Monday, March 30, 2020

COVID-19 and The Fear of Dying

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.  ~ Malcolm X

A reader writes: How do we get people talking about their fear of dying and how to live fully now and being prepared??? 

My response: I’m not sure which people you’re talking about, but given the current concern about COVID-19 and all the anxiety surrounding it, I certainly do appreciate your question, especially in these uncertain times. Fortunately the Internet offers a vast array of answers, and I hope I can point you to some resources you’ll find useful, regardless of the circumstances. Here are some I invite you to explore:

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Caregiving, Grief & Pet Loss, March 22 - March 28, 2020

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

Whether this virus took the life a friend or family member, took away your wedding, your support system, your job, your long-anticipated vacation, your liberty, or your sense of security, your losses are valid and deserving of your grief. So, how do we respond? What can we do? Global Grief of COVID-19 « Grief Compass

The coronavirus pandemic highlights how much we need to have conversations about end-of-life care: It’s Time to Talk About Death, « The New York Times

Monday, March 23, 2020

Pet Loss: Why Surrender An Animal To A Shelter?

To let go does not mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be. When we let be with compassion, things come and go on their own.  ~Jack Kornfield

A reader writes: I have read that pet illness is one of the main reasons why owners decide to surrender their animal to a shelter. Can you provide any insight as to what it takes for an owner to get to that point? Are these owners less committed than other owners? Have fewer resources? One article recommended "defining your priorities and setting realistic goals". How can  a pet caretaker do this, in specific terms?

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Caregiving, Grief & Pet Loss, March 15 - March 21, 2020

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

Eight reasons why the death of an elderly loved one can be difficult. Grieving the Death of an Elderly Loved One, « What's Your Grief?

What this statement ultimately implies, whether intended or not, is that we should worry less about the virus because it impacts old and not young. Please Stop Minimizing the Death of Older Adults « What's Your Grief?

Monday, March 16, 2020

Voices of Experience: Fear at the Door; Rest Inside

There is no footprint too small to leave an imprint on this world.  ~ Unknown

American singer-songwriter Nathan Peterson has been creating music as Hello Industry for almost two decades. During his 20 years of writing, recording, and performing, Nathan has created a body of work encouraging us to rest, here and now, in the midst of the storms of life. He and his musician wife Heather are the parents of five children, one of whom was born with a genetic disorder and died at the age of 14 months. Inspired by the brief life and death of their beloved infant daughter Olivia, Nathan's words and voice invite us inward, toward our own Center, where our fear is the loudest; where our strength and hope are their brightest:

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Caregiving & Grief, March 8 - March 14, 2020

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

When you are grieving, your mental and emotional bandwidth are already strained. Adding external stress and instability can be even harder to cope with than it would be otherwise. Taking Care of Your Mental Health During Coronavirus « What's Your Grief?

Miscarriage can be a painful experience with long-lasting effects on women’s emotional, mental, and physical health. How can they move toward healing?Emotional Healing After a Miscarriage: A Guide for Women, Partners, Family, and Friends, « Nursing@Georgetown

Monday, March 9, 2020

In Grief: Can This Relationship Survive?

Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.  ~ Rabindranath Tagore

A reader writes: I am not sure if you can help me or not but I want to let you try. I was in a very good relationship with a person until she received news that her mother was terminal. In a matter of a weekend she completely turned on me and wanted me out of her life. This is after 2 years of an almost perfect and very loving relationship. I was told that this is how some people grieve is to take the person closest to them and drive them away. It has left me completely devastated at this point. Do you know anything about this type of grieving and what I can expect from the future? She will not go to counceling since in her eyes nothing is wrong. I won't go into a lot of details unless you feel you can possibly understand why this happened and tell me a little more about what to expect. Thank you for your time.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Caregiving & Grief, March 1 - March 7, 2020

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

Connecting grieving young adults to other young adults who "get it" - The AMF App Is Here, «

I'm sorry to say when a family member is dying it can bring us together and be our finest hour as a family or it can bring out the worst in us and create resentments that last a very long time. MOM IS DYING and There's So Much Blame « BK Books

Monday, March 2, 2020

Does Information on The First Year of Grief Still Apply in The Second Year?

