone Who Is Grieving,  http://j.mp/1kJJ6Da « Stunned by Grief

Need help now? Here's how to find it ~ on campus and in your community, http://j.mp/1nZuydK « Half of Us

Coping with Pet Loss, August 10 - August 16, 2014

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

Our Pet Loss Support Group helps you learn to grieve in a healthy way with those going through the same process, pic.twitter.com/TLWw64mzdz « Hospice of Santa Barbara

Veterinarian specializes in expanding field of end-of-life care for pets, http://j.mp/1oGx8W5 « Kentucky.com

This Friday is Check the Chip Day,  http://j.mp/1sugG2R « Spot Speaks

Helping Seniors with Pet Loss

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We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we would still live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan.  ~ Irving Townsend

Loss of a beloved pet is difficult under any circumstances, but it can be particularly so for people in their senior years, whose most consistent experience at this stage of life is loss. By now they have lost parents, spouses, siblings, children or close friends to death. Their physical strength, stamina and mobility have lessened. With retirement, their identity with a prior occupation is lost, along with the usual routine and the opportunity for socialization in the workplace. If living on a fixed income, even their former standard of living is lost.

Caregiving and Hospice, August 3 - August 9, 2014

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

The Comfort of Caregiver Support Groups, http://j.mp/1kLnBlM « The Caregiver Space

The moralities of comfort and cure at end of life, http://j.mp/V14lEK « Caring with Confidence

On being treated like a nobody in the hospital ~ and the author is a physician! http://j.mp/XEvAGJ « Musings of a Distractible Mind

Understanding and Managing Grief, August 3 - August 9, 2014

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

Tips for Coping with Traumatic Loss, http://j.mp/1yfjgYD « Open to Hope

Continuing Bonds: A Journal Exercise, http://j.mp/1nBePRY « What's Your Grief?

Review: Coloring Book for Child Coping with Death, http://j.mp/1yddlDs « Seven Ponds Blog

Coping with Pet Loss, August 3 - August 9, 2014

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

Yes! Veterinary mobility act becomes law, http://j.mp/1zKORnH « AVMA@Work

What Not To Say To Someone Grieving A Pet, http://j.mp/1kiKo88 « HuffPost The Third Metric

In Grief: Coping with STUGs (Sudden Temporary Upsurges of Grief)

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If the future seems overwhelming, remember that it comes one moment at a time.  ~ Beth Mende Conny

A reader writes: Since my husband died, I’ve grown used to having mood swings and waking up feeling pretty good one day and deeply depressed the next. I know these are normal grief reactions, and when one of the “rotten” days comes along it helps to tell myself it will pass. But then, even in the middle of a good day, sometimes suddenly the feelings of loss and hurt and abandonment overpower me with a force that’s like a direct hit from a shotgun. And everything I was doing comes to a complete halt and I’m immobilized and can’t do a thing, mentally or physically. Sometimes I’ll recover in a few hours, especially after a good cry. But at other times, it may take a day or two before I can bounce back. I’ve had these extreme shutdown spells so many times now, you’d think I would have learned a little about how to cope with them, or at least have some forewarning that another spell is coming on so I could prepare. But I don’t understand it—each time it happens, it’s like the first time and I’m caught by surprise. Why am I not getting any better at predicting or handling these crises?

Caregiving and Hospice, July 27 - August 2, 2014

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

What is Palliative Care? - Palliative Medicine and Treatment, http://j.mp/1kcTdAk « Get Palliative Care

Honoring Veterans at End of Life: Understanding Goes a Long Way,  http://j.mp/1oey489 « Caring with Confidence

What your friends with cancer want you to know (but are afraid to say),  http://j.mp/1pKr2Fg « Roadkill Goldfish

Understanding and Managing Grief, July 27 - August 2, 2014

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

Child Loss: Finding Support on Your Grief Journey, http://j.mp/1lmTVGu « Ezine Articles

What is Aromatherapy? Interview with Marika Fleri of Aroma Treasures, http://j.mp/1rVN1f6 « Seven Ponds Blog

Bibliotherapy: When books are prescribed to heal the mind, http://j.mp/1pNxk6Y « The Boston Globe

Coping with Pet Loss, July 27 - August 2, 2014

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

Euthanasia: Why Some Owners Choose to Stay and Some Choose to Go, http://j.mp/1uTiyE5 « VetStreet

