Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year Resolutions in Caregiving and Bereavement

Source
'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

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Spirit of Christmas

Source
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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Monday, December 23, 2013

Is Grief Ever Resolved?

Source

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?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

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

Monday, December 16, 2013

Finding Crying Time in Grief

Source
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.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Anticipating the Death of a Cherished Pet

Source
[Updated September 9, 2017]

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.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

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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Monday, December 2, 2013

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.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

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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Monday, November 25, 2013

A Thanksgiving Day Message

Source
It is in giving that I connect with others, with the world and with the divine. ~ Isabel Allende

As we pause to count our blessings in this season of gifting and giving thanks, I share with you a personal and powerful message about the meaning of love and the purpose of giving. Originally featured on NPR’s “This I Believe” series, this insightful piece was written by novelist Isabel Allende following the death of her adult daughter in 1992. While Paula languished in a coma for a year, her mother served as her primary caregiver, and here Allende shares the important life lessons she learned from that experience.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, November 17 - November 23, 2013

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

Use Your Bereavement Support System Wisely, http://j.mp/18SKR5n « Open to Hope

How doctors die, http://j.mp/I6zmRC « Marketplace

My Cancer Circle™ – an effective way to organize and to coordinate cancer care, http://j.mp/1fiodLv « Caregiving Cafe Blog

Understanding and Managing Grief, November 17 - November 23, 2013

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

Friday Favorites: November 22, 2013, http://j.mp/1bcjxVF « What's Your Grief?

What Jackie Knew: Children Grieve, http://j.mp/1bID4b7 « National Alliance for Grieving Children

Research: 'Widowhood Effect' Strongest During First Three Months, http://j.mp/I3Jf2c « Medscape Nurses

Coping with Pet Loss, November 17 - November 23, 2013

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

Bill of Rights for Grieving Animal Lovers, http://j.mp/WVDJn6 « Grief Healing Blog

Veterinary hospice comforts pets nearing life’s end, http://j.mp/1c2FraF « The Advocate

Losing Sal, http://j.mp/1hXpObm « Modern Loss

Monday, November 18, 2013

Coping with the Holidays: Suggested Resources 2013

Source
A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.  ~ Garrison Keillor

A reader writes: I just recently lost my mother after her two-year battle with breast cancer. I feel like a piece of me died right along with her. I was always close to my mother, and she was so close with my children. I don't know how to explain the hurt I feel inside. The weather is starting to change here by getting colder, which always brings the holidays - which brings me to the question: How do we deal with the empty chair at the holidays?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, November 10 - November 16, 2013

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

7 tips for receiving better cancer care near the end of life, http://j.mp/1aHZd8C « PBS Newshour

125 Notable Sites on Hospice and Palliative Care, http://j.mp/1bzOGk5 « Nursing Assistant Guides

The true cost of end-of-life care, http://j.mp/HTK9yj « Dr. Mark Thoma, America Blog

Understanding and Managing Grief, November 10 - November 16, 2013

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

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

Beautiful story for bereaved parents: Best Friends and the Lessons Learned, http://j.mp/18DOqfG « The Rev. Sue Wintz, HuffPost Healthy Living

There Is Always Something To Be Learned From Grieving, http://j.mp/1e68b4a « Lou LaGrand, eZine Articles

Monday, November 11, 2013

New Moderator Joins Grief Healing Discussion Groups

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Mary Friedel-Hunt, MA, LCSW to assist me in administering and moderating our online Grief Healing Discussion Groups, beginning this week. Many have come to know Mary through her loving presence on our site these last three years, ever since she came to us as a new member following the death of her beloved husband Bill on March 27, 2010. As a skilled and accomplished psychotherapist intimately familiar with the challenges of care giving, loss, grief and transition, Mary is uniquely qualified to serve in this capacity, and I am thrilled that she is willing to take on this new role, as henceforth she is officially designated as a Counselor and Administrator on our Discussion Groups site. Please join me in welcoming Mary to her new position.

