Grieve Healthy – Keep the Ones You Lost in the Warmth of Your Heart

Dear Readers,
The following is a beautiful post about grieving written by the gifted actor and writer, Christopher Walken. Christopher talks about keeping the person that you lost in the warmth of your heart and how that person will be a part of you always.

“Someday, you will be faced with the reality of loss. And as life goes on, days rolling into nights, it will become clear that you never really stop missing someone special who’s gone, you just learn to live around the gaping hole of their absence. When you lose someone you can’t imagine living without, your heart breaks wide open, and the bad news is you never completely get over the loss. You will never forget them. However, in a backwards way, this is also the good news. They will live on in the warmth of your broken heart that doesn’t fully heal back up, and you will continue to grow and experience life, even with your wound. It’s like badly breaking an ankle that never heals perfectly, and that still hurts when you dance, but you dance anyway with a slight limp, and this limp just adds to the depth of your performance and the authenticity of your character. The people that you lose remain a part of you. Remember them and always cherish the food moments spent with them.”

Thank you Mr. Walken for writing this and for sharing it with those who are grieving over the loss of someone they loved.

Grieve Healthy – Something Lost, Something Found

Here is wonderful post from a Mygrievingplace reader about finding something new after a loss.
Lost and Found
“So sorry about your loss.” A phrase heard frequently at the death of a loved one. I’ve said it myself, as a way of offering some solace and empathy to. a person who is grieving. Recently, I have been the recipient also. My father died in January of this year. In addition to the many anecdotes shared with my brother and I at Dad’s memorial service, we also heard this phrase.

The past year and a half, my brother and I have had many discussions about life, loneliness, love and loss. In the Spring of 2018, his wife died, my sister-in-law. As I have traveled this very difficult journey with him, there have been moments of profound grief and sadness. Recently, we had a discussion about identity. While I was under the misconception that identity concerns were solely a part of adolescent angst, I was surprised about the path of the conversation. It turns out that the loss of a loved one, whether a spouse, parent, sibling, child or friend, most of us eventually face a struggle to find a new identity. Who am I now?

“We’re orphans now,” confided my brother shortly after our Dad died. It was profound because even though we are both “elder” citizens, both parents are gone and now it’s just us from our original nuclear family. In addition, my brother’s loss of his wife just a few months earlier, had precipitated a crisis of identity. He had been her caregiver-husband during her protracted chronic illness.

It was an important “light-bulb” moment as we both recognized and ratified the significance of acknowledging how the loss of identity is a normal part of the grieving process. It can be huge. Grappling with processing and discovering one’s self anew can be paralyzing.

Grieve Healthy – Celebrate Life After Loss

Grieving over the loss of someone that we loved is a normal human emotion, but there is another side to loss. Cheryl Woodson, a gifted physician and gifted writer, encourages people to try to think about what the person that you lost left behind for you. Try to not think about only the loss, instead, think about the gift of having that person in your life.

“We celebrate the life, courage, and love of a powerful spirit who chose eternity. She leaves us that triad legacy as a challenge to walk through our lives the way that she did. As we grieve our loss, let us glory in the blessing of having known him. Honor her life and the love that she shared with us.”

Grieve Healthy – Not Alone

The following post was written by Cheryl Woodson, a gifted physician and gifted writer. Cheryl’s post talks about ways to form new relationships after the loss of a spouse or partner.

Widows and widowers often feel lonely even in the company of long-time friends because they see themselves as a broken couple rather than as valued individuals. Some feel like an unwelcome 3rd wheel in the group. Others believe their new “singleness” makes their partnered friends feel uncomfortable, even threatened. Still others say they seem to have become their grief as if the people who shared their loss can relate to them only through that loss.
You don’t need to abandon your friends. You do need to expand your circle with new acquaintances who will meet and get to know you as YOU. That way, the old crew makes up a relatively smaller piece of your social life until they, too, can get to know the living, growing individual that you are.
Meetup.com is a great resource. No, this is not a dating service. It’s an online system that connects people of similar interests. Would you be willing to try a new activity: bowling, ceramics, fishing, nature hikes, discussion groups (of books, current events, art history, religious studies, or different kinds of music), new places to have coffee or brunch, movies, museums? Meetup.com and another site, “I wanted to do that, just not alone” will introduce you to other people who want to explore these activities in the buddy system. No pressure, no commitment and no repeat if it doesn’t work for you.
The Girl Scouts sing, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold.” You are not ½ of anything and YOU are platinum.

