Monday, August 31, 2020

When Words Matter: Tips on Writing Sympathy Thank-You Notes

Appreciation can make a day, even change a life.  Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.  ~ Margaret Cousins

Upon the death of a loved one, it is customary to send written thank you notes as soon as possible, usually within two weeks of receiving a gift. But if ever there is a time when you’re entitled to ignore the rules of etiquette, or a time when immediate thanks is neither expected nor required, it is when you are in mourning.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief & Pet Loss, August 23 - August 29, 2020

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

64 of the hardest grief lessons learned by the What's Your Grief community, in no particular order. Keep the list growing by adding your own . . . The 64 Hardest Lessons That Grief Taught Me « What's Your Grief?

Monday, August 24, 2020

Pet Loss: PTSD Following Euthanasia Decision?

[Reviewed and updated November 2, 2021]

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

A reader writes: After agonizing over this decision, I decided my beloved 16-year-old dog was no longer able to live without suffering, and I had him euthanized at home. This of course was the beginning of absolute anguish for me. Since then I have read alot, gone to grief counseling groups, conferred with a counselor, joined the APLB chatrooms (they suggested I contact your website when I told them that the chatrooms were too upsetting and intensified my pain), written copious diary entries as well as love letters to my dog, and finally, have started reading, responding and communicating with others on your website.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Caregiving & Grief, August 16 - August 22, 2020

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

Hospice of the Valley has been awarded a federal grant to serve more families living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Hospice of the Valley earns prestigious Alzheimer’s grant « AZ Big Media 

I didn’t know that grief changes you on a soul level, the way falling in love changes you, the way becoming a parent changes you. This Is Why I Write About My Grief « Yahoo!Life

Monday, August 17, 2020

Disenfranchised Grief: When A Friend Dies, At A Distance

[Reviewed and updated August 25, 2023]

What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. 
~ Helen Keller

A reader writes: One of my very good friends died from lung cancer. We live far apart and I hadn't been in touch with her recently and I learned a few days ago that she passed away two weeks ago. I missed the funeral and I'm having a very difficult time dealing with her death.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief & Pet Loss, August 9 - August 15, 2020

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

In the next weeks and months some of our loved ones may be dying basically alone. They will probably be in a hospital ICU with health care attendants clothed like astronauts, who are overworked and short of time. Sorry, I know this does not paint the picture we want for those we love. What can we do? How to Say Goodbye When You Are Not There « The Rowan Technology Report

Monday, August 10, 2020

In Grief: Am I Making Too Much of My Grandpa's Death?

[Reviewed and updated January 19, 2023]

Young people need something stable to hang on to — a culture connection, a sense of their own past, a hope for their own future. Most of all, they need what grandparents can give them.
  ~ Jay Kesler

A reader writes: I lost my grandpa just a few days after his 82nd birthday and I miss him so much. I went to be with him as often as I could and in the last weeks of his life, though it tormented me to see this dignified man, who I more often saw in suits and nice shoes - and now in only in a diaper. The last days of his life seemed to me characterized by only pain and being out of rightful mind. Whether this was due to the beginnings of Alzheimer's or the morphine, I'm not sure.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Understanding & Managing Grief, August 2 - August 8, 2020

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

Peter was my husband, my companion, and my very best friend. We shared a home, a bed, and a most wonderful life for 20 years. Unbeknownst to me for all of those years, he was — and is — gay. My Disenfranchised Grief When I Discovered My Husband Is Gay « Seven Ponds Blog

Monday, August 3, 2020

Newly Widowed Grief Counselor Seeks Advice

[Reviewed and updated February 8, 2021]

A bend in the road is not the end of the road…unless you fail to make the turn.  
~ Helen Keller

A reader writes: I am a hospice bereavement counselor, and as you can imagine, things have been difficult since the sudden, unexpected death of my husband. I had to close up his business which will be going on for a bit longer. I have one son away at college and a younger son who is still here with me in high school. There are a zillion decesions each day but I try to take it as slowly as I can get away with. 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Caregiving & Grief, July 26 - August 1, 2020

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

In the absence of rituals surrounding the dying — such as visiting the bedside, viewing the body and having a funeral — the picture of the experience has been rapidly transformed.  How Coronavirus Complicates the Grieving Process « Pain Medicine News