Monday, November 12, 2018

Voices of Experience: Four-Footed Healers Support The Team

by Michael Shannon O’Keefe

Isolation is a natural reaction to depression and grief. If you’re in the depths of depression, it can be hard to pick up the phone and call a friend. If you’ve lost of a loved one, lost your good health, or lost a relationship, you may pull inward and grieve alone.

But just because isolation is natural doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Isolation can create a spiral of despair. Depression and grief cause people to cut themselves off from friends and family, which in turn causes more depression and grief, and so on.

Talk therapy and medications are the standard treatments for these states of mind. Recent research, however, points to another way to help people escape that spiral. It’s been called the pet effect. Simply put, being around animals helps people feel less isolated, depressed, and grief-stricken.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Understanding and Managing Grief, November 4 - November 10, 2018

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

Why do we give dogs a better death than we give ourselves? « Aeon Essays

The Existential Crisis of Grief, « Grief Compass

Finding H O P E at Camp Widow, « Soaring Spirits International

Monday, November 5, 2018

Coping with The Holidays: Suggested Resources 2018

[Updated November 12, 2018]

We enjoy warmth because we have been cold. We appreciate light because we have been in darkness. By the same token, we can experience joy because we have known sadness.  ~ David Weatherford

For those who are anticipating or coping with the loss of a loved one, the holidays can be a most challenging time. We may feel exhausted, drowning in sorrow, and  totally out of sync with the rest of the world, wishing that we could find a way to skip entirely these days, along with all those expectations of celebrating, giving thanks, shopping, preparing special meals, decorating, gifting, visiting, and entertaining guests.

Fortunately ~ and especially at this time of year ~ the Internet holds an abundance of information, comfort and support to help us get through these difficult days.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Veterans Day 2018

Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as best he can, the same cause.
~ Abraham Lincoln

2018 marks the Centennial Commemoration of the end of World War I on November 11, 1918. The theme for the 2018 Veterans Day Poster is: “The War to End All Wars” and features a poppy and barbed wire.

Veterans Day was established by our country 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, October 28 - November 3, 2018

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

Documentary Review: "Passing On" produced by Arizona Public Media, « Seven Ponds Blog

Ten Reasons Why I Want to Talk About Death, « After Talk

NEW Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care Released!! « Pallimed

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 28 - November 3, 2018

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

If You Grieve in Private, Science Says You’re Doing It Right, « Healthline

A statement from my family about my late father, Charles Krauthammer, « Daniel Krauthammer on Twitter

Moved me to tears: "I can assure you you have never seen the Star-Spangled Banner performed like this before," « Timothy Burke on Twitter

Monday, October 29, 2018

Voices of Experience: This Birthday

by Catharine H. Murray

In my country on our birthdays, we receive presents from the people we love. In the country where my son was born they celebrate birthdays in a different way. His cousins and grandmother and neighbors take food to the temple to offer to the monks so that the people they love who have died will be able to enjoy it in their own realm.

I never know what to do on Chan’s birthday.

Twenty years ago on June 23, 1998, he was born at home in our bed. He was so loved. And then, when he was six and a half, when he was the center of our family, when we were trying with everything we had to make him well, to keep him with us, to cure him of the disease inside his bones that was spreading through his body, he died.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 21 - October 27, 2018

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

Why We Need to Take Pet Loss Seriously, « Scientific American

No Choice, Some Choices, and 'Choosement', « Open to Hope 

Beautiful: This note was left on the gate at the water this afternoon. No name or number left but whoever you are, rest assured your rose is in place in the middle of the lake. « BVGS Rowing

Monday, October 22, 2018

In Grief: Taking Time to Mourn

It is said that Time soothes mourning ~ No, Time makes nothing happen; it merely makes the emotivity of mourning pass. ~ Roland Barthes

A reader writes: The selfishness in me is getting the best of me right now. I know grieving is normal but this takes the cake. I do agree with the idea of putting one foot in front of the other, as I have to do that each and every day. I have 3 kids to live for and take care of. (I love doing that). I can also tell when I step over my own two feet ~ you know the feeling, as if it’s your first day on your new feet, it is a hard day. And not having the choice to stay in bed is hard but I cannot. Not any day! Let me ask this question: Do you think that because we (I) have to go go go every day that it makes it even harder and longer that we take to heal because we have not had the chance to hide and cry and however we do grief?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Caregiving and Hospice, October 14 - October 20, 2018

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

I Need to Have a Life, « The Caregiver Space

A Working Class Death, « True

When Your Partner Is Dying, What Do You Say? « NextAvenue