Monday, November 30, 2020

Voices of Experience: Dying With Ease

You matter because you are you, and you matter to the last moment of your life. We will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but to live until you die.  ~ Dame Cicely Saunders

Dr. Jeff Spiess is a hospice physician whose focus is on the care of the terminally ill. He is convinced that if we honestly face our mortality, we will make wiser decisions, die with less distress, and live the remainder of our lives, whether days or decades, more fully and with less anxiety. If our society adopted a similar, more mindful outlook, we would make wiser and more just policy decisions, and debate the issues with a bit less hubris. This is why he wrote his book, Dying with Ease: A Compassionate Guide to Making Wiser End of Life Decisions, and it is the foundational thesis for his blog and future projects. The following excerpt is reprinted with permission of his publisher.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief, November 22 - November 28, 2020

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

It’s your new identity without your loved one and it’s important to establish guidelines and boundaries. It’s important to make it through the holidays and do what’s best for you. Honor yourself and one day the holidays will be good again for you.  Thanksgiving Grief: You Are What You Eat « The Wellness Universe Blog

Monday, November 23, 2020

Coping with The Holidays ~ Suggested Resources 2020

[Updated December 31, 2020]

If you are anticipating or coping with the loss of someone dearly loved, you may find yourself dreading the onset of the holidays this year and wondering how you'll ever make it through the days and weeks ahead. 

Please know that support is available, and you need not travel this journey all alone! 

As I've done in years past, I will be searching throughout the season for helpful articles and current, reliable resources that I can recommend and share with my readers.

Below are links to those resources I’ve gathered so far this year, which I hope you will find informative and useful. Over the next several weeks I’ll be building upon this list each day, so I encourage you to check back often to see what’s been added.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief, November 15 - November 21, 2020

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

My years of experience as an undertaker didn’t make it easier. Grieving my daughter’s suicide in a time of wider grief « The Christian Century 

Like so many grieving families in 2020, we haven’t been able to gather or mourn together.  How I've Grieved My Mother's Death During the Pandemic « TIME

Monday, November 16, 2020

Coping with “Brain Fog” in Grief: Suggested Resources

[Reviewed and updated February 20, 2022]

Your mind is working so hard, there’s very little brain power left over to track more than a paragraph in a book, or remember that your car keys go on the hook, not in the freezer. It’s hard to think in an orderly, concise fashion when you’re reeling from loss.
  ~ Megan Devine

A reader writes: I am in my middle 40's and 3 years ago today we buried my dad. My parents were married for 45 years at the time. Our family is really close and I am so lucky to have the parents I have. My mom is still alive and is keeping busy and seems pretty healthy and active. Once my dad passed away I have not been the same person. I can feel a huge shift in my personality and just how I feel physically. I used to have such a drive to do my best at work and climb the ranks. I used to remember everything. My mind was clear and focused. I seem to get irritated more easily now.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Caregiving, Hospice & Grief, November 8 - November 14, 2020

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

The National Hospice & Palliative Organization (NHPCO) in 2021 will launch a new large-scale initiative designed to help providers systematically assess and improve the quality of care they provide.  NHPCO Launches Quality Connections Program « Hospice News 

Monday, November 9, 2020

Taking A Look At The Stages of Grief

[Reviewed and updated February 25, 2024]

I have loved and lost, and I am so much more than five stages. And so are you. It's not just about knowing the stages. It's not just about the life lost, but also the life lived.  ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross  

A reader writes: I'm no expert but I just came across a grief model called "The 7 Stages of Grief" and thought I would just pass it along as a way to understand this process we are going through: 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief, November 1 - November 7, 2020

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

Grieving the death of someone loved is often naturally difficult, but during the holiday season it can seem overwhelming. This is particularly true this year with the challenges with COVID-19. In this compassionate video, Dr. Alan Wolfelt provides practical suggestions that will help you survive and still embrace hope during this unique and challenging time. Understanding Your Grief: Hope for the Holidays « YouTube

Monday, November 2, 2020

Physical Effects of Grief

[Reviewed and updated May 19, 2024]

There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.  ~ Laurel K. Hamilton

A reader writes: I am a member of your discussion is a supportive place..thank you.

I lost my best friend 11 months ago and am experiencing the "out of sync" feelings in my body. I've had all kinds of bloodwork, because I was worried...I'm healthier than I've ever been..somehow.

So...I'm guessing this is my body's way of grieving...I go to move my arm, leg or any body part and I feel like I'm moving in slow motion or my limbs don't feel like I have precise control over them.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Caregiving, Hospice & Grief, October 25 - October 31, 2020

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

Advance care planning (ACP) is an ongoing conversation that involves shared decision making to clarify and document – through an advance directive – an individual’s wishes, preferences, and goals regarding future medical care. This comprehensive process is critically important to ensuring patients receive the medical care they want in the event they lose the capacity to make their own decisions.  19 Evidence-Based Benefits of Advance Care Planning « Advance Care Planning (ACP) Decisions