Below, Mary shares her thoughts:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, November 3 - November 9, 2013

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

How Will You Have The Talk of a Lifetime with Your Family? http://j.mp/1968ir9 « A Good Goodbye

10 Ways to Honor a Soldier on VeteransDay, http://j.mp/1bewwSZ « About.com Death and Dying

Caregiving for a Spouse With Alzheimer's: Joan's Story, http://j.mp/17fsU5Y « Everyday Health

Understanding and Managing Grief, November 3 - November 9, 2013

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

Organ Donation: Mom Listens to Daughter’s Heartbeat One Last Time, http://j.mp/196RDnu « faithit

Powerful piece on missing someone dearly loved: I Didn't Know, http://j.mp/1awiZ6F « Widow's Voice

Book Review: A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis, http://j.mp/HGfR1P « SevenPonds Blog

Monday, November 4, 2013

Surviving A Spouse's Death by Suicide

Source
There are always two parties to a death; the person who dies and the survivors who are bereaved. ~ Arnold Toynbee, Historian

A reader writes: I lost my husband to suicide last year and I am trying to cope. I am trying to move on, but I cannot do this alone anymore. I feel responsible, because he asked me to say something I could not say, and subsequently hanged himself. I feel so much remorse, guilt, pain, and it won't stop. I continually have thoughts to go to him. I am losing it by the day and don't understand what's happening to me. I need contact of some kind to know he is okay and does not blame me. I know we are all responsible for our own choices, but "yes" instead "no" would have made the difference in whether he was living today. I know this to be true. I don't know where to turn and am hoping you can save my life.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, October 27 - November 2, 2013

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

Showtime’s ‘Time of Death’: An important and honest look at what death is really like, http://j.mp/19YXCy3 « The Washington Post

Don't Be Afraid to Touch Death, http://j.mp/16SCifK « HuffPost Healthy Living

November is National Family Caregivers Month: 10 Things You Should Say to a Family Caregiver, http://j.mp/18Kpxy8 « The CareGiver Partnership

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 27 - November 2, 2013

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

Bouncing with Style: What does Grief Look Like? http://j.mp/1gjge0M « Sandra Beck

Yes. Faith, http://j.mp/1aRPrVj « Widow's Voice

So touching: Widow's Voice: In Between, http://j.mp/19jGmo1 « Widow's Voice

Coping with Pet Loss, October 27 - November 2, 2013

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

Killing My Goldfish: Thoughts on Power and Personhood, http://j.mp/Ht9SgN « Huffington Post

Finding Support for Pet Loss, http://j.mp/olji4Y « Grief Healing Blog

Navigating end-of-life with pets is more easily managed with the right support and knowledge, http://j.mp/1geFHsm « Ann Arbor News

Monday, October 28, 2013

In Grief: Responding to "How Are You?"

Source
Please see me through my tears.  ~ Fernando Alvarez

A reader writes: I work in a hospital and worked with hospice long ago but now I am on the other side of the fence. It is so very hard. Currently my partner is a patient in the hospital where I work. We are trying to gain control of his pain. The hardest part is not being able to fix this. I am pretty good at fixing things but I can't fix this. He is only 39. I know people much younger have suffered....but he's only 39. People always ask, how are you doing? I really dislike that question. Most of the time I say fine...but that is a lie. Now I say "I say I'm fine but, you know." I just really wish people wouldn't ask...it breaks my heart...and as I say, this is my hospital, so I know they truly care.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, October 20 - October 26, 2013

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

What's the Difference Between Alzheimer's and Dementia? http://j.mp/1hiyo1C « Alzheimer's Reading Room

21 Days of Gratitude: A free meditation program beginning November 4, 2013 « http://j.mp/18okAea « Pinterest

The Fifth Season: A Daughter-in-Law's Memoir of Caregiving, book review by Paula Span,  http://j.mp/1anizla « New York Times

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 20 - October 26, 2013

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

Thomas Lynch on Cremation, Accessories and the Good Funeral, http://j.mp/1g0RUAP  « A Good Goodbye with Gail Rubin

