Sunday, April 11, 2021

Understanding and Managing Grief, April 4 - April 10, 2021

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

If we know someone who has lost a loved one – and especially if they were not able to have a funeral or a memorial for that person as a result of COVID-19 – we need to reach out to them, let them know we are thinking about them, and be present for them during their pain and loss.  Op-Ed: After Death, Grief Shared Is Grief Diminished « MedPage Today

Monday, April 5, 2021

In Grief: Finding Support in A Group

Exploring the unknown requires tolerating uncertainty.  ~ Brian Greene

A reader writes: I am going to go to my first grief group meeting tomorrow afternoon. I have to admit, I have never been to any kind of support group meeting like this before, and I'm feeing pretty uncertain about it. Any thoughts you'd be willing to share with me?

My response: I applaud your decision to participate in a support group. It takes great courage to acknowledge your need for the support of others, and I respect and admire you for taking this important step in your own healing. Remember too that you are not alone in feeling as you do ~ I'm sure you'll meet others in your group who are just as reluctant to be there as you are. 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Understanding and Managing Grief, March 28 - April 3, 2021

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

My suffering feels irrelevant at times; so many other people around the entire world are experiencing the same struggles, or even worse struggles than my own. With that being said, we need to acknowledge the sheer magnitude of what we’ve been through.  A Grief Unobserved « The University News

Monday, March 29, 2021

In Grief: Struggling With Acceptance and "Letting Go"

The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.  ~ Steve Maraboli

A reader writes: I send you a letter, asking for guidance and help, my father passed away two months ago, and it's very hard to accept that he is gone, my mom is angry and sad, can you help us.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Understanding and Managing Grief, March 21 - March 27, 2021

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

[T]he emotional and psychological impacts of losing a limb are sometimes just as serious as the physical ones. The relationship between amputation, grief, and depression is very real and, often, very strong.  Coping Strategies for New Amputees: Limb Loss and Grief « The National Law Review

Monday, March 22, 2021

In Grief: Is This Counselor Safe For Me?

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear  ~ Zen Proverb

A reader writes: I hope it's okay to ask you this question, I have no one else to ask. I am seeing a hospice bereavement counselor, my Mom passed away two months ago, I have seen this lady about 5 times at the most, anyway, I saw her this past Friday and I finally told her that I was fighting with suicidal thoughts, she really said nothing but "they are not equipped to deal with this."

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Understanding and Managing Grief & Pet Loss: March 14 - March 20, 2021

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

Following a stroke, it’s normal for both survivors and those who love them to experience grief.  A stroke may cause many losses, including the loss of career, mobility, independence, and confidence. Grief After Stroke « Psychology Today 

These people, whom I affectionately refer to as “my coding friends,” may not know my name or where I live. But that doesn’t mean I’m not incredibly close with some of them. Dealing with Loss in An Online World « The Miami Student

Monday, March 15, 2021

Pet Loss: Still Mourning, 3 Years Later

The bond with a dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth can ever be.   ~ Konrad Lorenz

A reader writes: I know this is seemingly weird but possibly you can help. I am a 37 year old male and I still cry at night sometimes. Here’s why. Three years ago my beloved Copper had to be put down due to cancer. I got him as a pup 13 years prior and for the first 3 years of his life it was just him and I. (We lived on a farm.) I got Copper to try and get through a very difficult time in my life and looking back if it was not for him I probably wouldn't be sending you this message.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Understanding and Managing Grief, March 7 - March 13, 2021

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

On average, nine people are left in grief for every death. For those grieving the loss of loved ones, the impact of the 'grief pandemic' will long-outlast the virus. Why the 'grief pandemic' might outlast the worst of COVID-19 « CTV News

Monday, March 8, 2021

In Grief: When to Consider Joining A Support Group

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.  ~ Booker T. Washington

A reader writes: I was wondering if anyone around the 6th month maybe (because that's where I'm at now) remembers things more vividly. I had forgotten so many precious things and I don't know if it was the holidays or a point that I am at but everything comes to me so clearly. I dream more vividly, I look around my house and memories just flow in. In some ways I am glad to have these memories come to me, but they are also reminding me of how wonderful things were with him here and how I won't have that again.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Understanding and Managing Grief & Pet Loss, February 28 - March 6, 2021

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

Zoe’s death has rocked me because it is a marker. A reminder that time is the most relentless force in the universe: that no matter what we do, its thievery marches on. Love Persevering « No Mercy / No Malice 

