Monday, December 28, 2020

Voices of Experience: Offering Comfort

But words are things, and a small drop of ink, 
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think. 
~ Lord Byron

When Barbara Abercrombie’s husband died, she found the language of condolence, no matter how well intended, often unhelpful and sometimes downright irritating. In her grief, she yearned for words that acknowledged the reality of what it felt like to survive a loved one’s death, and that could unflinchingly speak to the sorrow and loneliness (and sometimes even guilt and anger) that can show up in the mourning process. 

In searching for a book that she could read during her time of grief, Barbara came up short. Every book she looked at was either too clinical or too flowery. So she started collecting selected writings that resonated with her personal experience of mourning, and The Language of Loss: Poetry and Prose for Grieving and Celebrating the Love of Your Life began to form. Here she shares how she came to write "the book I needed when my husband died."

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief, December 20 - December 26, 2020

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

Hospice providers nationwide are reassessing how they provide bereavement care due to the need for social distancing during the ongoing pandemic. With few other options, many are turning to telehealth systems to support grieving families. Hospices Redesign Bereavement Care Due to Social Distancing « Hospice News

Monday, December 21, 2020

In Grief: Longing to Feel A Loved One’s Presence After Death

A reader writes: At the age of 47, I have suddenly lost the most significant person in my whole life. He was my first and only true love. I just cannot go on. I will not harm myself but I know my heart needs to find his. I am empty -- lifeless without him -- I sometimes lay my head down at night and want him to come to me and take me with him. I have not felt his presence and crave it every single second of every single day. I have lost many people close to me including my dad but this pain is unbearable. I don't believe I have ever loved this deeply in my life and I have many loved ones around me. The only comfort I crave is to be in his arms again -- so I ache for something that I will never have.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Caregiving, Hospice & Grief, December 13 - December 19, 2020

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

In this time of Santa we hear the saying “naughty and nice”. Here are four “naughties” that can be turned into “nice”, enhanced experiences common to end of life. Four "Naughties" for End of Life « BK Books 

With employees emotionally drained and residents suffering from loss, many nursing homes and assisted living centers are working with chaplains, social workers and mental health professionals to help residents and staff, and bringing in hospice providers to offer grief counseling, among other strategies. Prayers and Grief Counseling After COVID: Trying to Aid Healing in Long-Term Care « Kaiser Health News

Monday, December 14, 2020

In Grief: Worried About Widowed Mother

Compassion for our parents is the true sign of maturity. ~ Anaïs Nin

A reader writes: My father passed away last July. My mother and he had a terrible marriage and only stayed together for the "kids," then couldn't afford to live apart. He passed away after a brief illness, but had made my mother's life very difficult. For the last 20 years, they just cohabited together with seperate lives - different bedrooms and even different tv rooms.

I did not have a good relationship with him (nor did my brother) - he was mean, selfish and just not a very nice person to us or anyone else. Nonetheless, I did and still do grieve for him. I also grieved for the father I never had, but I did forgive him before he passed away and was present when he died.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief, December 6 - December 12, 2020

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

There is a misconception that grief is just sadness (maybe with some anger thrown in). The reality? Grief feels like so many things. Grief feelings can change from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute. And they are ALL NORMAL. What Does Grief Feel Like? « What's Your Grief? 

It is only natural that you want to protect your children from being upset at all costs, but it is not necessarily a bad thing that they are introduced to the concept of loss at a relatively early age. After all, death is – sadly – the one inevitability of life, and we all have to come to terms with it at some point. Should you take children to a funeral? « AK Lander

Monday, December 7, 2020

In Grief: Mixing Drugs with Alcohol

[Reviewed and updated April 29, 2024]

Heavy use of drugs or alcohol can intensify the experience of grief and depression and impair the bereavement process.  ~ J. William Worden

A reader writes: I wonder if I might turn out to become one of those complicated grief people. I have all the risk factors. I'm not usually a drinker or a drug taker -- I've been regularly using alcohol and Serax (oxazepam) since my husband died. The same thing happened after we got his diagnosis a year ago, but when we received some positive news that they might be able to beat the cancer or at least control it - I was able to cut out the oxazepam and reduce drinking to a glass of wine a day. Then he suddenly died - and we were completely unprepared. Even the doctors were surprised.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Caregiving, Grief & Pet Loss - November 30 - December 5, 2020

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

In 2017, Margo Fowkes started the website Salt Water. The website is chock-full of blogs with topics ranging from loss to caring for yourself after loss. It also offers resources for the bereaved as well for tips for comforting the bereaved.  Navigating Grief’s Choppy Waters « Sacramento Magazine 

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

Monday, October 26, 2020

Voices of Experience: The Gift of Goodbye

Rebecca Whitehead Munn is passionate about rethinking possible and brings intellectual humility to all of her endeavors, including several teaching roles at the master’s level. Her passion in writing is to demystify taboo topics, such as cancer and death, and to inspire others to be courageous and learn about their loved ones’ wishes, while creating lasting connections. In this excerpt from her book, The Gift of Goodbye: A Story of Agape Love, she shares part of her personal story of walking the End of Life path with her mother. 

