|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 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.
|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.
|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.
|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."
|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."
After losing a dear one, many people are swimming in a sea of sadness, looking for help. Songwriting or “composing grief” may be another float you can grab onto until time eventually moves you to a safer place.
|Coping as a Family |
Dr. Lee Drake and Sherry Williams White share coping tips for the grieving family. They stress that communication is the key for a family coping with grief. It is important to be together to talk, cry or even sit in silence. At the same time, there should be respect for each member's way of handling grief. Each member of the family has a different personality and different coping styles, so it is unfair to expect everyone to grieve the same way. As funny as it may sound, each family member must grieve alone but with each other as well. Sharing your grief as a family will help you grow as a family.
|Count Your Blessings|
Sherry Williams White shares an exercise she used with the firefighters in NYC after 911 to help them find perspective and grab on to small pieces of hope so they could cope with their losses and learn to live again. This exercise does not negate the loss but helps those who are grieving see that even in the middle of crisis - good things continue to happen to them.
|Do I Need Extra Help or Is What I'm Feeling Normal? |
Adapted from a Griefwork Newsletter, Sherry Williams White gives concrete measures to help a grieving individual know if they need to reach out for professional help. She also explains that making the decision to seek help is a sign of strength and demonstrates your willingness to take action and control of your grief.
|Fifty Life Lessons|
To celebrate growing older, Regina Brett once wrote the 50 lessons life taught her.
|Finding Something to Notice|
The wife of one of the 9/11 heros shares a story about how important it is to remember the little things in life, the little things that happen daily, that we take for granted. She stresses how important it is to look for those things everyday and to cherish them because we don't know how long we will have them.
|Getting It Write|
Susan Smith editor and writer provides insight into the power of words as she encourages those who are grieving to journal. When you put things into words, you make what your are feeling and thinking real. When it is in black and white you are allowing yoruself to acknowledge the pain and that is one of the first steps toward healing.
|Good Things Come from Leaky Buckets|
How do we make good things out of bad? How do we look at the world? Can there be a brighter side even in our pain? This beautiful story demonstrates how important a positive attitude is in our everyday lives. It clearly shows us that it is important to trust ourselves and the process of grief.
|Grandma and the Cake |
Life is full of all sorts of “yucky” ingredients. The many things that happen to us all contribute to who we are and who we are constantly becoming. And even in grief, something good can come out on the other side if you will just trust yourself and the process of grief. This story really makes a lot of sense about life and how it molds us into who we are.
|Heading for Hope|
Are you looking for hope? Do you feel like you will never find or feel it again? These are normal reactions when someone you love has died. Sherry Williams White, nurse, writer and grief specialist shares six tips for finding hope again.
|Holding Tight to Memories|
Susan Smith, writer and editor, shares three different stories about how people have honored their grief and created memories so they could move into the future holding onto love shared. These three women have very different stories but all of the women had the goal of creating memories and remembering the love. Perhaps you will find an idea for you.
|How to Dance in the Rain|
True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be and will not be. The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.
Life isn't about learning how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
|Hush, My House|
Kathy Teipen, writer, hospice and grief specialist shares ideas for finding the quiet that lies within all of us and how that quiet can be just the time for reflection and growth as we move through our grief. Sometrimes we need the quiet to calm our spirit and find our way.
|I Know It's Here Somewhere |
Ann Leach, Life Coach and grief specialist, describes the inherent loss of memory, confusion and loss of focus grief brings our way when a loved one dies. She provides some simple things you can do to help you regain a sense of control.
|In Search of Hope|
What is hope? After someone dies, we look for hope more than ever. Sherry Williams White, nurse, writer and grief specialist, shares her insight on what hope is and how we find it in the midst of our grief. She writes: Hope is not something you can touch or feel or see. Hope is an emotional state. Hope is the desire or search for a future good. It is the wish for or expectation that something will be better and the expectation that there can be a positive outcome even when the present condition is to the contrary. But, how do you find it in the midst of pain and suffering?
|Journaling Your Journey Through Grief |
One simple thing you can do to help you with your grief is to pick up a journal and start writing about your feelings. Many people are uncomfortable with writing but it can be very therapeutic. This article shares ideas that will help you release your fear and your grief. One person writes: “Writing seemed to be the only way I was able to give voice to my grief,” says Mark, who suddenly and tragically, lost his sister in 1992. “Journaling allowed me to express the rage I had for being deprived of growing old with the one person I love more than anything in life.” He continues, “Now as I read over those entries from many years ago, I can see how important it was for me to face the darkness head on. By facing the unthinkable, I was able to return to the light.” Tony Falzano, writer, songwriter and grief specialist, shares insight on the power of journaling.
|Life Development and Bereavement |
Sandra Graves, PhD, ATR explains how life development patterns affect how you interpret life and life experiences. At different levels of your development your understanding of what is happening around you and to you changes. These changes in your understanding impact your coping styles and your ability to cope. As she leads you through the ages and levels of development it is import to remember that the temperament with which we are born and the personality we develop determines how we handle life and death.
|Life Gives Us Pain, but Misery is Optional|
When a deep and profound love is ripped apart by death, how does the surviving person move on with life? What is it that allows one person to bear and work through the grief while another is devastated for years? A loving survivor is bound to grieve—a great love has been severed—but how does one hold the misery at bay and not be engulfed by it? Does excessive mourning indicate a deeper love, a more heartfelt loss? Or does it demonstrate a lack of adequate tools to process grief and go on with living? Thomas Strawser, writer, grief specialist provides answers to these questions and more in this article.