In Grief: How Much Can One Person Take?

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The sensitive person grants the sufferer the dignity of her own process. She lets the sufferer define the meaning of what is going on. She just sits simply through the nights of pain and darkness, being practical, human, simple, and direct.  ~ David Brooks

A reader writes: Just how much can one person be expected to take? Just how many deaths in one’s close family can one be expected to take? Just when you think things have slowed back to some kind of normality, wham! It lands right back in your face, landing like some unseen weight on your chest. 
          Comments from well meaning people do not make it any easier. A guy says to me, “Hi there … anybody die this week?” I say, “Nope.” He says “Thank god…..one good week in your life! Lol” I do not particularly find that amusing nor remotely caring. Do we as grieving people have to refrain from going near people for fear of putting them in unease?

Understanding and Managing Grief, December 20 - December 26, 2015

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

What Grieving Parents Want Others to Know, http://j.mp/1Oj5fR8 « HuffPost (Common Grief)

Grief and Shame: An Unacceptable Combination, http://j.mp/1OGb37O « HuffPost GPS for the Soul

The Promise of Christmas, http://j.mp/1NH3td8 « Grief Healing

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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The Promise of Christmas

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Ready or not, Christmas will come. And friends, that is more promise than threat.  ~ Peggy Haymes

In her beautiful Christmas message that came via email last week, our friend and colleague Peggy Haymes reminded us that, regardless of the losses we carry or the burdens we bear, the holidays still come, whether we feel ready to deal with them or not.

When we are in the midst of grief, we have hardly any interest in facing these days at all. We feel stressed because there is too much to do, with too little time, not enough money, and hardly enough energy to get out of bed in the morning. Everything seems draped in the darkness of sorrow and loss.

But Peggy gently suggests that a better approach is to focus instead on the real meaning of Christmas.

Caregiving and Hospice, December 13 - December 19, 2015

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

Medicare, Hospice and Trustworthy Doctors, http://j.mp/1NrRAtD « Barbara Karnes Books, Inc.

A Love Letter – “You Are The Light of Hospice,” http://j.mp/1P9oiAD « Hospice Times

PTSD at the end of life, http://j.mp/1NV722X « GeriPal

Understanding and Managing Grief, December 13 - December 19, 2015

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

Easter Brides and Christmas Widows, http://j.mp/1Og3YjT « HuffPost GPS for the Soul

How To Manage Grief At Work, http://j.mp/1Pbl1mc « Know It All

Lessons from End of Life University: The Many Paths of Grief, http://j.mp/1Qmx8yr « What Really Matters?

Coping with Pet Loss, December 13 - December 19, 2015

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

Saying Goodbye to Bruce: A Moving Tribute to a Beloved Pet Pug, http://j.mp/22dYJFx « VetStreet

Self-Help Remedies for Healing Grief, http://j.mp/1QvDhrN « Veterinary Wisdom Pet Parents

What to Do Before Euthanizing a Pet, http://j.mp/1T4gUr8 « Gentle Journey

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 Newsletter. Sign up here.

Mixing Grief with Alcohol: Will It Lead to Addiction?

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Frequency of drinking is less important than the role that alcohol plays in the life of the grief victim.  ~ Margaret Gerner

A reader writes: It's been terrible and bumpy ride so far. Yesterday I wasn't too bad - at least not after I saw my grief counselor. This morning I drove our eldest son and his wife to the airport so they could return to their studies in the US. I've had all three kids plus one daughter-in-law with me this last month. We were all at my husband's bedside when he died. I made the trip fine, was able to concentrate on the road, say goodbye without too many tears and drove home again. Altogether a four hour trip. I got home from the airport, and collapsed into tears. It was early, so the two sons left at home - at least for now - were still asleep. I took a sedative, then a glass of wine, then one more glass of wine. Nothing helped.

Caregiving and Hospice, December 6 - December 12, 2015

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

Palliative Care FAQS, http://j.mp/1NKtKe3 « Prairie Lakes Healthcare System

The Invisible Hand Reaches into the Exam Room: Ordinary Medicine (Review), http://j.mp/1M4T74I « GeriPal

Living in Two Worlds, http://j.mp/1IF2cGH « The Unprepared Caregiver

Understanding and Managing Grief, December 6 - December 12, 2015

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

Grief? Are You There? http://j.mp/1ORhDfZ « Grok Nation

Three Suggestions for Dealing with Insensitive Consolations, http://j.mp/1NG0IHZ  « AfterTalk

The Stages of Grief Won't Help You Understand Grief, http://j.mp/21GVvKE « Refuge In Grief

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 Newsletter. Sign up here.

Coping with Pet Loss, December 6 - December 12, 2015

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

Rescued By a Rescue Dog: How Pets Can Change Our Lives, http://j.mp/1lS8c4f « Maria Shriver

Holiday help for grievers, http://j.mp/1jO5CLg « Animals In Our Hearts

Children and Pet Loss: A Family Deals with An Accidental Death, http://j.mp/1YTYflp « Grief Healing

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 Newsletter. Sign up here.

Children and Pet Loss: A Family Deals with An Accidental Death

English: Guinea pig
Photo credit: Wikipedia
Children aren’t as affected by pet loss as grownups are – they’re young and they’ll get over it faster. ~ A common myth about pet loss

Contrary to what some people believe, the death of a family pet is a significant event, and often it is the child's first real encounter with a major loss. Suddenly all that friendship, companionship, loyalty, support and unconditional love are replaced with overwhelming and unfamiliar feelings of loss, confusion, emptiness, fear and grief. Far from being a so-called dress rehearsal for the real thing, for most children pet loss is a profoundly painful experience. The following case offers one example.

Caregiving and Hospice, November 29 - December 5, 2015

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

5 Activities to do with a Terminally Ill Loved One, http://j.mp/1XKx7Tp « Hospice of the Red River Valley

7 Must-Have Books for Caregivers Everywhere, http://j.mp/1YJtVd8 « Maria Shriver

How Caregiving Changes The Caregiver, http://j.mp/1XIbjrE « The Unprepared Caregiver

Understanding and Managing Grief, November 29 - December 5, 2015

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

Moving on After the Death of a Loved One With Alzheimer’s, http://j.mp/1m27D8s « Alzheimer's Reading Room

Using Art to Express Myself When I Lost the Words to Grief, http://j.mp/1HLQ3j2 « Maria Shriver

How to Help a Grieving Friend: 11 Things to Do When You're Not Sure What to Do, http://j.mp/1O85w9Q « HuffPost Healthy Living

Coping with Pet Loss, November 29 - December 5, 2015

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

Yes. Amen: Why Dead Pets Matter, http://j.mp/1Tsw1L2 « The Guardian

Soar, My Butterfly: The Animal Dying Experience, http://j.mp/1TnzDOi « BrightHaven

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 Newsletter. Sign up here.
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