Sometimes too late is just in time.  ~ C.J. Carlyon

A reader writes: I wrote to you a while ago about the loss of my dad in an accident and issues regarding my brother who was unable to save him. I am so grateful for your detailed suggestions and I have taken your advice and have seen positive results with the conversations that have evolved with my brother. I look at the Grief Healing Discussion Groups forum daily and even have my mom reading the posts. They help us both. Sometimes, I would like to write something myself but since my mom reads them, I am afraid that she would know it was me and it would make her feel worse if she knew of all the junk going on in my head.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Caregiving, Grief, & Pet Loss - February 23 - February 29, 2020

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

Many patients who request medical aid in dying (MAID) are already in hospice, but there is controversy as to whether a hospice should integrate this option into their care model. Should Medical Aid in Dying Be Part of Hospice Care? « Medscape

There are some compelling reasons for healthily connecting with your grief when you feel disconnected. 4 Ways to Get In Touch With Your Grief « What's Your Grief?

ZDoggMD watches and reacts to a CBS profile on the giant EHR company. An Epic Systems Fluff Piece, Deconstructed, « MedPage Today

Monday, February 24, 2020

Pet Loss: Feeling Lost, Broken in Wake of Parents’ Euthanasia Decision

The heart will break, but broken live on.  ~ Lord Byron

A reader writes: My cat Susie was put down today by my parents. I had some reversals in my life and at 42 ended up having to live with my mom and her husband. I arrived with 2 cats and my mother immediately did not like the kitten and decided he needed to be sent to the pound. I ended up trying to kill myself that night for not being able to care for something I loved so much. I got good help and good medications and made it through.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Caregiving, Grief, & Pet Loss, February 16 - February 22, 2020

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

If we treated death like birth, we would make death plans in which we imagined how we wanted to feel at the end — even if we rarely know precisely when that will be. And be prepared, even if death were to come to us suddenly. What If We Treated Death Like Birth? « Modern Loss

Nurses make a major contribution in introducing palliative care to patients (and families) who are receiving medical treatment for their disease but have not been referred to palliative care. Making ‘invisible’ nursing work visible: The work of oncology nurses in introducing early palliative care « EAPC Blog

Monday, February 17, 2020

In Grief: Supporting the Survivor of Suicide Loss ~ Helpful or Harmful?

A reader writes: Eight days ago my brother-in-law Joseph died by suicide, leaving behind my sister after almost 15 years together, and their 10 year old daughter. I’m here to support my sister and niece during this time, as are many of her friends and family. Everyone has been very forgiving and patient. Though we all grieve individually, my sister and her daughter are at the forefront of our minds. I’m writing you in the hopes that you can lend some practical advice. The situation we’re in may not be unique, but I have failed to find any help in guidebooks or any other resource thus far. 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief, February 2 - February 15, 2020

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream:

The celebrities we admire often function as blank screens that we project fantasies of ourselves on as heroes, saviors, or romantic figures. A grief educator explains why the death of a celebrity feels like a personal loss, and what we can do about it, « Business Insider

To experience the richness of life once again, we need to grieve. Closure May Be a Myth, but Grief is a Necessity, « P.S. I Love You

Belleruth Naparstek of Health Journeys responds to an interesting question from Patty. ASK BR: Dealing with IBS & Fear of Dying « YouTube

Monday, February 10, 2020

Voices of Experience: Winter Grief

by David Whyte

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.  ~ Robert Frost

The grief of losing a loved one: the need to walk, to remember, to heal when you cannot heal; to remember what you do not wish to remember. The unconscious call for invisible help, and the not knowing consciously, how, in any way, to ask for it; the way everything refuses to console until we are ready for that consolation. The way winter turns to spring. ~ DW

Monday, February 3, 2020

In Grief: Coping with Father Loss

There is no expiration date on the love between a father and his child.
~ Jennifer Williamson

A reader writes: My dad passed away this past June, so I am looking for resources to help me on my journey. I found your website today, and it is wonderful! Thank you for all the hard work you put into it. I've signed up for one of your Discussion Groups and your Comfort for Grieving Hearts page is awesome. So I will be visiting often.

When Dad died, I lost my best friend. I was definitely a "Daddy's girl." He and I were so close. Since he died, I've been looking for books of comfort for daughters who have lost a father, but I haven't been able to find anything. I'm seeing a few things about fathers and sons and lots of things about mothers and daughters.....just not much for daughters. Can you help; are you aware of any titles? I'm journaling as I go along, so I thought I would try to write a book of meditations when I'm feeling better.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief, January 26 - February 1, 2020

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

". . . that’s not the story that really got me in this tragedy. What struck me was the seven others on board. Seven other indispensable, deeply-loved people. Seven other giants. The Seven Others, « Snappshots

Even though we might not have met them, we still can become attached to them. When A Celebrity Dies « Journeys

Grief is rarely black and white. You can both believe Bryant’s accuser and still be sad that he died. All thoughts and feelings are okay. Complicated Grief for Kobe Bryant « Grief Compass

Monday, January 27, 2020

In Grief: Am I Feeling Sorry for Myself?

