I recently received a note from a reader asking me a question and suggesting a topic to write about. And then she went on to tell me her story. She has been facing a deep loss in her life over the past year or more. Silence from friends is painful. Being ignored (and considered invisible) is devastating. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Needs of grievers’ Category
Are quiet and solitude friends or enemies during grief? Sometimes we don’t recognize the things that help versus those that hurt us. And at times, things that are the most natural (and seem best) work against our healing. As in most circumstances, too much of a good thing can be bad. (more…)
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.
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.
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.
I’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.
Grief 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.
Photo courtesy of www.bing.com
At 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.
I will say, without a doubt, that grief is one of the most difficult experiences any of us will face in life. The idea of taking a break from grief does not in any way minimize or make light of its intense pain, effects, or significance. I recognize the deep and complex impact of grief that follows loss. In fact, its fierce and powerful characteristics are exactly why we need to take a break from grief.
You’re probably thinking, “I don’t even know what a ‘grief’ umbrella is”—and you’re asking me, “What color is your ‘grief’ umbrella?” Let’s work through this idea together …
Grief is a mystery and a shock when you first meet up with it. Nothing you’ve ever seen, read, or thought about grief prepares you for its reality. Just like death—when death steals someone you love away—a staggering realization hits your senses that your life has changed and it will never be the same again. That’s the way grief is, too. And when grief shows up, trust me, you’ll need ‘grief’ umbrellas.
Judy Brizendine was interviewed today by Anna Banks for a special show about dealing with grief during the holidays – on the program “Living Fully After 40™ Radio.
Anna also wrote an article for her Living Fully After 40™ Blog today (December 12) about Judy, her STUNNED by Grief books, and the challenges of grief and the holidays.
This time of year, which we normally greet with excitement and anticipation, is extremely difficult for anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one or other types of deep losses. Instead of joy, someone who is grieving most likely is experiencing feelings of dread, anxiety, a lack of energy, loneliness, and an overall sense of being overwhelmed. However, there are things you can do to make your holiday season more manageable—and to carve out moments of joy in the midst of your grief. You’ll find suggestions to help you cope with grief during the holidays in Judy’s guest blog article, ‘5 Ideas to Ease Holiday Anxiety During Grief,’ written for the Journeys Through Grief Newsletter.
Check out Anna’s blog to read the article about Judy (as well as a host of other articles dealing with issues we all face) whether or not we are past the age of 40!
(Photo courtesy of office.microsoft.com)
I’m very honored to be guest blogging today for the Journeys Through Grief Newsletter!
I hope you’ll check out the article and share it with your friends, family, and people you know.
People everywhere are experiencing all types of loss—and the holiday season is especially difficult for anyone who is grieving. This article provides some ideas you may not have considered to ease holiday anxiety during grief. Perhaps by sharing this resource, you’ll be offering help to someone who really needs it now.
We all need hope. And we all need help at certain times.
Just click on the link here to read: Journeys Through Grief Newsletter
(Photo courtesy of office.microsoft.com)
Fear about what to say to a griever is common. Most people are uncomfortable around someone who is grieving because they’re afraid of saying the wrong thing. Since they have no idea what to say, often they simply choose to avoid the griever.
The most important thing anyone can do is to let the person who is grieving know that you care. Give them a hug, show them your concern for what they’re going through, and tell them you want to help (and mean it)!
Grievers need to talk! People around them are uncomfortable bringing up the subject, or they’re afraid they will upset the person and cause them to cry. It’s okay! The griever is already upset, and if he or she happens to cry while talking, that’s okay, too. Talking and crying are healthy and helpful for someone who is grieving. If anyone starts to cry, just be compassionate. Hugs are comforting, too.
If friends and family members understand how crucial it is for grievers to have someone to talk to, perhaps they will be more willing to ignore their own discomfort and encourage the griever to talk.
The Grief ‘Club’ is a group you never wanted to join. But the irony of it all is that fellow members have the ability to connect with you and understand what you’re going through in ways that strangers to the club (even though they may be people closest to you) cannot.
An unspoken bond exists between people who have suffered a deep loss. They not only know about grief, they know grief—so they can relate to your feelings, fears, and questions. Fellow members have an awareness that is missing in those who do not belong to the club. Others, regardless of their desire, simply do not have the same ability to understand—because grief cannot be known any way except firsthand.
I’m still amazed (even though I know it’s true) that a perfect stranger may be able to relate to me better than someone I’ve known and loved for years.
Have you received this gift?
© 2011 Judy Brizendine