Wake up! It’s Day of the Dead,  http://j.mp/1ajxSvs « Navigating Grief

Widow chokes and dies while writing widow blog, http://j.mp/1dtiUIj « Widow's Voice

Monday, October 21, 2013

How We Mourn: Understanding Our Differences

[Updated October 1, 2017]

Ultimately it is [the] identification, validation, and exploration of their pattern of grief or adaptive grieving styles that grieving individuals will find empowering and that will allow them to deal with that loss on their own terms, with their own unique strengths. ~ Kenneth J. Doka, PhD

In their book Grieving Beyond Gender: Understanding the Ways Men and Women Mourn, professors Kenneth Doka and Terry Martin challenge the notion that everyone experiences grief and mourning in exactly the same way, regardless of gender. The authors suggest instead that differing personality patterns will affect how each person individually expresses, experiences and deals with grief.

It’s really not surprising to learn that men and women are different from each other, not just in personality patterns that affect how they think, feel and behave, but also in how they mourn. It follows, then, that when someone dies, men and women will not experience or express their reactions in the same way.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, October 13 - October 19, 2013

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

How To Visit a Friend or Acquaintance With Dementia, http://j.mp/GVu5vb « Alzheimer's Reading Room

Whoopi Knows About LBD. Do You? http://j.mp/1aw5mVI « Lewy Body Dementia Association

Important! When palliative care is no longer enough service, http://j.mp/19QtdAU « Caring with Confidence

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 13 - October 19, 2013

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

Walking Through Grief Video: I'm Grieving, Now What? http://j.mp/1aw9jtF « The Grief Toolbox

Well worth reading! Friday Favorites: Articles about grief, http://j.mp/H5Qp5V « What's Your Grief?

Outstanding! I Am Alone. I Am With You, http://j.mp/19PL3np « Widow's Voice

Coping with Pet Loss, October 13 - October 19, 2013

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

Does the Grief over Losing a Beloved Cat Ever Really Go Away? http://j.mp/1i2o8s3 « Catster

Dear Abby: Only time can truly heal the pain of pet loss, http://j.mp/1gOCNco « Yahoo! News

A Dangerous Villain: Guilt, http://j.mp/174DZH9 « Veterinary Wisdom Professionals
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Monday, October 14, 2013

Voices of Experience: The Voice On The Answering Machine

The death of a mother is the first sorrow wept without her. ~ Unknown

Linda Campanella lost her mother to cancer in September 2009. As a grieving daughter, she turned to writing as a way of coming to terms with her loss, never expecting that this cathartic expression of her grief would become an award-winning memoir. Her book When All That’s Left of Me Is Love is an intimate and inspiring story, filled with hope, joy, comfort for aching hearts, and lessons for how to live and love with no regrets. Four years after her mother’s death, Linda is still writing, still coming to terms with the permanence of her loss, and still yearning to feel her mother’s presence in her life. In the poignant piece she shares with us below, we are reminded that grief and letting go are journeys, not destinations.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, September 29 - October 12, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream:

Ira Byock, MD: Illness is Personal! http://j.mp/19zfY9s « Palliative in Practice

A physician writes An Open Letter to Cancer Patients Everywhere, http://j.mp/19qmr4x « Ann Arbor News

Hospice Voices, http://j.mp/16VDEqk « Huffington Post

Understanding and Managing Grief, September 29 - October 12, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream:

The 4 Letter Word That Leads You Astray (And What to Do About It), http://j.mp/1gzhE5T « Huffington Post

Friday Favorites: Articles about Grief, http://j.mp/19uMLwn  What's Your Grief?

Lou LaGrand: Little Things to Do In Adapting to the Death of Your Loved One, http://j.mp/1attAkP « Ezine Articles

Coping with Pet Loss, September 29 - October 12, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream:

Dogs Are People, Too, http://j.mp/15oi0YB « New York Times

When a Friend Loses a Pet – 7 Meaningful Do's and Don’ts, http://j.mp/GNDrcN « Bunny's Blog

On the Loss of Oscar, http://j.mp/1aS1OiE « Grief Helps

Monday, October 7, 2013

Recognizing Your Own Progress through Grief

Source
[Updated September 25, 2017]

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. ~ Lao Tzu

We often speak of grief as a journey ~ but as you go from one day to the next, how do you know you're moving forward  ~ much less where you're going ~ and how will you know when you've reached your destination?

