Friday, October 23, 2009

Support for College Students Facing or Coping with Loss

National Students of AMF, the Support Network “for college students with deceased or ailing mothers, fathers or loved ones,” shares the following announcement:

From the AMF Web site:

The National Students of AMF (deceased or "Ailing Mothers, Fathers," or loved ones) Support Network is the only organization dedicated to supporting college students coping with the illness or death of a loved one and empowering all college students to fight back against terminal illness.

We accomplish our mission by helping students to start chapters of Students of AMF on college campuses nationwide (currently 24), providing information and support through , raising awareness about the needs of grieving college students by annually hosting a National Conference on College Student Grief and National College Student Grief Awareness Week, and holding fundraising events, including the annual Boot Camp 2 Beat Cancer and AMF Banquet . . . Watch a 2-minute video about National Students of AMF at:

Recommended Articles

Modifying CISD So As Not to Re-traumatize Survivors – Health Journeys and Guided Imagery expert Belleruth Naparstek suggests ways for those providing Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) to modify their protocol to maximize the benefits and minimize the possible risks:

When and How to Use Medicine in Grief – A family practice physician whose youngest son was murdered, Dr. Richard Dew is well acquainted with grief in the wake of homicide. Here he explains the difference between Situational and Clinical Depression, and suggests when pharmacological intervention might be indicated:

When an Employee is Grieving the Death of a Child – Based on years of assisting bereaved parents to find compassion, understanding and hope following the death of their child, Senior Management Consultant Patrick T. Malone introduces The Compassionate Friends and some guidelines and suggestions for assisting the grieving employee in the workplace:

End of Life Counseling: Why It Really Matters – Michael Haederle argues convincingly in favor of “tough but essential conversations among doctors, patients and families” in the August 31, 2009 issue of AARP Bulletin Today:

Can We Ever “Accept” the Death of a Loved One? – Most mourners have trouble with words like “acceptance,” because in truth the death of a loved one will never, ever be “acceptable” to us. If these particular words seem bothersome, try substituting words like “reconciliation” and “integration,” and understand that it takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work to get to that point in the grief journey:

Learn about Yoga Breathing: A Simple Exercise for Beginners – Re-learning how to carry our bodies so we can breathe correctly is good for our overall health, and “yoga breathing” is one of the most effective ways to do it:

When the Neighborhood is the Retirement Village – Naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs) are those places not specifically designed for retirees, but with a higher number of elderly residents – some of whom have special needs related to aging. According to Fredda Vladdeck, Director of the United Hospital Fund’s Aging in Place Initiative, 25 states have developed service programs in support of NORCs, whose common mission “is transforming communities into good places to grow old:”

How to Release Regret – In this helpful article, Irene Kendig discusses how in grief we might better deal with our assumptions about what we should or shouldn’t have done in a given situation:

Compassionate Self-Forgiveness, Parts I and II – In a similar vein, Irene Kendig discusses the harsh judgments we place on ourselves when we feel guilty about something we did or failed to do, and offers a way for us to deal with them:

Part I,
Part II,

Caregiving Website is LaunchedCareRunner ( ), an innovative website designed to provide non-professional caregivers with the online tools, information and support to more easily manage the care of loved ones, has announced that the free service has been launched and is available to the public:

Documentary, Griefwalker

Film, Griefwalker – A feature length documentary about grief and the death dialogue and practice in Western culture, this film follows Harvard-educated theologian and end-of-life care educator Stephen Jenkinson as he provides compassionate grief counseling to the dying, their friends and family. Stephen embraces the philosophy and learned practice of grief as a skill rather than an enemy of life, and demonstrates how learning grief is central both to being a healthy human being and to making a healthy society.

