To jump to a specific category, click on one of the links below.
You may also scroll through the articles by title below or use the search box.
|20 Ways to Help Your Friend Grieve|
Friends and family often struggle with how to help someone they love or care about deal with grief. Because most people do not know how to express what they need, friends and family find themselves at a loss when trying to help. Sherry Williams White gives concrete ideas for helping which include some very practical things you can do as loved ones travel the grief journey. These tips include things you can do from the time you hear about the death, through special days and holidays as well as the anniversary date of the death.
|6 Steps for Getting Through the First Year of Grief|
Written by Julie Raque, this article gives you simple and very practical tips on how to lessen the burden of grief. Julie, a young widow with children, explains some of the things she did to help her recreate a quality life for her and her children. She explains how to navigate through grief and get the so-called "monkeys off your back while you create the new you."
|A Carrot, An Egg and Some Coffee Beans|
“What would you like to do with your grief?” she asked, tenderly. “You may become weakened by it, you may become hardened by it, or you may allow it to change you in a way that equips you to change your life in a rich and pleasing way.” Andy Landis shares a unique look at grief by comparing three very different items—a carrot, an egg and some coffee beans—and how they are changed by adversity. You decide how you want to travel the journey after reading this creative story.
|A Dog's Purpose |
The death of a pet is difficult and it is a loss that is not acknowledged by the general public. Through the eyes of a child, you can see how a dog touches lives and teaches life lessons that we often overlook and take for granted. After his pet is euthanized, one child explains a very basic life lesson. “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life—like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right? Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”
|A Flight to Remember|
Don Ray Smith opens our hearts to the understanding that is gained in having pets, loving them and eventually learning about death when a pet dies. Through his sensitive and personal story, he acknowledges when a pet dies we learn that death is no longer just a word or a game you played when pets died or disappeared. Maybe death was real and it hurt more than anything else ever would and he gives us permission to grieve.
|A Groundhog's Shadow |
Through the story of the Groundhog's Shadow, Ann Leach teaches you not to dig a hole and hide from your grief. Don't be like the groundhog and disappear when you feel threatened by your environment. Come into the light ready to face your shadow and create the grief recovery you desire and deserve.
|A Man and His Dogs|
Mark Wessels, a pastor for over twenty years, shares his story about the loss of his loving pet, May, and explains that the loss of a companion animal can be traumatic. It is not something that either professionals or laypersons should make light of with insensitive comments or inactivity. If you have lost a companion animal, try to be understanding of the nature of that relationship and honor the grief that accompanies the loss. Don't ever apolpgize for loving someone including your pet.
|A Message About Life|
George Carlin, comedian and entertainer shares a paradox about life and what has meaning. Through comparison and contrasts he clearly explains what is most important about living so that dying and grieving can be easier.
|A Southern Voice|
"Maggi" Vaughn, Poet Laureat of Tennessee, shares with the world through her poems and her songs of love of family—especially the love for her mother. Andy Landis, one of Maggi's friends, shares with us a tribute to the relationship Maggi had with her mother. She shares how Maggi cared for her mother while she was dying and how she remembered her after her death through her writing. From a true southern perspective, you can see how important it is to hang on to the memories you share.
|Am I Supposed to Feel This Way?|
Sherry Williams White presents an overview of the physical and emotional reactions to grief. In addition to explaining what is normal in your grief journey, she shares ideas for coping and gaining a sense of control over what is happening to you by putting motion to your emotions.
|An Old Ritual for a New Tomorrow |
In her article, Dr. Sandra Graves explains the importance of honoring your feelings gives you permission to embrace whatever ritual you may choose to express your mourning, acknowledge your right to grieve and accept the normalcy of your feelings. Respect that the depth of your love and the depth and duration of your grief. Do not worry when your grief subsides. This does not mean that your love is gone! It is simply an indication that you have made the journey from physical love to the spiritual love that is in your memories forever.
