Sunday, January 7, 2024

Understanding and Managing Grief, December 31 - January 6, 2024

Best selections from Grief Healing's X feed this week:

Normal grief is a process that varies from person to person. Prolonged Grief Disorder occurs when this process is derailed. Normal grieving is supported by joining specialized groups of mourners and cultural and religious customs. Prolonged Grief Disorder Therapy focuses on healing themes and achieving milestones as recovery progresses. Grief: What Is Normal and What Is Prolonged Grief Disorder « Psychology Today

When I came back weeks later, I was determined to share what I had learned about loss — and showing up for those who are grieving — with my students. After my mom died, I took grief leave. It made me a better teacher. « Chalkbeat

For me, the striking of the clock hand at midnight on New Year’s Eve triggered a horrifying realisation. My fiancé, Ben, was dead. And, no matter how much I kicked, screamed and dug my heels in in protest, time would keep moving forwards without him. ‘Age 30, I went through the death of my fiancé. If you're grieving this new year, here is my advice to you’ « Women's Health

There was nothing I could do to shield my son from the reality of death. I couldn't banish the aching grief that was now a part of our family, the invisible guest who sat at the table where Steve should have been. I could not bring back my husband's best friend or my mother-in-law's child. What I could do, though, was distract us with a puppy. I Put a Puppy-Sized Band-Aid On My Family’s Grief & I Am Not Sorry At All « Scary Mommy

It isn’t until you walk in another’s shoes that you really know what something feels like. As most of you know my husband was on hospice services recently and died. Here are some thoughts after being on the other side of hospice, on the receiving side. Being on the Receiving Side of Hospice « Barbara Karnes, RN

Amber Jeffrey is the founder of The Grief Gang, a podcast and platform normalising conversations around grief, which she started up following the death of her mother in 2016. Here, she tells Women's Health why she created a community for younger grievers, like her. 'After my mum died, I couldn't find the support I needed.' « Women's Health 

January 3 is the thirty-third anniversary of the suicide of someone I loved deeply, a person I was in love with and engaged to marry. His suicide was by far the most difficult thing I've ever been through. I can honestly say it shattered me into a million pieces, every tiny crack and crevice in my psychic being reamed out with the hardest, sharpest dental pick in the universe. The Joy of Taking Pleasure in the Mundane « Psychology Today 

Traditional mourning practices also capture what you might call the holism of grief. When grieving, one senses not just that one familiar object is now absent from the world, but also that the world itself has been transformed and made deficient. Our experience of the world, after all, was shaped by the other person’s way of seeing it, interacting with it, responding to it. What we lose is not just the individual but also our experience of their experience of life. It’s OK to Never ‘Get Over’ Your Grief « The New York Times

"My counselor told me 4 weeks ago that she is leaving the agency due to personal circumstances. I am utterly devastated. I can't put into words how bad I feel. I've come so far with her and I know I'm much stronger than I was before I started seeing her, but I've never known grief and despair as bad as this." In Grief: When A Counseling Relationship Is Ending « Grief Healing

For broadcaster Janet Ellis, whose husband John Leach died of cancer three years ago, the tiny details of grief hit hardest. “For me, lying in half the bed is still weird,” she says. “Even now, I change the sheets and think, ‘It’s only this bit.’” Or, “Writing Christmas cards with just your name in.” His absence feels incomprehensible.  ‘It is exhausting. You can’t prepare’: Janet Ellis on living with grief after the death of her husband « The Telegraph

Gabriel Garcia Marquez once wrote about death and friendship, describing a dream where he attended his own funeral and saw all his friends. He wrote: "We all seemed happy to be together. And I more than anyone else, because of the wonderful opportunity that death afforded me to be with my friends from Latin America, my oldest and dearst friends, the ones I had not seen for so long.” But at the end of the funeral when everyone was eventually leaving he realized he was the one who couldn't go anywhere. Marquez realized that dying meant never being able to be with his friends again. Normalizing grief over a friend « Dhaka Tribune

Feet pounding, chest heaving, lap after lap, I concentrated on controlling my breathing, my pace – and nothing else. When I eventually crossed the finish line my body was so exhausted, I could just about get myself back to my car to drive home. And it was a sweet relief. I knew, for once, I wouldn’t be confronted with my recurring nightmare that my dad had been shot. A nightmare that had recently come true. I ran to escape the grief of my dad’s killing and didn’t stop for 15 years « Metro News

I’ve experienced a lot of personal loss over the past few years, including the one-two punch of the death of my father and brother in a space of a few years. Throughout my sorrow, I followed the Jewish rituals of mourning which helped me move forward in life, instead of remaining mired in grief. And believe me, there were times it was tempting to sink into the sadness and stay there. Loss of this magnitude is brutal, even when surrounded by relatives, friends, community, and your chosen family. And while time softens the initial blow, the dull ache remains. But there’s been healing too. Observing the Jewish mourning milestones helped my healing process. How Jewish Mourning Practices Helped Me Through the Greatest Losses of My Life « aish

When a mother has a miscarriage, men tend to snap into being strong, stoic and supportive. But a father also needs time to grieve. Here, Steve Bloomfield reflects on loss and hears how men are learning to help each other come to terms with what might have been. ‘I was grieving but couldn’t admit it’: why men cope so badly with miscarriage « The Guardian

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