While I felt very lucky to have the gift of time to say goodbye over a long period, it was quite a struggle to manage my grief and pain day by day. One of the tools I used for support and calm in the storm was getting regular massages to help my body release its sadness. When I visited Mom in Austin, I continued this practice and extended it to her. We would have someone come to Mom’s house, and we would both enjoy the peace we felt following every treatment.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief & Pet Loss, October 11 - October 17, 2020

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

"I’ve heard of something called palliative care, but I don’t understand it and no doctor has mentioned it. Can you help me?"  Confused About Palliative Care Vs. Hospice Care? You Aren’t Alone « Egosan

Monday, October 19, 2020

Music for A Pet Loss Service

Music speaks to my soul in a way that mere words cannot . . . Through music the emotions of grief are shared.   ~ Tanya Lord

A reader writes:
  Hi, Marty! I am a Music Therapist and I am providing music for a grief pet loss service next month. Do you know of any songs that might be of comfort to people mourning the death of their pet? Maybe you could ask others who are mourning the death of their pet. Thank You for any help you can offer!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief & Pet Loss, October 11 - October 17, 2020

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

Pediatric nurse practitioner Deborah Fisher spent her early career working in intensive care units. The experience convinced her that more needed to be done to improve end-of-life care for children. A nurse practitioner’s Brief But Spectacular take on end-of-life care for children « PBS News Hour

Monday, October 12, 2020

When Attending A Funeral Triggers Grief

Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.  ~ Benjamin Franklin 

A reader writes: I don't know why I'm so unable to say the right thing at the right time but for some reason I just seem to put my foot into my mouth and make so many ridiculous comments. I decided to go to a funeral of a person I was acquainted with through a church activity group. She died last Sunday and her funeral was yesterday. All I could do was think about my mom and I was crying for the loss of my mom more so than I was crying for the loss of this friend. I felt sadness for her family and could see they were going through the same things that I did when my mom died three months ago.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 4 - October 10, 2020

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

Books can help students feel less alone by showing characters who have experienced something similar. Depending on the content, they can also help students understand complex feelings, explain the facts and permanence of death, or even help students connect with memories of their deceased loved one. Books Are Essential Tools to Help Children Manage Grief « Education Post

Monday, October 5, 2020

Dating A Widow: How Can I Connect with Her Adolescent Daughter?

Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.  ~ Aristotle

A reader writes: I'm not sure how to handle situations that develop between my friend's widow, myself and her kids. Don was my friend for many years. We played football together in high school. I've known his wife Sarah since kindergarten. Don and Sarah met in highschool and were later married. Don passed away two years ago in an accident. Sarah and I have rekindled our friendship and it's grown into a love affair. They had two kids together. Their son is 15 and their daughter is 17. The 17-year-old can't get used to the idea of "someone taking her Dad's place". I don't want to take Don's place. I want my own place in their lives. What can I do to connect with the daughter? How can I let her know it's O.K. to accept me as a friend not a father figure? Will she ever allow her mom to find romance again? Thank you for your thoughts on this.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief, September 27 - October 3, 2020

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

Years after the devastating loss of a child, I live a happy, meaningful life once again. Yet the cycle of grief has predictable triggers. The Continuing Cycle of Grief « Alive In Memory

The pandemic is an opportunity to create a new language of mourning. To forge new ritual. How can we honor the dead in the universe of ourselves, of our homes? The Water, the Grief « Los Angeles Review of Books

Monday, September 28, 2020

In Grief: Widower Looking for Coping Skills

To feel alone is to be alone.  
~ Jonathan Safran Foer

A reader writes:
 My wife passed away in hospice this past month. Since then I went home and had scant support from outside sources, to some degree by choice, and I've done everything mostly alone. Hospice people have called and sent literature, and I just couldn't accept my wife's death enough to respond. I was her caregiver and basically her nurse for years, without alot of outside help, it was all left up to us.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief, September 20 - September 26, 2020

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

Fear + anxiety = emotional unrest, which leads immediately to insomnia. The global pandemic has made restful sleep an uphill battle.  COVID Insomnia « Laurie Burrows Grad 

I am pleased to report that both the Grief Healing Blog and the Grief Healing Discussion Groups websites continue to be fully compliant with Health on the Net Foundation’s HONcode. Grief Healing Notified of HONcode Certification! « Grief Healing

Monday, September 21, 2020

Birth Grandparents and The Grief of Adoption Relinquishment

[Reviewed and updated February 18, 2024]

Whenever we allow a child to be adopted we are also saying to the parents of that child that we do not value their parenthood, because we are willing to eliminate their role and to provide their child with a new birth certificate, which allows the false assumption that they as parents did not exist. Most children have grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and often siblings. Adoption denies that those relationships exist. The denial involved in adoption devalues the entire family of origin. This is an insult to the child, to the parents of the child and to all other family members. How could we expect people not to be deeply hurt by such an experience? 
~ Evelyn Robinson, Adoption and Loss -- The Hidden Grief

