Monday, July 29, 2013

Explaining Death to Children

[Reviewed and updated July 13, 2020]

Any child old enough to love is old enough to mourn. ~ Alan D. Wolfelt

If this is your family’s first experience with death, you may be wondering how and even whether to include your children in the rituals of grief and mourning for the special person who has died. You may have many questions about how best to meet your children’s needs at such a sad and difficult time. In this first in a series of posts on this topic, I hope to help you answer some of those questions.

Quite simply, what your children need most from you is honesty. They need accurate, factual information and freedom to ask their questions and express their feelings. Whenever possible, they need to be included in decisions, discussions and family commemorative rituals. They need stable, consistent attention from their caretakers. And like the adults around them, they need time to explore and come to terms with the meaning of their loss.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, July 21 - July 27, 2013

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

Books for Family Caregivers, Caregiving Resources, Alzheimer’s Disease, « AARP

Life-or-Death Situation: an article not to miss, « New York Times

Shame on this hospice! Relationships and Intimacy Archives, « Life Matters Media

Certified StoryKeeper Course for hospice volunteers, « Legacy Matters

Music therapy as a non-pharmacological adjunct to pain management, « MDLinx

Understanding and Managing Grief, July 21 - July 27, 2013

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

Complicated Grief in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Complicated Grief Group Therapy, « The Gerontologist

Writing with dying children: a teacher's moving story: You Owe Me, « Michigan Quarterly Review

Types of Grief: Yes, there's more than one, « What's Your Grief?

5 reasons why music would great for digital health, « Kevin MD

In grief, touch matters, « Open to Hope

Coping with Pet Loss, July 21 - July 27, 2013

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

Historic San Francisco Catholic church plans memorial space for pets, « The Sacramento Bee

So touching! Savannah, Almost Hospice Care, « Diary of a Real-Life Veterinarian
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Helping Grieving Children: A List of Suggested Resources

[Reviewed and updated November 2, 2020]

Given their limited experience with loss, your children may be surprised or embarrassed by the intensity of their grief when a death happens, and they may try to hide it or disguise it. Your best approach is to watch and listen – to tune into your children, to be there for them, and if you’re unsure what’s going on with them, to ask! What else can you do to help them?
• Offer physical closeness, comfort and reassurance.

• Look through photograph albums together.

• Talk about special memories and their relationship with the deceased.

• Read some of the wonderful and readily available children’s books on grief.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, July 14 - July 20, 2013

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

Dr. Lanileary Web: Being with one who is dying, « YouTube

What is Spiritual Care for the Ill, Dying and Bereaved? « Seven Ponds Blog

Nurse Practitioners: In the Doctor's Office, a Neglected Resource, « New York Times

July Mind, Beginner's Mind: Teaching Imminent Death, « GeriPal

Helpful! Managing symptoms in the heat of summer for hospice patients, « Caring with Confidence

Understanding and Managing Grief, July 14 - July 20, 2013

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

Beautiful video, "The Coffinmaker" Crafting a Final Resting Place, « On Being with Krista Tippett

Grieving the Loss of a Loved One: Beautiful Music to Comfort During Grief, « Candle in the Window

Welcome to Hospice of the Valley’s Online Grief Discussion Forums, « Hospice of the Valley

Rando's Six R Processes of Mourning explained, « What's Your Grief?

Tips for Coping with Anniversary Reactions in Grief, « Grief Healing Blog

Coping with Pet Loss, July 14 - July 20, 2013

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

Evidence mounts that animals mourn too, « Scientific American

Cornerstone Hospice launches program to help care for patients' pets, « Orlando Sentinel

Death of a Pal: Navigating the Loss of a Beloved Animal, « Deseret News
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Anxiety Attacks in Grief: Tools for Coping

[Reviewed and updated November 12, 2020]

[Slow breathing] is like an anchor in the midst of an emotional storm: the anchor won't make the storm go away, but it will hold you steady until it passes. ~ Russ Harris

A reader writes: I am trying to figure out if what I am going through is normal. I am thinking that it is probably some kind of panic or anxiety attack. It started when I had something upsetting happen totally unrelated to the death of my friend. Everything went okay with that situation but things seemed to get worse as the evening went on. Yesterday it was like I had tunnel vision all day. I felt shaky and detached. I have been restless, anxious, and feeling like I am sleep deprived when I have actually been sleeping.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Caregiving and Hospice, June 30 - July 13, 2013

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

Choosing Wisely: 5 Things Physicians, Patients Should Question, « AAHPM

5 Tips to Help Aging Parents Retain Their Independence, « DailyFinance

Top Mistakes and Misconceptions for Patients with Dementia, « BeClose

What to do if aging parents won't listen or receive help graciously, « AARP Bulletin

Nineteen Purple Flairs: How we can respond to public tragedy, « Hospice of the Valley

Understanding and Managing Grief, June 30 - July 13, 2013

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

Are You Experiencing Grief, Trauma or Both? « Open to Hope

Child Loss and The Fear of Forgetting, « Alive in Memory

10 Answers to the questions WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP « The Grief Toolbox

Lovely! First Wedding After a Death, « What's Your Grief?

Coping with Special Days: Grief: The Day After and The Day After and The Day After « Stop Thief! Don't Steal My Grief

Coping with Pet Loss, June 30 - July 13, 2013

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

Lovely Golden tribute: Otis Babaji 2005-2013, « YouTube

What Happens After Death? « New England Pet Hospice

Importance of a Meaningful Goodbye, New England Pet Hospice:
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Monday, July 1, 2013

Voices of Experience: The Fire Circle of Healing

The following is a warm and personal gift from guest blogger Mary Friedel-Hunt, MA, LCSW:

Shortly after my husband and beloved soulmate Bill died in 2010, I scouted the Internet looking for a solid, well moderated grief support group. I live in a rural town where in-person grief support groups are hard to come by. I am also a psychotherapist, and it was important to me that the group reflect the professional quality and integrity I had practiced in my own clinic for almost 40 years. 

After checking out many sites, I came upon the on-line grief support group sponsored by Hospice of the Valley.