In my many years of moderating an online pet loss forum, far too often I have heard from pet parents whose precious cat or kitten has died after being trapped in a clothes washer or dryer. It happened AGAIN! Pet Loss: Curious Cats Get Killed in Clothes Dryers « Grief Healing

Monday, March 1, 2021

In Grief: The Power of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.  ~ Corrie Ten Boom

A reader writes: I lost my mom six weeks ago. We had a distant and strange relationship my entire life as she favored my brother and made no qualms about showing it financially and otherwise. During my childhood there was much conflict in the house and she didn't protect me from it and wasn't remorseful. Dad had 7 heart attacks during my teen years and died when I was 19 (I'm 53 now). Our home revolved around chronic illness and tension and anger. I resented mom during my 20's and 30's for not protecting me from my father and brother and also had trouble with her obvious favoritism toward my brother which she expressed financially. I moved away many years ago and tried to create a more functional environment for myself and learn about love and support in other types of circles.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Caregiving, Hospice & Grief, February 21 - February 27, 2021

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

Our national sorrow needs to be recognized and expressed. Art can help us. The collective grief we must face « The Hill 

Spearheading research that examines the death experience from the perspective of the patient, Dr. Kerr has uncovered previously unrecognized aspects of the dying process, including vivid dreams that feature the patient’s deceased loved ones. Hospice CEO Christopher Kerr Seeks New Understanding of the Dying Process « Hospice News

Monday, February 22, 2021

In Grief: When Nobody Seems to Understand

Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.  ~ Roy T. Bennett

A reader writes: Hi! I'm new to this. I lost my father this past fall. The grief and loss that I am feeling is almost unbearable. I am 35 years old. I've been married to my second husband for 2 years. I am at a total loss. My husband doesn't understand nor does he try to. He says that it's something he could get over. He says life goes on. Well, I realize that but it doesn't make it any easier.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Understanding and Managing Grief & Pet Loss, February 14 - February 20, 2021

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

 A good death is achieved by advocating for, and acting on, what is safest for the pet, what is most meaningful for the caregiver, and what will nourish the veterinary team. The “good death” revolution—Companion animal euthanasia in the modern age « Veterinary Practice News

With time and work, you can feel better—but that doesn’t necessarily happen in the “stages of grief.”  How to Deal With Grief — 6 Tips to Cope With a Painful Loss « Prevention

Monday, February 15, 2021

Pet Loss: Finding Peace After Euthanasia

Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives.  
~ John Galsworthy

A reader writes: I need help. I am an 87 yr old woman and last year, after a long illness and in and out of hospitals, home, and nursing home, my husband passed away before I could get there even though he asked for me and it was a mere 5 minute trip, he was gone before I got there.

A few days ago I sent my beloved cat to be euthanized. He was my companion for 10 years. I adopted him when he was 7; no one wanted a 7yr old cat and so he was scheduled to be euthanized until I adopted him. He was my good and beautiful friend and helped ease the pain of the loss of my husband. Several months ago he became ill. Our vet tried very hard to care for him but he was declining.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Understanding and Managing Grief, February 7 - February 13, 2021

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

Covid-19 has taken more than 100,000 lives in the UK. Restrictions mean that no more than thirty people can go to a funeral. But a funeral is not supposed to be a small, intimate affair, in the way a wedding or baptism can be. Grief, Interrupted « LRB 

For some, the tools they have been using to cope with unprecedented loss and stress are no longer working. Grief and loss of resilience are rising because of Covid-19. What You're Feeling Is Grief « Vox

Monday, February 8, 2021

In Grief: Bombarded with Disasters

You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.   ~ Timber Hawkeye

A reader writes: My only sister, who was 3 years older than me, died two months ago. She was alone in her home at the time, and was not found until three days later. My brother and I live in another state. We had not heard from our sister for a few days and called the police. They went to her home and found her in the hallway. She apparently died from a heart attack. She was 60 years old. We flew to her home town and buried her a week later.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Caregiving, Grief & Pet Loss, January 31 - February 6, 2021

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

Whether you’re managing someone who has experienced a loss, or grieving yourself, communication and empathy are key. 7 tips for dealing with grief in the workplace « Fast Company

Monday, February 1, 2021

Praise for Online Grief Healing Discussion Groups

Praise is warming and desirable. But it is an earned thing. It has to be deserved, like a hug from a child.  ~ Phyllis McGinley

A reader writes: I joined your online discussion groups three months after my mother died. I always read the posts from others whose parents had died, but barely responded because there was so much said that I felt I could rarely come up with consolations that may have made an impact. 