Beautiful video of the Rainbow Bridge set to music, http://j.mp/1rUKSDQ « YouTube

How Dogs With Cancer Can Live Better + Longer, http://j.mp/XmlqKO « Haley the Wonderdog

Resources for Young Widow(er)s

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There’s a tendency to picture widowhood as a consequence of old age, yet about one-third of widows lose their spouse before age 45. Widowhood is not something young women are prepared for, and they suffer post-traumatic stress disorder to some degree. ~ Gwen Peterson, president of Hope for Widows

A reader writes: Next month on the 8th it will have been two years since my husband died and I have to admit it still hurts horribly. I don't feel crazy anymore and I guess it is a bit less sharp...but it still hurts every day. I still cry at every anniversary and holiday. I still need to sleep with his shirt at night and I still ache for just one more hug. Will this ever stop hurting? I am 36 years old and I miss being in a relationship. Sometimes I think about dating again in the future, but I still feel like my husband's wife and the thought of loving another man feels so alien. Next week he will have been dead longer than we were together.

Caregiving and Hospice, July 20- July 26, 2014

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

Oh, my. 'Dear patient: Your 5-minute appointment is awaiting you.' http://j.mp/1pkr9ap « Kevin MD

6 Tips To Guide You When Visiting Your Loved One in Memory Care, http://j.mp/1noUd47 « Alzheimer's Reading Room

Aromatherapy in end-of-life care, http://j.mp/Uy4Aqn « Caring with Confidence

Understanding and Managing Grief, July 20 -July 26, 2014

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

"Cowbells Ring... are you listening?" http://j.mp/1xc7m1h « GriefCorner

100 Songs about Grief and Loss, No. 2 http://j.mp/1qFfFF6 « What's Your Grief?

Waiting [for another grief attack], http://j.mp/1t4mwYE « Widow's Voice

Writing As a Healing Tool in Grief


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We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand. ~ C. Day-Lewis

Because grief is an intensely personal experience, your personal grieving style will be unique to you and your individual personality. You may find it helpful to return to activities of self-expression that satisfy or relax you, or discover new ones that bring you comfort and relief,

Caregiving and Hospice, July 13 - July 19, 2014

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

Dear lawmakers: This is what it's like to be a doctor today, http://j.mp/1tYog78 « Kevin MD

Selfless Caregiving: Honoring the Hospice Patient’s Wishes, http://j.mp/1jUfV00 « Caring with Confidence

Suicide Thoughts and End of Life, http://j.mp/1oXkxBj « Barbara Karnes Books, Inc.

Understanding and Managing Grief, July 13 - July 19, 2014

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

Forgiveness in Grief, http://j.mp/1nWtMT4 « Alive in Memory

Hope and Healing at Camp Widow, http://j.mp/1sAx5Cz « Widow's Voice

When Life Dishes Out the Unexpected – and it Always Does, http://j.mp/1mnwhZI « Ashley Davis Bush, LICSW

Coping with Pet Loss, July 13 - July 19, 2014

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

When is it okay to euthanize a pet? 'Enough Can Be Enough,' http://j.mp/1oRYcSX « Ezine Articles

Learning goodbye: Veterinarians fill a void by focusing on end of life care, http://j.mp/1yBRVSv « DVM 360

9 Questions to Consider When Planning Your Pet's End-of-Life Care, http://j.mp/1tWDFVs « Veterinary Wisdom Professionals

In Grief: When Tears Won’t Come

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Tears are the silent language of grief. ~Voltaire

A reader writes: My only sibling and big brother passed away six months ago, he was 30 years old. I used to be able to cry. I mean I would cry at work when things got stressful, and I would cry after fighting with friends, or cry if I were purely frustrated. My brother passes away and no tears. No tears at the funeral home. No tears at the hospital. No tears at the funeral. And no tears ... six months later.

Caregiving and Hospice, July 6 - July 12, 2014

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

Amen! 'Let’s not lose sight of the gifts of hospice,' http://j.mp/TZqvGH « The Daily Journal

Brilliant! Not So ‘Crazy,’ After All, http://j.mp/1sI0PL3 « Modern Loss

The Death Doula, http://j.mp/1kaBhAV « Modern Loss
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