Read more about Stephen here:

Mary Frances Knapp of Seven Ponds Blog reviews the film here:

For purchasing information, see:

© by Marty Tousley, CNS-BC, FT, DCC

Special Events

National Survivors of Suicide Day, Saturday, November 21, 2009 – The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) will hold its 11th annual National Survivors of Suicide Day on Saturday, November 21, 2009. Created by U.S. Senate resolution in 1999, this is a day of healing for those who are bereaved after a suicide loss. Every year, AFSP sponsors an event to provide an opportunity for the survivor community to come together on this day for support, healing, and information:

Camp Widow 2010 – Based on the success of this year’s National Conference on Widowhood, Michele Hernandez, Executive Director of Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation announces plans for next year’s gathering for widows and widowers at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina in San Diego, CA, August 6-8, 2010: For further information, contact Michele Hernandez via email at

Continuing Education Offerings Online

Continuing Education: Forthcoming Conferences

Annual Meeting, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), November 5-7, 2009, Atlanta, GA:

2009 Celebrate Your Life Conference, sponsored by Mishka Productions, November 13 - 15, 2009, Phoenix, AZ:

26th Annual Conference, International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, Pathways to Integration of Traumatic Experience: Individuals, Groups, Society, November 21-23, 2009, Washington, DC,


Welcome to the Grief Healing Blog! Formerly known (at least to my Hospice of the Valley Bereavement Counselor colleagues) as Marty’s Marvelous Resources, this is my way of sharing with the bereaved – and with those who care for and about them – all the online treasures I find as I work my way around the Internet, in search of the latest and best information having to do with end-of-life care, grief, loss and transition.

Because I work primarily online, I’m continually exploring what’s “out there” in cyberspace, as I search for grief resources I consider valuable enough to use and to share with others. Whether for my bereavement counselor colleagues and bereaved clients (in response to a given situation or request) or for my own personal interest, I am always looking for excellent articles, books, Web sites and resources – ones that I would consider valid, reliable, and useful enough to recommend to others.  

I've come to know the Internet as a rich and wonderful place for professional health care providers as well as for care givers, for people living with disabilities or with serious illness, and for those facing the end of life or coping with the loss of a loved one.  There are so many informative and helpful resources online, available to everyone.  You can access them in the privacy of your own home, and they are there at your fingertips, at no cost, at any hour of the day or night.  You are not alone!

I believe that many of the resources I've discovered deserve a wider audience and ought to be shared with everyone who may be interested. Finding useful information about care giving, end-of-life, grief, loss and transition is like a treasure hunt for me, and once I find these treasures, I don’t want to lose track of them. I have a need to “put” them somewhere so that others can find and use them, too ~ perhaps more easily and more quickly than I did. In addition to my Grief Healing Web site, my Facebook page and my activity on Pinterest and Twitter, this blog offers me a marvelous way to do that.

The volume of material available to us on the Internet is exploding, and many of us don’t have the time, the energy, or the inclination to find it, much less digest it all. You might think of this blog as my effort to “search the Web so you don’t have to.”

Here you will find announcements of forthcoming workshops, conferences, podcasts, radio and television programs focused on grief and loss, as well as links to recommended articles and other Web sites, along with an occasional article or book review that I have written myself.

If in your own travels you find something you think I should know about, or if you want to share your reactions to anything I’ve blogged about, please post your comment or send me an e-mail at

This information was last reviewed and modified on May 21, 2014.

About Grief Healing

Launched in October 2009, the content of this blog is aimed at professional and family care-givers who serve the needs of anyone anticipating or coping with significant loss, including animal lovers, the elderly, the seriously ill and dying, and those who are living with disabilities.
Its purpose is to share any useful information about care giving, loss, grief and transition, whether it is found on the Internet or written by the author herself.
This blog is offered free of charge and receives no funding from anyone, either through advertising or affiliation.
All content and opinions, expressed or implied, belong solely to the author and not to any other organization, agency or institution.
Information offered on this site is not meant in any way to substitute for professional or medical advice.

Visitors are welcome to contact the author via e-mail (
E-mail addresses of those who subscribe to the blog via FeedBurner are kept private and not distributed to anyone.

Visitor statistics are tracked by Google Analytics, but only in the aggregate.

This information was last reviewed and modified on May 26, 2014.