Image by cg_champion0 from Pixabay 
The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone.  ~ Mitch Albom

A reader writes: I would really appreciate your comments on my own particular kind of grief. Would it be appropriate to liken it to the death of a loved one or pet, when in actual fact they are still alive but you no longer see them for various reasons? After 2 years of depression, anxiety and wanting only to cry all the time, it came to me that perhaps the reason for my feelings was because the daughter I loved I no longer have visit me, various members of family became separated from me and I have no one to confide in.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Hospice, Grief, & Pet Loss, January 19 - January 25, 2020

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

This post is for you, Mamaw. Thank you for loving me so well, and for showing me that kindness can change the world. Echoes « Bryan C. Taylor

Depression killed my innately joyful sister. When people ask how she died, this is how I respond. 'Was She Sick?' « Modern Loss

Face this profound challenge by staying connected and finding friends who will listen. How Men Grieve « Next Avenue

Monday, January 20, 2020

Helping Elderly Parents with Pet Loss

Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.  ~ Agnes Sligh Turnbull

A reader writes: I was referred to your site in my search for grief counseling on the loss of a pet. I am an avid dog lover and was raised in a house with two parents who taught me the quality of being an animal lover. My question is if you might be able to offer some tips for dealing with my parents who recently and suddenly lost their pet dog. They are in their eighties and the dog was a big focus of their lives. Neither one of them is active outside of the home. My mom seems to be able to verbalize her emotions, but my dad is very upset, has stopped eating somewhat and does not want to see any company at all. Any advice as to what I can say?

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Caregiving, Hospice, & Grief, January 12 - January 18, 2020

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

Our stories often don't turn out the way we thought they would as we were writing them. If we can let go of the story we expected, sometimes we can find treasure in the story we have. Sometimes you get what you need. « Heart Callings

A cousin named her daughter after my mom before I could. Losing My 'Naming Rights' « Modern Loss

It's healthy and healing for someone to write about their own grief experience. But when they start "teaching" that these experiences are typical and apply to everyone across the board, they're crossing a dangerous line. Bad Bereavement Advice: When Trying to Help Doesn’t Help, « Afterlife Conference

Monday, January 13, 2020

Voices of Experience: These Words

These Words (Shelly Album)
For a songwriter, you don’t really go to songwriting school; you learn by listening to tunes. And you try to understand them and take them apart and see what they’re made of, and wonder if you can make one, too. ~ Tom Waits

Greg Walker is a musician and a writer who met his friend Shelly on Twitter: a poet who happens to have muscular dystrophy. They became fast friends and together were able to make an album of songs. By sharing below the story behind the songs, along with a link to the album, Greg hopes to encourage creativity, honesty, friendship, and the power of story telling in those who might read and listen. It also gives Greg and his friend Shelly the opportunity to touch hearts and souls of readers and listeners with their work.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Hospice & Understanding and Managing Grief, January 5 - January 11, 2020

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

One day you will lose someone you love and find yourself walking in The Land of Dark Shadows and Deep Sorrow. Then you will know the truth of grief. May you not regret how you have treated others.Wake Up! Grief Needs Something From Your Heart, « Rebelle Society

The death of a loved one isn’t just one single earth-shattering loss. In reality, it’s a tremendous loss, followed by a lot of smaller losses in its aftermath. A Deep Dive Into Secondary Loss « What's Your Grief?

In many religious traditions, God is believed to be responsive to the needs of believers, and in difficult times, the faithful turn to God for comfort and guidance. When Religion Makes Grief More Difficult, « Thrive Global

Monday, January 6, 2020

In Grief: New Mom Missing Deceased Spouse

Image by tung256 from Pixabay 
A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.  ~ Carl Sandburg

A reader writes: I was 32 weeks pregnant with our first child when I lost my husband to cancer three months ago. I am 24 years old and Brad was 36. He was undergoing a bone marrow transplant and his outlook was very good, but something went horribly wrong and he died so quickly. 

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Caregiving & Understanding and Managing Grief, December 29 - January 4, 2020

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

Our current system treats medicine as a commodity, not as an essential service. Is health care just legal human trafficking? « Kevin MD

In a few days, it will be the 8th time I have welcomed a new year that Drew will not be alive to share in. Orbiting Closer « Soaring Spirits International

The first New Year’s after a loved one dies, the future looks like a rocky coast. New Year of Grief, « Widower's Grief