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Understanding and Managing Grief: January 24 - January 30, 2021

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

Toxic positivity is the concept that no matter how difficult a situation, people should maintain a positive outlook. But being positive isn't always the best way forward. It denies people’s emotions. It makes one feel ashamed, and it makes one pile on the guilt, feeling unable to move on.  Toxic Positivity? Say It Ain't so! « Thrive Global 

Monday, January 25, 2021

Coping with Grief In The Second Year

Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling into at night. I miss you like hell.  ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

A reader writes: How does one deal with the overwhelming grief at 14 months and 9 days....for me it is harder and more painful now. Am I crazy Marty? I have not dreamed of my husband since he went to Heaven, except a nightmare the night he died, that they lost him in the tunnels in the hospital. I can't feel him, no one will say his name and I am trying desperately to understand this all. Does it mean that since I cannot dream or feel him that I did something wrong? I feel that way. My doctor/therapist told me that the second year may be harder and she was so right, am I the only person that feels this way?

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Understanding and Managing Grief & Pet Loss, January 17 - January 23, 2021

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

Two weeks ago, my cat unexpectedly passed away. Over the years, she’d become a real-deal dear friend, and in the midst of being isolated during the pandemic, my connection to her only grew stronger. 9 Tips for Grieving the Loss of a Pet During the Pandemic « Well+Good 

You asked why your relationship to your hospice work was affected following the death of your dad. I think because every time you entered a patient's home and life it touched the scar in your heart from your father's death. It rubbed your grief wound.  The Scar In Your Heart: Grief In End of Life Care « BK Books

Monday, January 18, 2021

Anticipating The Death of One’s Parents

After you find out all the things that can go wrong, your life becomes less about living and more about waiting.  ~ Chuck Palahniuk

A reader writes: I have been reading your website and accompanying forums, and it is obvious to me that you are a remarkable bereavement counselor. I hope you don't mind my turning to you with this strange question. 

I am 25 years old and still living with my parents, to whom I am extremely close. While I do have one other close friend, they are by far my best friends. Our lives are heavily intertwined. Recently it has 'hit me' (although I knew this rationally, of course) that they will inevitably die, most likely during my lifetime. Since that moment I have been obsessed with this thought.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Understanding and Managing Grief & Pet Loss, January 10 - January 16, 2021

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

During 63 years of marriage we were a couple and now it was just me, flying solo. What did I need to survive and thrive? Assembling My Grief Survival Kit: What's In Yours? « Open to Hope 

Public misperception is a barrier between patients and palliative care. Based on the true story of a nurse practitioner’s experiences with patients and families facing serious and terminal illnesses, this film depicts the patient-centered interdisciplinary care that so many seriously ill patients need.  Film ‘The Elephant in the Room’ Shines a Light on Palliative Care « Hospice News

Monday, January 11, 2021

Pet Loss: Relinquishment Leads to Unresolved Guilt

Every man is guilty of the good he did not do.  ~ Voltaire

A reader writes: I found your site quite by accident and felt I had to write. I am hurting and I don't know how to heal. I am a 60-year-old widow of seven years. My husband died of brain cancer. We had a good life for 23 years, and I was devastated when he died. Not only because of losing him, but there was no insurance, so I was penniless. I had a little Chihuahua named Pepper whom I loved dearly as well.

She was such a sweetheart and gave me so much comfort.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Understanding and Managing Grief, January 3 - January 9, 2021

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

Why processing the death of your mother is critical to your personal growth. How To Find Freedom From Grief « Essence  

There are birth certificates and death certificates. But this one new piece of paper has helped families deal with their grief after the loss of a baby or child. How 'certificates of life' can help parents grieving the loss of a baby « ABC Everyday

Monday, January 4, 2021

In Grief: I Hereby Resolve

Nothing relieves and ventilates the mind like a resolution. ~ John Burroughs

A reader writes: It has been 10 weeks now since my husband died, and I’m noticing that I cannot concentrate on things like I used to. I just daydream so much about him – good things and bad. Also my memory is not so good lately which surprises me. I just write down a to-do list for myself often so that my life won’t completely fall apart. I can’t seem to decide on what to do a lot of the time, and I change my mind so much that I don’t want to promise people anything.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Understanding and Managing Grief, December 27 - January 2, 2021

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

In A Monster Calls, 13-year-old Conor dreams about a monster, but the words he's afraid to say about his dying mother are much scarier. Book Review by Cara Olexa « Seven Ponds 

The lingering pandemic has amplified feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety for countless Pennsylvanians, particularly as family-oriented holidays approach. Coping with Loneliness, Grief During a Holiday Pandemic « Daily American