My Profile

As both a bereaved parent and a bereaved daughter, I've focused my practice on issues of loss, grief and transition for more than 40 years. I joined Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, Arizona as a bereavement counselor in 1996, and for ten years served as moderator for its innovative online Grief Healing Discussion Groups, until ownership of the site was returned to me in October, 2013. With my special interest in grief and the human-animal bond, I facilitated a pet grief support group for bereaved animal lovers in Phoenix for 15 years, and now serve as consultant to the Pet Loss Support Group at Hospice of the Valley and to the Ontario Pet Loss Support Group in Ontario, Canada. I am a contributing author for Open to Hope, The Grief Toolbox and Self-Healing Expressions, and have written a number of books, booklets, articles, online e-mail courses and e-books addressing various aspects of loss and grief. My own Grief Healing website offers information, comfort and support to anyone who is anticipating or coping with the loss of a loved one, whether that is a person or a cherished companion animal.  In my work with the bereaved, I accompany people who are struggling with, working through, and overcoming the most devastating of losses, and every day I learn something new from each of them. I cannot imagine more inspiring, uplifting work than this.  Read more of my personal story here: A Message from Marty. You can read more of my thoughts about caregiving, grief and bereavement here: A Conversation with Marty Tousley, Grief Counselor. My professional background and qualifications are described here.  I am fascinated by using Social Media as a way to learn, to connect and to share useful information about care giving, loss and transition. You can find me on LinkedIn, on Twitter @GriefHealing, on Facebook and on Pinterest, and you are cordially invited to connect with me on Google+.

(This information was last reviewed and modified on July 21, 2015.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

About Grief Healing Discussion Groups

[This information was last reviewed and modified on September 27, 2020]

Experience teaches us that, when facing life-threatening health concerns or the gut-wrenching grief that accompanies significant loss, we respond well to the information, comfort and support available to us on the Internet, provided that it is valid and reliable. It helps us feel as if we are not alone, exposes us to alternative ways of understanding and managing our responses, and puts us in touch with resources we might not know about otherwise.

Who can use this site?

Our online Grief Healing Discussion Groups site is accessible to anyone using the Internet.  Using a message board format, the site is specifically designed to address the individual needs of those who are anticipating or coping with significant loss.  Members can participate in forums that are separate and distinct from one another, according to their specific kind of loss: the loss of a spouse, partner or significant other; the loss of a child, parent, grandparent, sibling or friend; or the loss of a cherished companion animal.  Also included are forums for behaviors in bereavement; anticipatory grief and mourning; poetry of grief and loss; the latest news; general grief and loss topics; loss of a love relationship; new beginnings; and living with loss.  Members can join in the ongoing discussions in any of our forums, or start a new topic of their own.

How much does it cost?

While visitors are welcome to browse and registered members are free to use all the features of the site, we have added a Donate button to our pages, giving everyone an opportunity to donate toward its ongoing support. Members and visitors can contribute as much (or as little) as they can afford, and as often (or as seldom) as they choose, either all at once or over an extended period of time (that is, a recurring amount automatically deducted from a credit card each month). Donations are accepted via PayPal, credit card or bank account (where available).

How does this site differ from other online grief support groups? 

What distinguishes our  Grief Healing Discussion Groups site is that, unlike other self-help forums for the bereaved, this one is privately administered, closely monitored and professionally moderated to ensure the highest level of quality, safety and security for our participants. Every post is reviewed and read by our moderators, both professional grief counselors who visit the site several times a day.  (Our moderator feels a deep personal and professional responsibility to monitor our site in a way that encourages understanding, growth and healing. Verify her qualifications and professional credentials here.)

What about privacy? 

Membership is free, but will require that you register with a unique user name (not your "real" name) and secret password of your own choosing. Bear in mind that whatever you post on the site will be visible to anyone who visits the site, and may be searchable on public search engines. In order to protect your privacy (and prevent Internet search engines such as Google from finding you there), please do not use your full name as your display name, and do not include your address, telephone number or your e-mail address in any of your posts.
We hope that you will decide to join us!  Simply click on Grief Healing Discussion Groups, then click on the green Create Account button at the top of the page, and follow the instructions there.  (After you register, remember to bookmark the location as one of your favorite places.  Use your browser's "Back" button to return to this page.)

Why offer on-line discussion groups?

Studies have shown that the more support and understanding we have around us, the better we'll cope with our grief, and the sooner we'll come to terms with our loss. Recent research indicates that message boards offering online grief support can be very effective, provided that they are professionally monitored and moderated. 

The Grief Healing Discussion Groups offer yet another way for those of us who are bound by the experience of loss to learn more about what is normal in grief, and to communicate directly with one another so that everyone can benefit from the same information. It is our hope that by posting, reading and responding to the messages written there, we'll all come to a greater understanding of each other's grief and loss, and learn to be more caring, accepting and tolerant of one another.

