Monday, June 30, 2014

Mourning a Sister’s Only Child: “Where Do I Fit In?”

Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister?  ~ Alice Walker

A reader writes: Two months ago, my 21-year-old nephew, my sister’s only child, was killed in a car accident. I was 19 when he was born. I have feelings of love for him almost as if he were my own son. I can’t find others like me. I have searched a few online forums and it seems there isn’t a specific place for me to go. Where do I fit in? I am the aunt, not the mom or dad, not the brother or sister, not the grandma. I am overwhelmed with fear that something will now happen to one of my kids or to my husband, or even that I might be taken from them. Also, I feel so guilty—something similar to “survivor’s guilt.” I wonder how my sister can stand to look at me, at my 20-year-old daughter, at my 17-year old son. I don’t know how to understand why I get to keep my wonderful family and she has to give up the son she built her life around.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Caregiving and Hospice, June 22 - June 28, 2014

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

16 questions to ask when choosing a hospice, http://j.mp/1q1CcZK
« Kevin MD

Guided Imagery and PTSD: A Different Approach to Treatment, http://j.mp/1obt3fQ « NICABM

Beautiful: Before Night Falls: Hospice nursing in pictures, http://j.mp/1vf9C6H « The New York Times

Understanding and Managing Grief, June 22 - June 28, 2014

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

Stephen Colbert: "If you try to ignore [grief], it will be like a wolf at your door." http://fb.me/2XE9gZW2Z « Longreads

8 Reasons We Don’t Help Grievers, http://j.mp/Vu9S7w « GriefMinisterDotCom

Beautiful piece: Do You See the Mystery? http://j.mp/1lsR3v6 « Open to Hope

Coping with Pet Loss, June 22 - June 28, 2014

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

Saying Goodbye to the Family Pet: Reflections and Helpful Advice from a Veterinarian, http://j.mp/1viPpwY « New Orleans Moms Blog

Euthanasia: A Vet's Perspective, http://j.mp/1nYMR5R « The Conscious Cat

Monday, June 23, 2014

Disenfranchised Grief: When An Ex-Spouse Dies

Source
It is harder to accept the reality of loss if one is excluded from the dying process, restricted from the funeral rituals, inhibited from acknowledging the loss, or even given delayed news of the death.  ~ Kenneth J. Doka

A reader writes: I’m not really sure how to explain how I feel after losing my ex-spouse a month ago—especially since he died the same day I was having major surgery. Consequently, I’ve had quite a few complications from my surgery since I started taking care of my two teenage boys and their grief the morning after surgery when I got the phone call about their father. The funeral (which was put on by his new young wife) was about the last four years of his life and didn’t talk about our boys or even mention those years of his life. The people who spoke at the funeral described a man that the boys and I didn’t even know. Most people (at work and friends) don’t know what to say to me because they feel that I have no emotions about this since he was my ex-husband. It’s an uncomfortable subject for my current husband as well. My sons are grieving, not sleeping well,

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Caregiving and Hospice, June 15 - June 21, 2014

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

Insurer Begins Huge Palliative Care Program,  http://j.mp/1rjm5WA « The Washington Post

Dying Well: Why We All Need to Have End of Life Conversations, http://j.mp/UVuRzZ « Ottawa Life Magazine

Why Are We in Denial About Death? http://j.mp/TeYMl3 « The Caregiver Space

Understanding and Managing Grief, June 15 - June 21, 2014

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

Don't Be Afraid to Tackle the Mental Health Issues Associated With Grief, http://j.mp/1w4rTG6 « HuffPost Healthy Living

Game-Planning Your Grief: 5 Tips for Returning to Work, http://j.mp/1qxWqfn « Modern Loss

My Sister Died And I Waited Sixteen Years to Deal With It, http://j.mp/Tcj3b2 « The Grief Toolbox

Coping with Pet Loss, June 15 - June 21, 2014

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

Pet Loss: Guilt in the Wake of A Kitten's Accidental Death, http://j.mp/1lHxBus « Grief Healing Blog