Change isn't always obvious and dramatic; grieving is a process that takes place over time. The grief experience is different for everyone; it doesn't happen all at once or at the same rate of speed. Unless you're aware of the clues to healing and their significance, your progress through grief may be so subtle and so gradual that you will not notice it at all.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Death of a Pet: Breaking the Sad News

Source
Bad news isn't wine. It doesn't improve with age.  ~ Colin Powell

A reader writes: Our beloved Scottie dog, Bailey, died earlier this week, at the age of 15. We gave Bailey to our son Nicholas on his first day of Kindergarten. He will be returning home from college for a visit tomorrow. My husband and I are not really sure how to handle breaking the news to him.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, September 22 - September 28, 2013

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

Outstanding! Ambassadors for Hospice, http://j.mp/1dO8dxg « Caring with Confidence

Book Review: “The Best Care Possible” by Ira Byock, M.D., http://j.mp/193iFBE « SevenPonds Blog

Commonly held myths about end-of-life issues http://j.mp/17cwKdw « Harvard Health Publications

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

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

ONLINE GRIEF FORUMS: AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT http://j.mp/1dPnNsj « Grief Healing Blog

When Does Grief End? http://j.mp/16GsAWU « Fredda Wasserman, Huffington Post

Favorite articles from this week featuring Grief Healing, Huffington Post and The Atlantic, http://wp.me/p2KrvU-1ln « What's Your Grief?

Coping with Pet Loss, September 22 - September 28, 2013

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

Lovely! Condolence Letter on the Death of a Pet, http://j.mp/1bGkvtf « Open to Hope

Turning Guilt to Gold: Blue’s Story, http://j.mp/19zQGpB « HowToVetWisdom
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Saturday, September 28, 2013

ONLINE GRIEF FORUMS: AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

ABOUT OUR ONLINE GRIEF DISCUSSION GROUPS

As some of you may know, hospices across the country are experiencing the chilling effects of a combination of unwelcome events (including a nationwide decrease in hospice admissions, increased government scrutiny of hospice programs via audits, cuts in Medicare reimbursement, and pending implementation of the Affordable Care Act). To keep itself financially healthy, Hospice of the Valley has responded by cutting costs wherever possible. In recent days, departments have been reorganized, functions have been consolidated, a number of positions have been eliminated, and a significant number of staff have been let go.

Monday, September 23, 2013

"Am I Going Mad?" ~ Mystical Experiences in Grief


Source
Desire is indeed powerful. It engenders belief. ~ Marcel Proust

Of all the various ways that grief can express itself, perhaps one of the most unsettling is to experience the presence of a lost loved one— days, weeks or months after the death has occurred. When one so dear to you is gone, it can be very hard to accept that the person is really dead.

You may find yourself thinking and dreaming about your loved one much of the time, and it may seem that everything around you is a reminder of the person you have lost. Once in a while you may temporarily forget that your loved one is gone, and you’ll look and listen for him or her—and maybe even think that you’ve seen, heard, smelled or touched the person. Part of you believes your loved one is there, yet the other part of you knows that’s not the case.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, September 15 - September 21, 2013

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

A Fresh Look at End-of-Life Care, http://j.mp/18GsDZA « Health Leaders Media
  
What NOT to do in providing hospice care, http://j.mp/1gI8fGD « The Amateur's Guide to Death and Dying

A Better Way to Die? http://j.mp/18fN3GF « UnfrazzledCare

Continuing With Your Own Life After Another's Life is Over, http://j.mp/1aOTL6M « The Caregiver Space

Being there until the end: A Decade of Goodbye, http://j.mp/1esu9AW « Opinionator, The New York Times

Understanding and Managing Grief, September 15 - September 21, 2013

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

Inspiring! Grief: Creating Meaning for Your New Life, Your New Self http://j.mp/1eypIof « Stop Thief: Don't Steal My Grief

Friday Favorites: Grief Articles from This Week, http://j.mp/18GrrFx « What's Your Grief?

