Monday, January 31, 2022

Traumatic Loss: Helping Grieving Grandsons

Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.  ~ Fred Rogers

A reader writes: My grandsons ages 4 and 7 lost their mom in a tragic single-car accident in which she had been drinking. The night of the accident the babies stayed with a friend of theirs while their mommy went to a friend’s birthday party and when they woke up they had no mom. They were never allowed back in their home, and life as they knew it had simply vanished. The 4-year-old is now 5 and is acting so badly in kindergarten they are talking medication for ADHD—he told us how his mom died and is so-matter-of -fact that you can feel the anger in his voice. A year prior to her death her father (their best friend) died of a heart attack while the younger boy (then age 3) was with him. The 8-year-old acts as the caregiver and basically seems to have shut down. They have had two therapists now and they've both quit on them. Please help. They are so young to experience so much trauma.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Voices of Experience: At Heaven's Door

My lifetime of experiences and my scholarly research suggest that what awaits us at the end of this life is awesome, glorious, and loving, a reminder that there are gifts to be found at every stage of life, including its end.  ~ William J. Peters

In 2000, end-of-life therapist William Peters was volunteering at the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco when he had an extraordinary experience as he was reading aloud to a patient: he suddenly felt himself floating in midair, completely out of his body. The patient, who was also aloft, looked at him and smiled. The next moment, Peters felt himself return to his body…but the patient never regained consciousness and died. Perplexed and stunned by what had happened, Peters began searching for other people who’d shared similar experiences.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Understanding and Managing Grief, January 16 - January 22, 2022

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

If you’re wondering how to better support someone during a crisis, or what to say when someone’s grieving, the Circle of Grief may help. Circle of Grief: Supporting In While Complaining Out « Psych Central

Monday, January 17, 2022

Surviving A Sibling’s Overdose Death

Much like suicide grief, there is a complexity in overdose deaths in that people feel like the death was somehow preventable.  ~ Litsa Williams

A reader writes: My sister died unexpectedly from a drug overdose. She'd been off and on drugs since she was 13, but she was one of those very cool, very intelligent, very functional addicts (did I just call my sister an addict?). She got into some trouble last April and moved to live with other family so she could get clean. And--she DID! She was doing great! Had a great job, was enjoying life, it was all good! We had become close again and talked at least once a week.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Understanding and Managing Grief, January 9 - January 15, 2022

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

What is it that makes young people feel too uncomfortable to talk about grief, and how can we better support them? More than a third of 18–35s are uncomfortable talking about grief, study reveals 

Monday, January 10, 2022

In Grief: Finding Support On A Message Board

A reader writes: I am a university student enrolled in a Theories of Personality course. I am contacting you because you focus on counseling that pertains to grief and loss, and have a message board (of which I could not get beyond 2 posts without reaching for the tissues) as part of your work. I also see that you have been involved with Hospice. I have been on the receiving end of that organization's services a few times and consider the people involved to be damn near angelic. I have no idea whether they realize just how strongly they affect the families that they are involved with.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Understanding and Managing Grief, January 2 - January 8, 2022

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

2021, you showed me that grief is more than just losing someone who died. It’s also about losing people who are still alive. Dear 2021, you taught me a lot about grief « SpokaneFāVS

Monday, January 3, 2022

In Grief: Staying Present in The Face of Inevitable Loss

[Reviewed and updated April 30, 2024]

In order to get from what was to what will be, you have to go through what is.
  ~ Unknown

A reader writes: My husband has advanced-stage lung cancer, and I have to face the inevitable that he will die soon. It’s been 8 months; we’ve been married for 20 years. I’m sure that it’s normal, but the thoughts that are running through my head are driving me insane. I keep envisioning myself starting relationships with other men. I feel guilty like I’ve already moved on with my life. It’s survival instinct too, because I can’t support my kids on my own and I’m trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I love my husband dearly. I want to be focused on the present. How do I do that?

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Understanding and Managing Grief & Pet Loss, December 20 - December 31, 2021

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

Following 2020, this year was another tough year for many people navigating the pandemic, especially those who lost a friend or family member to COVID-19. The four "Rs' to dealing with grief and finding hope in 2022 « abc 15 Arizona

Research shows how much our furry friends can change us for the better. Losing Our Pets: How We Grow From Grief  « Psychology Today