You are cordially invited to use these forums to give words to your grief and express whatever you feel a need to say. You can ask questions to learn more about the normal grieving process, and you can talk with others about the ones you have loved and lost. You can share stories about your loved ones, say what was so special about them, express and work through your feelings, get your concerns and reactions validated, exchange helpful suggestions and ideas for coping with grief, or reflect with one another on the meaning of it all.

If you wish to share helpful or inspirational material written by someone other than yourself (e.g., excerpts, songs, poetry, quotations), please identify and credit your sources.  If you post health or medical information that is not part of your own personal experience, please make certain that such information is correct and true (to the best of your knowledge), and cite your reference (e.g., include a link to the online resource).

Are there any "ground rules"?

Our site is accessible to anyone using the Internet.  Individuals using our site accept and agree to abide by certain basic guidelines: 
  • Bear in mind that whatever material you post on the site is visible to the public, unless or until you choose to remove it.
  • When we share with one another, we recognize that whatever is said to one person is intended to be read by everyone. If we have something to say to one person that cannot or should not be shared with everyone, we must consider carefully whether it should be said at all.
  • We do not share any personal information that we don't want everyone else to know (full names, phone numbers, addresses, etc.)
  • Messages will be monitored for accuracy, honesty and appropriateness, and we reserve the right to remove immediately and without warning any posting deemed to be inaccurate, untruthful, repetitive, inappropriate, objectionable, insulting, disrespectful or intolerant of another's loss or point of view.
  • Duplicate posting (posting the same message more than once, or in several different forums) is not permitted.
  • Disagreements are acceptable, but our visitors are expected to treat one another with all the dignity, respect and caring we all deserve. We are sensitive to the wide variety of cultural practices and spiritual beliefs that make up our entire membership. Since everyone's experience of grief is unique to the individual, and our members may be at different places in their own grief journey, we realize that what is comforting to one person could be experienced as offensive to someone else.
  • Product promotion, solicitation and other forms of advertising are not permitted on the site, and such posts will be removed immediately, without prior warning.
Are these forums designed to be a substitute for grief counseling or grief therapy?

The information offered on this site is not meant in any way to substitute for professional or medical advice. Our Grief Healing Discussion Groups are offered as a supplement to – not as a substitute for – sharing with a trusted other (relative, friend, neighbor, clergy, colleague), participating in an in-person grief support group or meeting with a professional grief counselor or therapist. The site is best used primarily for social and emotional support, and for exchanging information about end-of-life care, loss, grief and transition.

We strongly recommend that our forums be used as a compliment or adjunct to traditional grief therapy or grief counseling. It also needs to be said that some people’s needs may exceed the capacity of an online message board to help. Sometimes grief can be so complicated that people get “stuck” in the process, and they need more help than we can give them in forums such as these. Individuals struggling with complicated grief are encouraged to seek the help of a professional therapist. Persons in danger of hurting themselves or someone else, those whose anger is out of control, or those whose grief does not diminish at all over an extended period of time, will not find what they need on this site, no matter how many messages they post. Therefore we urge such individuals to seek professional assistance at once, so they can get the help they so badly need and deserve. We believe that grief counseling and individual psychotherapy are among the most precious gifts we can choose to give to ourselves, and they can change our lives for the better.

What do those who've used the site have to say about it?

We think the very individuals who’ve found their way to our site are the ones who can describe most eloquently whatever benefits they've discovered there. You can read what several of our members have to say about our individual forums here: Testimonials.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
What if you are in crisis?

The site is not intended for individuals who are in crisis and actively contemplating suicide.  If you're thinking of suicide, read this first.  If you are experiencing serious suicidal thoughts that you cannot control, please stop now and telephone 911 or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

What if you need technical assistance?

If you're having difficulty and need help using the features of the site, please contact the site's administrator via e-mail (
If you wish to contact someone about your member account, contact the site's administrator (     

If you think the moderator should be aware of the existence of a post or a topic and you wish to report it, use the Report button that appears at the base of that post.

If you find that the site is down or isn't functioning properly, please contact the site's administrator (  

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