Grieve Healthy – Journal Your Way to Healthy Grieving

The following post was written by Julie Gentile, a gifted yoga instructor, gifted writer and teacher of self care. Learn how journaling can help you let go of your grief.

A Journal Entry a Day to Help You Let Go of Grief Your Way
Julie M. Gentile

For as long as I can remember, I have had a passion to write in all forms—writing essays, emails and lists, contributing to publications and websites, writing articles for my blog Stand-Up for Your Self-Care, writing my book 108 Yoga and Self-Care Practices for Busy Mamas, and a more personal form of writing—journaling.

For me, journaling has taken the shape of a daily self-care practice, serving as a transformative and cathartic channel, often leading me to clear space to create pathways for new ideas.

Every time I put pen to page, it’s an opportunity to connect with myself, to check in with myself. My mind and hand work together in harmony to let the words flow.

I journal just before bed every night because it helps me reflect on my day and sleep better, and it reduces anxiety. However, journaling in the morning is great, too, because it can help you set your intention for the day.

Journaling daily can also help you:
• Organize and bring more clarity to your thoughts
• Process your thoughts, emotions and experiences
• Let go of your grief by shedding anything that no longer serves you

Below are some ideas to get started:
• Start a letting go journal. Write one page a day about letting go of grief. You can write about a new angle every day or stick with the same focus for several entries.
• Purchase a book or journal with writing prompts or quotes. My book 108 Yoga and Self-Care Practices for Busy Mamas includes 54 journaling prompts to help you connect with your deepest self.
• Write what comes to mind for five minutes a day. Allow yourself to write free-form style for five minutes. Set a timer, and write until the timer goes off.

Whatever style of journaling you decide to pursue, integrate it into your daily routine. All you need is a pen and paper (or a laptop or computer if you choose to keep a digital journal) and a quiet spot, free of interruptions.

As you begin to journal regularly, notice what inspires your writing. For example, my yoga practice often inspires my journal entries. For a yoga practice that can lead you to your next journal entry, read my previous blog post A Practice to Receive and Let Go.

Learn five additional reasons to start journaling tonight on my blog Stand-Up for Your Self-Care, and let me know how your writing goes @juliegtheyogi on Instagram and Facebook.

About the Author
Julie M. Gentile is a certified and registered yoga teacher, award-winning author and creator of the blog Stand-Up for Your Self-Care. She has been practicing yoga and meditation for a decade, and leading yoga classes since 2011. She writes about letting go in her book 108 Yoga and Self-Care Practices for Busy Mamas (MSI Press), which is available on the MSI Press website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million. Find self-care inspiration at www.juliegtheyogi.com and follow Julie @juliegtheyogi on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/juliegtheyogi/ and Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/juliegtheyogi.

Grieve Healthy – Help for Grieving Children

Help children grieve healthy. The National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC) https://childrengrieve.org is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the needs of children and teens who are grieving the death of someone who was very close to them. The NACG provides education and resources for anyone who supports a grieving child or teen.

Children often grieve differently than adults so here are some ways you can support a grieving child according to information from the NAGC.

1) Be honest with your child – Talk to your child about what happened in a simple, direct and age appropriate manner. Be honest and share clear, accurate information about what happened.

2) Listen- Listen to your child tell his or her story about what happened. Encourage them ask you questions and answer their questions as best as you can.

3) Acknowledge your child’s grief – recognize that your child is grieving. Try not to impose your grief on your child, but allow him or her to grieve in his or her own way. It is normal for children to feel an array of emotions, including sadness, anger, frustration and fear. It is also normal for children to move in and out of grief reactions, at times being very upset or getting angry easily and at other times acting as if nothing has happened.

4) Share – Tell your child about the times you were afraid, sad or angry. Tell them how you dealt with these situations and what you learned. Children love to hear stories about the adults in their lives and when those adults were children.

5) Maintain clear expectations – Keep rules and boundaries consistent. Children gain security when they know what is expected from them. Children will often use their pain as an excuse for inappropriate behavior. While you should always acknowledge the grief your child is experiencing, you should also teach them to be accountable for their choices, no matter how they feel.

6) Reassure your child – Remind your child that he or she is loved and that you are there for him or her. Following the death of a person in his or her life, a child’s sense of safety can be shaken. Children often fear that you or other people in their life might die.

