Archive for the ‘Coping with Grief’ Category

Things I Wish I’d Known about Grief

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

By Judy BrizendineTunnel opening looking onto blue sky and beach

Apart from the sheer and utter pain of grief, I believe the rest of it is not what we expect. To be completely honest, until grief came crashing down on me, I’m not sure I had ever even given a thought to it – certainly not a serious thought. And I imagine most people fall into the same category as me. That was nearly seventeen years ago. Looking back, there were so many things I wish I’d known about grief. Here are a few for you to consider … (more…)

Are Christians Supposed to Grieve?

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Stone cross, weathered wood, framed by an archBy Judy Brizendine

People have asked me this question enough times that I thought it deserved some attention: “Are Christians supposed to grieve?” Confusion even leads some Christians to feel guilty when they do grieve and to question the strength of their faith.

Let’s set the record straight up front. (more…)

Why Is Chris Kyle’s Story So Important?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

American flag, cat, old barrel, blue skyBy Judy Brizendine

You know how it is when something makes such an impression on you, or affects you deeply, and you just can’t get it out of your mind. My husband and I went to see American Sniper a couple of weeks ago and I can’t stop thinking about what I saw. Even more, I can’t forget what I felt as I watched Chris Kyle’s story unfold on the screen. (more…)

Our 15-Year-Old Cat Taught Me Something about Grief

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

cats sleeping together_grief_lessonsBy Judy Brizendine

Max and Molly were inseparable. They spent their entire lives together – until Molly became sick with an incurable form of cancer. Soon afterward we had to put her to sleep. Then Max was alone, without his sister, for the first time.  And surprisingly, Max our cat taught me something about grief.

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Pause and Think Twice Before You Speak to Someone Who Is Grieving

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Red Stop Sign_Pause Before Speak to GrieversBy Judy Brizendine

After reading and hearing countless comments about the death of Robin Williams, once again it’s clear that a great lack of understanding surrounds grief, loss, and related issues. Even though the intent of most people is to provide comfort and support, they can inadvertently say something that’s hurtful or damaging.

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Have You Been Turned Away from a Grief-Support Group?

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

empty beach_tracks in sand_large rock_oceanBy Judy Brizendine

Someone shared her experience with me this week, and it broke my heart, shocked, and angered me all at the same time.  This person ‘diligently searched’ (her words) for help with grief, and was turned away from grief-support groups by several organizations.

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3 Things in Life Are Certain — How Do You Respond to #3?

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

orange and black Road Work Ahead sign_change_griefBy Judy Brizendine

We’re all familiar with the saying about two things no one can escape: death and taxes! But what about the third certainty in life? Any ideas? (more…)

Outstanding List of Online Resources for Coping with Grief

Friday, March 14th, 2014

metal container filled with bright yellow sunflowers_grief_copingI’m always watching for outstanding resources to recommend, and the article discussed in this post is filled with 115 helpful websites on grief and bereavement. I believe this list represents a collection of some of the very best online resources available for coping with grief and bereavement.

In this article on the MastersInCounseling.org website, you will find a wide range of resources directed toward grief brought about by a variety of life events, including but not limited to death. You’ll find information to help you understand, guidance to help you cope, and a supportive community so you know you are not alone.

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Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress When You’re Grieving

Friday, December 20th, 2013

evergreen trees covered in snow, stars, magical winter sceneI was invited to write a guest post for Fairhaven Memorial’s Grief Blog.  The title of the article is “Reduce Stress by Focusing on Realistic Expectations.”  The holiday season is stressful for most of us, yet when you’re grieving, even more anxiety comes to the surface.

I hope you’ll click on the link below and read the entire article.  Perhaps you also know someone else who would benefit by seeing the article — and you’ll consider sharing it with them.

Wishing you a peaceful and blessed holiday.

Here’s the link to the article:  Reduce Stress by Focusing on Realistic Expectations

Photo courtesy of bing.com

Grief and the Holidays

Friday, December 13th, 2013

glowing candles amid greeneryGrief and the holidays are especially difficult — and there’s just no getting around it.  Even when your loss was sometime ago, the holidays bring memories back to life.  With time and healing, perhaps you can look back on those memories with smiles and gratitude rather than the crushing pain you felt earlier – yet emotions seem to be supercharged at this time of the year.

I read a beautiful article written by Katherine Ingram about her experience of grief and the holidays.  The thoughts she shares are similar to my own.  I could identify with her heartfelt (and wise) words, and I hope they will speak to you, too.  I asked her permission to share the article – and she graciously agreed.

Hope you’ll click on the link to read Katherine’s article.  I think you’ll be blessed if you do.

Here’s the link – Good Grief: The Holiday Edition

 

Photo courtesy of www.bing.com

At the End of the Day What Are You Focusing On — and Will You Survive or Thrive?

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

strong tree silhouette against bright blue sky and fluffy white clouds, survive or thrive

Grief is tough – there’s no doubt about it. But don’t ever think you are powerless over your journey or your life. At the end of the day, what are you focusing on? Ask yourself the question. It’s important. Your answer may well determine not only if you will still be standing, but whether you’ll survive or thrive.

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What Happens When Life Throws You a Curve Ball — and What Does Grief Look Like?

Friday, November 1st, 2013

lone chair on the beach, blue sky, plants in sandOver the past year, I’ve connected with a special woman and devoted mother I’ve grown to respect and admire. We met initially when I appeared on a radio show she co-hosts – and then again when she invited me to appear on another show to help people understand what grief looks like. Last week she sent me an article she wrote and asked me if I had seen it. I hadn’t – yet I’m so glad she shared it with me.

This article is the first guest post I’ve included on my blog. When I read it, I knew it belonged here!

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Which Best Describes Your Approach to Grief — a Cheetah, a Turtle, or an Ant?

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

closeup of cheetah, your approach to grief, do you run

Stop for a minute and think about your approach to grief. Do you face it like a cheetah, a turtle, or an ant?

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Everybody Needs a Sanctuary During Grief

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

sanctuary_grief_purple heather field_green treesAt first glance, a number of characteristics could be used to describe the way ‘grief’ operates, and none of them produces an effect consistent with the words ‘refuge’ or ‘sanctuary.’ The very nature of this process that leads us toward healing when we choose to enter into it is the reason everybody needs a sanctuary during grief.

Grief crashes upon you like a wave. It bounces you around and twists you inside out. Grief sends your emotions into a tailspin, and up and down like a roller coaster, until you’re emotionally spent. Grief is unruly, messy, and disorderly. You’ll go forward and then backward. At times, you’ll question your sanity.

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When You See No End to Your Grief Storm, What Can You Do?

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Grief Storm_Coping with Grief_ Stunned By GriefThis question has been presented to me several times lately, so I’ve been wrestling with it in my mind. I wish I had a simple, clear-cut, and perfect answer about what you can do when you see no end to your grief storm. I don’t have a quick, easy response, but I hope I can help to provide answers and suggestions to those who find themselves in this place.

Circumstances of grief arise in all of our lives for reasons that do not involve the death of a loved one. Sometimes, as devastating as death can be, I truly believe there are situations even more difficult to deal with than the death of someone who means everything. Death brings finality into play. The outcome is certain. How you’ll deal with everything death brought about is a questions mark, but there’s no question that what happened is irreversible, and you have to figure out where and how to go on from there. That was my situation.

The questions and concerns I’ve been asked about have to do with extreme grief related to circumstances that have been going on for some time and there’s no end in sight.

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