Weathering the fog after a suicide, http://j.mp/1aZbKLi « Hello Grief

On the value of Grief support: After the Last Bereavement Gathering, http://j.mp/1fhMHmi « Elaine Mansfield

Parents' anguish turns into mission http://j.mp/15asrRB « The Detroit News Lifestyle

Coping with Pet Loss, September 15 - September 21, 2013

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

What to do when you encounter a lost dog or your own lost dog, http://j.mp/187S16r « No Dog About It

Sobering, important post from Dr. Kay: Needing to Vent, http://j.mp/186Rn9m « Speaking for Spot
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Monday, September 16, 2013

Mourning An Abusive Relationship: Suggested Resources

Source
As discussed in earlier posts, mourning the death of a relationship can be especially difficult when colored by a history of physical or emotional abuse. Whether the abuse stemmed from addiction, abandonment, mental illness, dementia or any number of other causes, it can complicate the grief process ~ unless and until it is examined, processed, understood and overcome.

Here are some resources that can help ~ and as always, if you know of any that you'd like to see added to the list, please feel free to leave a comment, below.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, September 8 - September 14, 2013

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

Why docs don’t do death? http://j.mp/14LWmvF « Sunrise Rounds

A beautiful 3-minute video about forgiveness, generosity and gratitude, http://j.mp/164LfeR « Pinterest

Friday Favorites: Suicide Prevention Week Edition, http://j.mp/1db9QVp « What's Your Grief?

Planning a Funeral: Top 3 Things You Should Know, http://j.mp/1g7KCH2 « Living with Dying

What I Did With What I Learned from Caregiving, http://j.mp/15W4VIx « The Caregiver Space

Understanding and Managing Grief, September 8 - September 14, 2013

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

Friday Funeral Film: Departures, http://j.mp/1638nuj « A Good Goodbye

Outstanding! Grief Is ...... http://j.mp/162dUlF « Widow's Voice

Wounded Healer: Objectivity in Grief Counseling, http://j.mp/1esi1R9 « It's OK to Die

This Incredible Obituary May Be The Best Thing You Read All Week, http://j.mp/18QrOJF « Huffington Post

911. A Different Anniversary of Loss, http://j.mp/15X08jo « Navigating Grief

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Coping with Pet Loss, September 8 - September 14, 2013

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

Struggling with the Euthanasia Decision? Advice, Guidance here: http://eepurl.com/E3P41 « New England Pet Hospice and Home Care

Touching tribute to a darling cat lost earlier today, http://j.mp/1659nOw « Fandom Balladeer

Goodbye, Banjo and thank you, http://j.mp/1geAwUY « Momsense, FLORIDA TODAY

I finally acknowledge my senior dog will die soon, http://j.mp/15YZNDB « Seattle Dog Spot

This is wonderful: Did You Hear about the Bulldog Bark from Beyond? http://j.mp/16kqekr « HowToVetWisdom

Monday, September 9, 2013

Complicated Grief: Mourning an Abusive Mother

Source
It may be hard to play the role of the mourning [daughter] when part of you is saying, ‘Free at last.' ~ Helen Fitzgerald

A reader writes: Two weeks ago, my mother died of metastatic cancer. We had a strained relationship our entire life together. Growing up she could be very cruel to me, and that is what ensued as I tried to care for her. Before her illness, we hadn’t spoken in almost 3 years, but I wanted to be there for her and support her. I forgave her before she died and asked that she forgive me, and I feel a certain amount of closure which we were able to create.