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief, September 13 - September 19, 2020

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

Learn about mourning rituals that validate loss during social isolation in our interview with death doula and activist Michelle Acciavatti. When Funerals Move Online, How Can We Create Mourning Rituals That Truly Validate Loss? « Seven Ponds Blog

Monday, September 14, 2020

In Grief: Mourning A Lost Love

[Reviewed and updated April 19, 2022]

But nothing makes a room feel emptier than wanting someone in it.
  ~ Calla Quinn

A reader writes: I am a 20-year old female who lost someone I considered a very good, close friend. We had broken up a year before, but still remained the best of friends. My friend and I had been in a bad wreck together, and we both almost died that day. We were the lucky ones, but the driver of the car we hit wasn't so lucky.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief, September 6 - September 12, 2020

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

For many Americans the feelings of grief associated with this event may seem as new and as raw as they did when these terrorist attacks first happened in 2001. September 11: Coping with Aftershocks « Grief Healing

Monday, September 7, 2020

Voices of Experience: Grief and Fear in My Life Today

by Anne M. Gorman

“Research demonstrates that how we appraise or interpret a situation can influence our physiological response. So one potential option is to shift our mindset. Instead of interpreting the situation as being cut off from others, we can focus on doing this to protect those that we love. When mitigating distressing feelings of loneliness, research has found that mindfulness-based meditation as well as engaging in creative arts and expression may also be effective.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief: August 30 - September 5, 2020

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

Hospice nurse Barbara Karnes receives a question from a follower whose father is in hospice care. The family was told 2 weeks ago that the father's death was imminent but he hasn't died. They have questions about what to do next. Dad is dying. Give him fluids? « YouTube

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

Monday, July 27, 2020

Teen Grief: When A Friend Moves Away

[Reviewed and updated July 3, 2021]

Truly great friends are hard to find, harder to leave, and impossible to forget.
  ~ G. Randolf

A reader writes: I am 14 years old. Can you tell me what the 7 stages of grief are and which one I am going through? I am hurt right now because my friend moved away to Texas. She moved away 2 months ago and I'm still sad. Help me.

My response: You've asked about the so-called "stages of grief." You may be thinking of the stages of dying first described by the famous Elisabeth Kübler-Ross: denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance. Please know that, wonderful as her work in death and dying was, her "stages" model was never meant to be applied to those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Understanding and Managing Grief & Pet Loss, July 19 - July 25, 2020

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

Animals give us innumerable gifts during our lives together. Even as we understandably mourn their physical presence, it’s important to understand that the gifts from our animals do not go away at death. Cherishing The Legacies Our Animals Bequeath To Us « Animal Souls Matter

Monday, July 20, 2020

Pet Loss: When A Pet's Routine Surgery Goes Bad

[Reviewed and updated December 11, 2021]

If a cat spoke, it would say things like 'Hey, I don’t see the problem here.'  
~ Roy Blount Jr.

A reader writes: Three months ago, my dear cat passed away from cancer. I became very familiar with your online Loss of A Pet forum. It helped immensely. Now, I need advice.

I adopted two kittens shortly after my cat's death. They are now 20 weeks old -- got them at 9 weeks. Well, I took both of them in to get spayed and neutered. The neutering went fine, but one of my dear kittens is now blind.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Caregiving & Grief, July 12 - July 18, 2020

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

A fun and boisterously positive adult coloring book for anyone affected by cancer: "F*ck Cancer: A Totally Inappropriate Self-Affirming Adult Coloring Book" by Jen Meyers « Seven Ponds Blog

I've been thinking about what our immediate and most basic needs are in grief. I guess we could call them "basic grief needs." What's Your Most Basic Grief Need? « What's Your Grief?

Monday, July 13, 2020

In Grief: Helping My Partner Mourn His Dad When I'm Still Mourning My Mom

[Reviewed and updated April 12, 2022]

If you want to support others you have to stay upright yourself.  ~ Peter Hoeg

A reader writes: I am at a loss with things right now and I really need some help. My partner's dad is dying and on the advice of his doctor he has been placed in hospice care. My mom passed 4 months ago today and I am still numb from that. I'm still not knowing how to handle my own grief, and now here I am with my partner and his family going thru this themselves.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Helping A Friend with Child Loss

[Reviewed and updated September 10, 2023]

A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.  ~ Walter Winchell

A reader writes: My dear, dear friend and her husband recently lost her two young children in a horrific accident. I so wish I could take some of her pain away. But, I just don't know how to help her. I try to spend time with her and her husband, just listening and holding her, but I feel as if there's nothing I can do for her. I mean, it's not like it makes her feel better, my being there. Her loss is just too big. Can you please advise me on how to help her???