Monday, April 29, 2024

Using Alcohol to Cope with Grief

Frequency of drinking is less important than the role that alcohol plays in the life of the grief victim.  ~ Margaret Gerner

A reader writes: It's been terrible and bumpy ride so far. Yesterday I wasn't too bad - at least not after I saw my grief counselor. This morning I drove our eldest son and his wife to the airport so they could return to their studies in the US. I've had all three kids plus one daughter-in-law with me this last month. We were all at my husband's bedside when he died. I made the trip fine, was able to concentrate on the road, say goodbye without too many tears and drove home again. Altogether a four hour trip. I got home from the airport, and collapsed into tears. It was early, so the two sons left at home - at least for now - were still asleep. I took a sedative, then a glass of wine, then one more glass of wine. Nothing helped.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Understanding and Managing Grief, April 21 - April 27, 2024

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

According to research from national bereavement charity Sue Ryder, gardening and nature can have a profound impact on the grieving process and 40% of the 1,000 respondents surveyed said that gardening had actually ‘saved’ them from their grief. Gardening Is 'Saving' People From Grief By Providing A Safe Space For Reflection « HuffPost

Monday, April 22, 2024

Acceptance, Closure, and "Moving On" in Grief

Acceptance doesn't mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there's got to be a way through it. ~ Michael J. Fox

A reader writes: This just isn’t something I can live with. I want to see my dad more than anything in the world. I can’t even go near the words “closure” or “accept.” My friend, who never lost anyone, even a pet, in her life, told me in a matter-of-fact, cheery voice, “You gotta get over it, right? Pick yourself up. Go out and live life. Your dad would have wanted you to be out there, I bet.” I almost hung up on her. I know she meant well, but I was so upset by that.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Understanding and Managing Grief, April 14 - April 20, 2024

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

A pediatric clinician shares the rewards and challenges of working with terminally ill children and their families. Terminally Ill Pediatric Patients and the Grieving Therapist «

Monday, April 15, 2024

Voices of Experience: Get Over It (maybe not all of it)

Losing a mate to death is devastating but it's not a personal attack like divorce. When somebody you love stops loving you and walks away, it's an insult beyond comparison.  ~ Sue Merrell

Brenda Johnson thought her life was predictable until a sunny Saturday when her husband announced he wasn't happy. Stunned by the message, she picked her heart up off the floor and biked to the farmers market. When she began to live alone, her life was normal as she moved into each day with music from the last, but sadness lingered too long after a reasonable divorce with no hate, theft, or slander. Weary of tears, her mantra became, "Get over it!" Her memoir chronicles her family’s early years and the years after her husband left, when it took too long to get over the tears. The stories of before and after divorce, sprinkled with humor and sorrow, are familiar to anyone who has experienced loss.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Understanding and Managing Grief, April 7 - April 13, 2024

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

A recent study described subjective paranormal experiences with dead pets among 544 bereaved dog owners. These ghostly encounters took many forms and were almost always viewed as positive experiences. These paranormal experiences may help pet lovers deal with disenfranchised grief. Have You Ever Encountered the Ghost of a Deceased Pet? « Psychology Today

Monday, April 8, 2024

In Grief: Comparing Pet Loss to Loss of a Person

I question whether experiences of such severe loss can be quantified and compared.  Loss is loss, whatever the circumstances.  All losses are bad, only bad in different ways.  No two losses are ever the same.  Each loss stands on its own and inflicts a unique kind of pain.  What makes each loss so catastrophic is its devastating, cumulative, and irreversible nature . . . So whose loss is worse, hers or mine?  It is impossible to give an answer.  Both are bad, but bad in different ways.  ~ Jerry Sittser in A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Understanding and Managing Grief, March 31 - April 6, 2024

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

A new sense of urgency has emerged for healthcare organizations to develop "sustainable and accessible bereavement care" and to cultivate a "bereavement-conscious" workforce to position bereavement as an "inherent element of the duty of care," authors of a recent opinion piece asserted. Incorporating Bereavement Into the Continuum of Care « MedPage Today

Monday, April 1, 2024

Meditation and Mindfulness in Grief

by Mary Friedel-Hunt, MA, LCSW

Acceptance in the mindful context means that even when the unthinkable happens, we honor our self and our experience with dignity and kindness. Rather than turn our back on our own suffering, we treat ourselves as we would a beloved friend.  ~ Heather Stang

Research studies confirm that the practice of meditation and mindfulness changes our brains and our lives; reduces pain, anxiety, confusion and stress; boosts the immune system; and increases concentration, focus and compassion, among its many other benefits. In addition, the practice of meditation and mindfulness can assist us in healing our grief, because it helps us live in the present moment...where our grief resides.