But just when things were going beautifully, it was as if some demonic entity took over her being.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, September 1 - September 7, 2013

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

The Ultimate End-of-Life Plan,  http://j.mp/17GvtLT « The Wall Street Journal

The Difference Between Helping and Enabling a Loved One, http://j.mp/166b81T « AgingCare.com

Children's book helps kids learn about hospice, http://j.mp/15DZTKX « Books Make A Difference

Trends in Cancer Care Near the End of Life, http://j.mp/14xSBYR « Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

What is Hospice Nursing? http://j.mp/18ABc47 « Nursing Crib

Saturday, September 7, 2013

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

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

Lovely commentary: Death and Dying: Living and Dying in 140 Characters, http://j.mp/17dLzvv « Huffington Post

Two Stages of Grief (for Preschoolers), http://buff.ly/1dHUKti « Mommy Man

Friday Favorites: Grief Articles, http://j.mp/15Bv4GD « What's Your Grief?

Inspiring! Finding My Stride, http://j.mp/15EcdAB « Hello Grief

The Bereavement Counselor: Public Misperception, http://j.mp/14vJvM7 « Pallimed

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

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

Remembering Two Precious Souls, http://j.mp/15DJ2Yt « Grief Healing Blog

Tribute to a Dad and a Dog, http://j.mp/17ORVEv « Afterlife Books

Is Pet Loss Comparable to Loss of a Loved One? http://j.mp/GZocuf « Grief Healing Blog  
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Remembering Two Precious Souls

Sami
The animals are more ancient than us. They were here for millennia before humans surfaced on the earth. Animals are our ancient brothers and sisters. They enjoy a seamless presence – a lyrical unity with the earth. Animals live outside in the wind, in the waters, in the mountains, and in the clay. The knowing of the earth is in them. The Zen-like silence and thereness of the landscape is mirrored in the silence and solitude of animals. Animals know nothing of Freud, Jesus, Buddha, Wall Street, the Pentagon, or the Vatican. They live outside the politics of human intention. Somehow they already inhabit the eternal. ~  John O'Donohue, in Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

It is with deep sorrow and a heavy heart that I report the death of two beloved animal friends who perished in an apartment fire after their guardian had left for work. By the time they were discovered, both had succumbed to smoke inhalation, and it was too late to save them.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Mother Loss: A List of Suggested Resources

Source
A daughter without her mother is a woman broken. It is a loss that turns to arthritis and settles deep into her bones. ~ Kristin Hannah

A colleague writes: I am looking to facilitate a support group for women whose mothers have died. I have a list of books and movies related to this subject, but it seems a little outdated. I was wondering if you had something a little more up-to-date or if you could give me a few books to pass along to the women who are attending the group.

My response: Here is the list of Mother Loss Resources I've compiled for your group ~ and I hope it helps:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, August 25 - August 31, 2013

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

Aesthetic Experiences at the End of Life, http://j.mp/15IDxLe « Soundscape MusicTherapy

Dementia Books For Children http://j.mp/14Lyb2a « Dementia Journeys

Does my dad have dementia? http://j.mp/1476tyo « Caregiver Stress

Buried in the mounds of your loved one's legal documents? AARP's Amy Goyer offers solutions, http://bit.ly/1dkU7pm « The Organized Caregiver on YouTube

Positive interaction for Calm Caregiving, http://j.mp/15mpCgz « Eleanor Silverberg

Understanding and Managing Grief, August 25 - August 31, 2013

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

Well said! "Grief: I Want To Be Seen, I Want To Be Heard but I Don't Need To Be Fixed," http://j.mp/18tg7am « Stop Thief: Don't Steal My Grief

Friday Favorites: Grief Articles, http://j.mp/175F8ac « What's Your Grief?

Funny and sad and wonderful: Corn Nuts, http://j.mp/1foilLT  « Widow's Voice

Voices of Experience: Delayed Grief, http://j.mp/KQxtWn « Grief Healing Blog

Wonderful idea! Write a Legacy Letter Today! http://j.mp/15BZ882 « Huffington Post

Friday, August 30, 2013

Coping with Pet Loss, August 25 - August 31, 2013

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

Dear Otis and The Grief Goes On, http://wp.me/p2JmrV-2U « Good Grief Sebastian!

