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, http://j.mp/2Audz4m « Scientific American

No Choice, Some Choices, and 'Choosement', http://j.mp/2Apda33 « 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. http://j.mp/2PWGinv « 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, http://j.mp/2R25Ksa « The Caregiver Space

A Working Class Death, http://j.mp/2AdWUll « True

When Your Partner Is Dying, What Do You Say? http://j.mp/2A9ld43 « NextAvenue

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 14 - October 20, 2018

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

Anxiety and Grief After Losing a Loved One, http://j.mp/2Ail3az « NextAvenue

Review: Sorry For Your Loss is a heartfelt glossary of grief,  http://j.mp/2AjfIzO  « The Spinoff

In Her Defense, I Defined My Journey, http://j.mp/2QZBz4G « Grief Watch

Coping with Pet Loss, October 14 - October 20, 2018

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

Had My Dog Come Back as a Squirrel? http://j.mp/2Al1HBH « Modern Loss

Our cat is teaching our son about aging and dying. http://j.mp/2Ad5QYg « The Death Deck

Loving An Old Dog — And Knowing When To Let Him Go, http://bit.ly/2A9i9VB « Cognoscenti

Your feedback is welcome! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question, or share a tip, a related article or a resource of your own in the Comments section below. If you’d like Grief Healing Blog updates delivered right to your inbox, you’re cordially invited to subscribe to our weekly Grief Healing Newsletter. Sign up here.

Monday, October 15, 2018

In Grief: Coming Apart at The Seams

Comfort comes from knowing that people have made the same journey. And solace comes from understanding how others have learned to sing again. ~ Helen Steiner Rice

A reader writes: I lost my Grandmother last month and I cannot seem to get control of my emotions. I am constantly in tears. I have never been this depressed and empty inside in all my life. I was given time off from work and assured that my job was not in jeopardy just get myself well and my job would be there once I returned. Apparently, I wasn't getting it together quick enough because I was informed that I would be immediately terminated tomorrow if I do not come to work.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Disenfranchised Grief: Mourning The Loss of a Stepson

Disenfranchised grievers experience strong feelings that are often complicated or exacerbated by the relationship, by the type of loss or by isolation. These lead to the central paradox of disenfranchised grief: though grief is often intense, the social support that assists other grievers is absent.  ~ Kenneth J. Doka

A colleague writes: I hope you can give me some advice. One of our staff members lost her 18-year-old stepson last week in a car accident. She and her husband married six years ago, combining two families. Each had three children by previous marriages. They all lived together as a blended family, although their children's other parent remained involved. I went to the wake and it was painful to see my friend excluded from all the collage photos. Her kids were there in some of them and all the kids are very close. Her daughter and his son (the one who died) are the same age and were close. She's got a lot of disenfranchised grief going on. I know there is information out there on step-parent grief, but wondered if you knew of any books or resources that are particularly good?

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Caregiving and Hospice, September 30 - October 6, 2018

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

How Do You Die From Alzheimer's? The Last Stage of Dementia Explained, http://j.mp/2IErEOU « Being Patient

Four Questions We Tend to Ask When Faced with Our Own Mortality, http://j.mp/2yhgRp6 « BK Books

A Rapidly Aging Country Demands More Palliative Care. UVA is Delivering. http://j.mp/2yaF14u « UVA Today

Your feedback is welcome! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question, or share a tip, a related article or a resource of your own in the Comments section below. If you’d like Grief Healing Blog updates delivered right to your inbox, you’re cordially invited to subscribe to our weekly Grief Healing Newsletter. Sign up here.

Understanding and Managing Grief, September 30 - October 6, 2018

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

Death Guilt: I Feel Like It’s My Fault, http://j.mp/2y8vone « Grief Compass

10 Ways to Overcome Grief-Related Anxiety, http://j.mp/2y95Iqo « Modern Loss

Talking with Kids about a Death from Addiction (Substance Use), http://j.mp/2y6oH4Z « Moyer Foundation

Monday, October 1, 2018

Helping Young Children with Pet Loss

When a cherished pet dies, parents have a valuable opportunity to teach their children that although grief hurts, it's a fact of life, it's a part of being human, and it happens whenever we lose someone we love. 

A reader writes: Three months ago our beloved 17-year-old dog Lady passed away. Honestly we knew it was coming. We believe she caught a cold that turned to pneumonia and she could no longer fight it. As I sit here writing this I am crying because it is still painful to realize. My four-year-old daughter is still bringing it up a least three times a month if not more.