7) Be patient – You and your child are grieving and the most intense parts of grief often take longer than we might want. Grief also changes us in many ways. So, be patient as you and your child experience your grief. Be patient with your child with repetition. A child often has to come back to the same details and questions.

My thanks to the NAGC for the above. Please visit their web site for more information about how to help grieving children and to find resources in your area that can also help

Grieve Healthy – For Grieving Teens

Surviving life after a parent dies has special challenges for many teens. Most grief support groups and grief therapists are focused on adult survivors, but there is help for teens from teens who have lost a parent. The web site SLAP’D was created for teens by teens who have lost a parent (www.slapd.com).

SLAP’D is a social media site for teens 13 and older (or younger than 13 with adult supervision) who have lost a parent to find hope and connection through shared experiences, and aims to ensure that no teen ever has to experience their grief alone. SLAP’D offers our users articles, advice forums, an ask-an-expert column staffed by bereavement professionals, and connections to other resources for grieving kids and teens. SLAP’D has also built partnerships with grief and bereavement centers and organizations nationwide to expand our reach and ensure that our resources for support and healing are reaching those who need us most.

There haven’t been any new posts recently, but there is still some good information to help teens on their journey through grief.

Another great resource for children and teens who need grief support is the National Alliance for Grieving Children
(https://childrengrieve.org)

The National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC) is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the needs of children and teens who are grieving a death and provides education and resources for anyone who supports them. Through the collective voice of our members and partners we educate, advocate and raise awareness about childhood bereavement.
The NAGC is a nationwide network comprised of professionals, institutions and volunteers who promote best practices, educational programming and critical resources to facilitate the mental, emotional and physical health of grieving children and their families.

If you know a teen who has lost a parent or if you are supporting a child who has lost a loved one, both sites offer advice and resources to help.

Grieve Healthy – Don’t Get Lost in Your Loss

Grieving over the loss of someone that you loved is a normal human emotion. Each person grieves in their own way on their own time. There is no right way to grieve and there is no timetable for grieving. Grieving is a very personal experience, but it is possible to learn to live with the loss. You can’t avoid grieving, but you can grieve in a healthy way and not get lost in your loss.

We often hear from mygrievingplace readers that they feel lost after losing someone that they loved. The feeling of being lost may be caused be depression which is a common reaction to loss. Sometimes for some people medication can help, but there are other ways overcome depression and learn to live with the loss. This is healthy grieving.

Start by setting some goals for your new life. Move forward with new activities that provide opportunities for you to meet and be with new people. For example, if you are able, look for volunteer opportunities in your area, take adult education classes at your local community college, check your library for adult programs, contact your county department of aging for programs that fit your interests or the AARP web site for programs and activities in your area. These are all low or no cost options to consider.

Set a goal to get involved in some new things and commit yourself to doing them. You may need to force yourself to go at first but stick to your goals and begin to grieve healthy.

Grieve Healthy – Move Forward

Grieve healthy by moving forward and not trying to move on. People who are grieving over the loss of someone that they loved are often told “You gotta move on,” but moving on means leaving the person that you lost behind. Instead, think about moving forward with the person that you lost. That person will always be with you as you move forward.

Click on the video below to watch a Ted Talks video by Nora McInerny as she talks about moving forward, not moving on. This video is better than anything that I could write.

The video is especially helpful for people who care about someone who is grieving.

Grieve Healthy – Live With Pain

Grieving healthy means learning to live with the pain of losing someone that you loved. Losing a loved one is painful emotionally and for many people it can be physically painful as well. In the past, we’ve written about how grieving can affect physical health, which if severe enough can result in muscle pain, headaches, sleep deprivation and heart failure, in some cases.

That’s why it’s important to learn to live with the pain, not under the pain. Acknowledge and accept the pain and don’t allow it to dominate your life. It is normal for people to want to avoid pain, but avoiding situations, experiences, places, people, and doing things that remind you of the person that you lost only delays the healing process. It’s allowing pain to dominate your life and only delays the healing process.

Learning to live with pain and not avoiding it is difficult at first, but in time acceptance begins and the pain gradually diminishes. Start doing some new things all of your own in addition to the things that you did before.
New experiences, new people, new activities will replace the old ones and open you to a world of new possibilities that you can call yours. This is healthy grieving.