What to Do When You Learn Your Pet Has Cancer, http://j.mp/1qkk4vI « Veterinary Wisdom Professionals

Pet hospice helps with those tough goodbyes, http://j.mp/1leHhrk « CBS8.com

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pet Loss: Guilt in the Wake of A Kitten's Accidental Death

Source
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go. ~ Mary Oliver

A reader writes: I received a phone call last night from my frantic wife with my 13-year-old son screaming and crying in the background. He put the recliner chair down and it crushed his 12-week-old kitten.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Caregiving and Hospice, June 8 - June 14, 2014

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

Life's Journey: A Better End: A Hospice Nurse's Frank Approach to End of Life, http://j.mp/1qLrgOI « Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

How Palliative Care Programs Drive Value, http://j.mp/1lqXhev « Health Leaders Media

Thanks for the compliment, but I'm not a nurse, http://j.mp/1sacHZv « Kevin MD

Understanding and Managing Grief, June 8 - June 14, 2014

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

Supporting Kids Who Can't Remember Their Dads This Father's Day http://j.mp/1y1Y0bu « What's Your Grief ?

Grief, Mindfulness and Alcohol, http://j.mp/18FKP3i « What's Your Grief ?

After Death Communication: Uncovering The Richer Connections in Our Signs, http://j.mp/1kwpGv0 « The Grief Toolbox

Monday, June 9, 2014

In Grief: Dreading The Anniversary Date of A Loved One's Death

Source
[Updated August 8, 2017]

I have found in the years that have passed that I am most vulnerable at times of remembrance . . . If I get caught up in it, I quickly get pulled under and wind up gasping for breath. ~ Bill Jenkins

A reader writes: I am just 10 days away from the one year mark of my wife’s death, and the last few days have been horrible. I have that all-too-familiar feeling of dread in the pit in my stomach and I have a hard time concentrating on anything. I don’t know how to explain my mood to my seven-year-old son. All I would love to do is to go to sleep for those 10 days and wake up afterwards. I know that in this journey I am going to take some steps backwards and believe me the backwards steps are not as severe as in the beginning, but I just can’t stand feeling this way.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Caregiving and Hospice, June 1 - June 7, 2014

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

Medicine broke this doctor. See how that made him a better physician, http://j.mp/1p5eEo5 « Kevin MD

Podcast #12: Does There Have to be End-of-Life for the Caregiver? http://j.mp/1k0Pwac « The BioContinuum Group

Video: Man Born Without Limbs Delivers Life-Changing Message,  http://j.mp/Uhk4Qi « The Blaze

Understanding and Managing Grief, June 1 - June 7, 2014

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

A Widow’s Journey Through the First Six Months, http://j.mp/1uoNZT7 « The Shriver Report

Mother Loss: When Will The Crying Stop? http://ow.ly/xuzpN « Self-Healing Expressions

The Myth of the Grief Timeline http://j.mp/1nmjqdD « What's Your Grief?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Even When I Am Afraid: Trusting During Times Of Inner Darkness

Source
By Charles W. Sidoti

Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.  ~ Khalil Gibran

What do you think it really means to live by faith? Growing in faith is about learning to trust during those times when we cannot see clearly and cannot understand what is happening in our lives. Faith is very much about what we choose to do when we are afraid.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Caregiving and Hospice, May 25 - May 31, 2014

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

This is hilarious! What if Frank Underwood was your attending? Watch Dr. House of Cards and find out. http://j.mp/SmoMux « Kevin MD

Chemotherapy: what patients need to know, http://j.mp/1mNB8GG « Barbara Karnes, RN

Touching story: A life lesson in the operating room http://j.mp/1lTSUoF « Kevin MD

Understanding and Managing Grief, May 25 - May 31, 2014

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

Another kind of loss: Rob Lowe on sending his son off to college, http://j.mp/1nLiRLt « Slate

Terrific! Grief: No no no - No More Normal, http://j.mp/1mweSzC « Stop Thief: Don't Steal My Grief

Innovative use of music therapy: Turning Heartbeats of Dying Patients into Music,  http://j.mp/1mKpaxz  « ABC News