Pet Loss Memorial Day is Sunday September 8: Planning a Memorial Event for Your Pet, http://j.mp/19QtqVB « Veterinary Wisdom Professionals

After We Say Good-Bye ~ Keeping your pets' memories alive, http://j.mp/16RfUwh « Cesar's Way

Financial Assistance for Veterinary Care, http://j.mp/15cuF3d « Speaking for Spot

Lovely! Funeral for a child's goldfish, http://bit.ly/1cQBk4Y « Spring Mountain Living
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Voices of Experience: Just Let Me Be Sad

Source
Since she lost her four year old daughter in a drowning accident in 2009, bereaved mom Maria Kubitz has worked hard to find ways to learn from the pain and maintain a loving, healthy environment for her four other children. She volunteers at a local chapter of The Compassionate Friends, and in 2012, Maria created Alive in Memory, a supportive place where families can share precious stories of the loved ones they’ve lost. Here she writes of society's pressures to suppress and bury the pain of grief, and how she's learned to carry it instead.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, August 18 - August 24, 2013

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

Making Sense of #Alzheimers: 9 Books For Kids, Dementia Education, http://j.mp/17csfxj « AARP

Put Down the Phone and Get Connected, http://j.mp/1dcD6hR « Spirit Scraps

Hospice is Still Special, by Dr. Kristina Newport, bit.ly/16nzm3p « Pallimed

On Wounded Healers, byVelleda C. Ceccoli, PhD, http://j.mp/18Nza18 « Psychology Tomorrow Magazine

The Caregiver's Challenge of Intimacy, http://j.mp/18NchLg « Huffington Post

Understanding and Managing Grief, August 18 - August 24, 2013

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

Excellent! How long does grief last? http://j.mp/156myhD « Grief Helps

Beyond Surviving: after the suicide of a loved one, http://j.mp/1f9rEiE « SevenPonds Blog

Just outstanding: The Taboo Against Trauma, http://j.mp/19Mf1Nt « Maria Shriver

On a better understanding of depression and suicide, http://j.mp/16LUMgM « Widow's Voice

Suggestions for Coping with Sorrow in Grief, http://j.mp/15337u9 « Grief Healing Blog

Friday, August 23, 2013

Coping with Pet Loss, August 18 - August 24, 2013

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

End-of-Life Planning: Remember Your Pets, http://j.mp/15dpzRk « The Oncology Nurse Community

Loving Care or Animal Abuse? http://j.mp/1dpPdpm  « Psychology Today

Helping a dying pet end life in a kind and gentle way,  http://j.mp/19tJUTx  «  Pet Care
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Monday, August 19, 2013

Coping with Sorrow in Grief

No Me Mireis!
Photo credit: El Hermano Pila
There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than 10,000 tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.  ~ Washington Irving

Although feelings of hopelessness, anguish and despair are normal following any major loss, the intensity and duration of those feelings will vary from one person to the next, as the reality of the loss becomes more apparent in daily life. You may find that the sorrow of grief saps your energy, making even simple tasks like getting out of bed in the morning, tending to personal grooming, fixing a meal or going somewhere with friends seem overwhelming and exhausting. You may feel negative and critical toward everything and everyone, including yourself. Even in the company of others you may still feel lonely, and may prefer to avoid gatherings of any size.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, August 11 - August 17, 2013

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

Journey Forward Introduces "My Care Plan" Tool to Help Cancer Survivors Begin Their Survivorship Care Plan, http://j.mp/16jpo6N « Oncology Nursing Society

Patients may have to push to get registered with the palliative care program, http://j.mp/16S9ajU « Life & Death Matters

A Philosophy of Palliative Care Nursing – Part 1, http://j.mp/1dgiYJg « FULLHALFGLASS

Emily’s Top 5: Selected articles on Palliative in Practice this week, http://j.mp/14nQeHG « Palliative in Practice

Individualized medical decision-making: still harder than it should be http://j.mp/14QcWhK « GeriTech