Brenda Layman takes a unique look at anger as she explains how it is more comfortable than sorrow. She goes on to say that, while we are angry, we can focus our thoughts on an enemy, rather than on our loss, in hopes that we can some how "win" and make things right again. She goes on to explain how anger needs to be acknowledged and expressed in appropriate ways so we can find peace again.
|Are We There Yet?|
Suzanne Howell takes a unique look at grief and addresses the many variables that impact grief. She explains why grief is different for each of us. As she attempts to answer the question of how long "this" will take, she explains why each person and their life experiences control our adaptability to the changes we encounter and how and when we will develop a new normal. For each person, the timeline for grief is different and it never moves as fast as we want it to. Suzanne also provides creative ways for grieving individuals to move forward in a positive way as they learn to live without the presence of their loved one.
|Are You Missing How Things Used to Be? |
Ann Leach shares ideas about how we can give thanks and look forward. Acknowledging the gifts your loved one's loss left you is part of the healing process. And you can take comfort in knowing that their memory will live on as you look forward and incorporate some of the solutions you've discovered through the above exercise into your new life.
The "good old days" can become the "good new days" as we build on our memories and write a new story of how life can be after the loss.
|Are You Sick of Grief?|
Connie Owens takes a look at the phisical reactions you experience if you are grieving any major loss, it is vital that you receive good grief education and become aware of grief’s health issues. Eating well, drinking lots of fluids and resting are more important than ever. So are practicing good coping skills, including writing about your feelings in your journal, exercising and expressing your hurt and anger. Finally, understand the importance of safeguarding both your emotional and your physical health by expressing your grief in any manner that works for you.
|Assertive Bill of Rights|
I have the right to say no without feeling guilty. I have the right to be treated with respect. In the Assertive Bill of Rights, understand that you have the right to cope with your loss and your grief without having to fulfill the expectations of others.
|Attitude is Everything|
Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?" Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, 'Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.' I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life."
|Behind Locked Doors|
Since the death of your loved one, it is normal to be forgetful and unable to sleep. It is easy to lose things and not so easy to find them. Ginger Ingram shares stories of the humor we can find in our grief if we will laugh at ourselves during those crazy momemts in our grief where nothing and everything seems relevant to just moving forward.
A child can often open the eyes of an adult on levels we could never comprehend. Come let Bella give you permission to grieve and to love through this simple story about cherishing life and enjoying the simple things.
Joan Guntzelman, counselor and author, shares a story of trauma and growth as she shows you that everyday in life, you will be faced with making choices that either lead us to growth and new life or diminish us in some way. After any loss, whether small or enormous, our choice is the same: life or death. No matter what others say to us, the choice is ours. If we can consciously opt for life and growth, we enhance our lives.
|Children Can Learn Now - Coping Skills for a Lifetime|
Sherry Williams White presents information about children in grief and what we can do to help them. She explains that, by allowing children to explore the many dimensions of hurt, loss, pain, and grief, we can help them move through the feelings that accompany a tragic event. In addition, as they work through this process, they build strength and acquire coping strategies that will be with them the rest of their lives.
|Children, Loss and the Holidays|
Since they are dealing with so many changes, be sure to tell your children you will, in fact, be celebrating the holidays. This assurance offers a child the security he or she needs to understand that not all in life will be altered because of the death of a parent, sibling or other special person. Early in the season, ask for feedback from ALL family members regarding the alteration or continuance of family holiday traditions.
|Children... Dedicated to Bereaved Parents Everywhere.|
Deb Kosmer's use of words fills the spirit and warms the soul. In her poem, Children , she explains the raw feelings and how unfair life seems to be when a child dies.
|Chocolate Chip Mint|
Andy Landis shares her personal reflections about taking life for granted and how important it is sometimes to just stop and savor the moments because life just passes all too quickly. Every fresh breath is worthy of a heartfelt thank you to the same God who made the Spring.
|Circles of Grief|
Dr. Sandra Graves explains in this article that, "For all who grieve the death of a loved one, it is important to know that we stand together in an ever widening ring of circles. The impact of a death is like casting a stone into the water. The ripple effect of the incident has many layers and reaches far beyond what may be expected. Each circle stands alone, yet is connected to the center. The circles touch each other before they radiate outward. Each circle in our life has a different significance, both to each of us because we are unique and also because each circumstance is different."