Monday, March 28, 2022

In Grief: Confronting One's Own Mortality

Death is a debt to nature due / Which I have paid, and so must you.  ~ Thomas Pynchon

A reader writes: I'm struggling to convince myself that what I'm going through is normal. My Grandma passed away at the end of November. Basically, I walked in to her palliative care room without being told she had already passed away (I expected to see her to say goodbye, tell her I loved her...) The shock of seeing her without being warned or prepared (the nurses said later they 'hoped to catch us' before we went into the room) and my sadness at the loss has had a really big effect on me. In retrospect I'm not sure I would have even gone into the room had I been given the choice. I've never seen a deceased person before - let alone a beloved relative. I've also never experienced the loss of someone close before. I have a really small family.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Understanding and Managing Grief & Pet Loss, March 20 - March 26, 2022

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

Grief is usually associated with a loss due to death. There are other losses we grieve: loss of a marriage, relationship or friendship, a job, our health, a miscarriage, and loss of function due to aging. These are all extremely personal losses. Omnipresent Grief  « Couple's Net

Let me share with you what I know about grief from dealing with it in others and myself for over 50 years. The most important thing I know is that the measure of grief is the measure of love. The God Squad: How long should grief last? « New Haven Register

Monday, March 21, 2022

Voices of Experience: Helping Children Find the Light

It isn’t easy to accept what we can’t understand. But one thing I know to be true is that light always follows the dark. ~The Wolf’s Curse

We all wish we could protect children from the harsh realities of life, but if it’s one thing the last two years have made clear, it’s that we can’t. What we can do is give kids a safe space to process and name their feelings, and books are often the perfect way to do that. Author Jessica Vitalis reinvents Grim Reaper mythology in her middle grade novel The Wolf’s Curse. The story is narrated by a snarky wolf searching for someone in a highly superstitious fishing village to take her (yes, her!) job. But underneath the fantastical worldbuilding is a story that is honest and accessible; rather than shying away from the difficult emotions experienced by those who are grieving, the author embraces them in a story that opens the door to conversations about grief, tradition, the afterlife, and most importantly, about hope and healing. The following excerpt is reprinted with the author's permission.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Understanding and Managing Grief & Pet Loss, March 13 - March 19, 2022

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

You can't fix a child's grief, but you can walk through it with them.  Dad Next Door: When the unimaginable happens « Seattle's Child 

People with prolonged grief are considered to have intense feelings and preoccupied thoughts that distress them or impede their daily functioning beyond the normal grieving process.  Prolonged Grief Disorder Is Now an Officially Recognized Mental Illness « Gizmodo

Monday, March 14, 2022

Animal Hospice and Palliative Care: Suggested Resources

[Reviewed amd updated April 21, 2023]

All we animal lovers ever want is to do the best for our animal. When it comes to dying, what is best can be more complex than euthanizing. There is a way to come to peace with the dying process and discover its life enriching value. Animals can teach us about this if we let them.
~ Ella Bittel

Coping with the terminal illness of a cherished animal companion presents the same challenges to an animal lover as would anticipating of the death any other family member. Today hospice and palliative care for human beings provides a much needed service to the dying and to those who care for them, but finding such support for a beloved animal close to the end of life can be more difficult.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Understanding and Managing Grief, March 6 - March 12, 2022

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

Loss during a pandemic can be complicated, especially when people haven't been able to gather as usual after a death, or to carry on traditions they normally would. Psychologist says pandemic complicates loss and grief « CBC News 

Monday, March 7, 2022

In Grief: Coping with Denial and Disbelief

[Reviewed and updated July 17, 2024]

Denial is only anxiety management.
 ~ Anonymous

Because it is a gradual process of weaning and disconnection, the shock that is felt after the death of a loved one may continue for weeks, months, or even years, in waves of disbelieving aftershocks. “Forgetting” that your loved one is gone, you may find yourself setting an extra place at the dinner table, expecting your beloved to walk in the door at the usual hour or to be on the other end of the line when the telephone rings. And each time it happens, you’re confronted once again with the brutal reality that your special person is forever gone.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Understanding and Managing Grief, February 27 - March 5, 2022

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

How much we struggle to keep that which we’re soon to lose. Anticipatory grief is normal and it is borne out of love people have for the person they are grieving. What Is Anticipatory Grief? « Psychology Today.