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Archive for the ‘Grief Articles’ Category

A Healthly Place has written a wonderful article regarding support for bereaved family members and friends.

Our local resource, Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal believes strongly in the power of listening to those suffering great sadness after their losses. Stories are shared within the journal for our community to somewhat walk in their shoes while educating ourselves for similar experiences we may face in the future.

Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal is funded by generous advertisers and those wanting to recognize a loved on within the journal, upon the  Quilt of Remembrance page. We are on our 12th month and have not profited and need your help, just to continue printing this resource.  We are more interested in reporting on those wanting to share their stories as part of their healing process, than solicit advertisers. Read past journals online.

How can I help an adult friend or family member deal with the death of a loved one?  Someone you know may be experiencing grief – perhaps the loss of a loved one, perhaps another type of loss – and you want to help. The fear of making things worse may encourage you to do nothing. Yet you do not wish to appear to be uncaring. Remember that it is better to try to do something, inadequate as you may feel, than to do nothing at all. Don’t attempt to sooth or stifle the emotions of the bereaved. Tears and anger are an important part of the healing process. Grief is not a sign of weakness. It is the result of a strong relationship and deserves the honor of strong emotion. When supporting someone in their grief the most important thing is to simply listen. Grief is a very confusing process, expressions of logic are lost on the griever. The question “tell me how you are feeling” followed by a patient and attentive ear will seem like a major blessing to the grief stricken. Be present, reveal your caring, listen. Your desire is to assist your friend down the path of healing. They will find their own way down that path, but they need a helping hand, an assurance that they are not entirely alone on their journey. It does not matter that you do not understand the details, your presence is enough. Risk a visit, it need not be long. The mourner may need time to be alone but will surely appreciate the effort you made to visit. Do some act of kindness. There are always ways to help. Run errands, answer the phone, prepare meals, mow the lawn, care for the children, shop for groceries, meet incoming planes or provide lodging for out of town relatives. The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.
How can I deal with the death of a loved one?

Bereavement is a powerful, life-changing experience that most people find overwhelming the first time. Although grief is a natural process of human life, most of us are not inherently able to manage it alone. At the same time, others are often unable to provide aid or insight because of discomfort with the situation and the desire to avoid making things worse. The following passage explains how some of our “normal” assumptions about grief may make it more difficult to deal with.

Five Assumptions That May Complicate
  1. Life prepares us for loss.
  2. Family and friends will understand.
  3. The bereaved should be finished with their grief within one year or something is wrong.
  4. Along with the end of grief’s pain comes the end of the memories.
  5. The bereaved should grieve alone.Provided courtesy of Jack Redden, CCE, M.A., President; John Redden, M.S., Vice President, Cemetery-Mortuary Consultants Inc., Memphis, Tennessee  More is learned about loss through experience than through preparation. Living may not provide preparation for survival. Handling grief resulting from the death of a loved one is a process that takes hard work. The fortunate experience of a happy life may not have built a complete foundation for handling loss. Healing is built through perseverance, support and understanding. The bereaved need others: Find others who are empathetic. 
     
    How can I help an adult friend or family member deal with the death of a loved one?
     

     

     
     
     

    Someone you know may be experiencing grief – perhaps the loss of a loved one, perhaps another type of loss – and you want to help. The fear of making things worse may encourage you to do nothing. Yet you do not wish to appear to be uncaring. Remember that it is better to try to do something, inadequate as you may feel, than to do nothing at all. Don’t attempt to sooth or stifle the emotions of the griever. Tears and anger are an important part of the healing process. Grief is not a sign of weakness. It is the result of a strong relationship and deserves the honor of strong emotion. When supporting someone in their grief the most important thing is to simply listen. Grief is a very confusing process, expressions of logic are lost on the griever. The question “tell me how you are feeling” followed by a patient and attentive ear will seem like a major blessing to the grief stricken. Be present, reveal your caring, listen. Your desire is to assist your friend down the path of healing. They will find their own way down that path, but they need a helping hand, an assurance that they are not entirely alone on their journey. It does not matter that you do not understand the details, your presence is enough. Risk a visit, it need not be long. The mourner may need time to be alone but will surely appreciate the effort you made to visit. Do some act of kindness. There are always ways to help. Run errands, answer the phone, prepare meals, mow the lawn, care for the children, shop for groceries, meet incoming planes or provide lodging for out of town relatives. The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.

    How can I deal with the death of a loved one?

     

     
     
     
     

    Bereavement is a powerful, life-changing experience that most people find overwhelming the first time. Although grief is a natural process of human life, most of us are not inherently able to manage it alone. At the same time, others are often unable to provide aid or insight because of discomfort with the situation and the desire to avoid making things worse. The following passage explains how some of our “normal” assumptions about grief may make it more difficult to deal with.

    Five Assumptions That May Complicate

     

    Life prepares us for loss.
    After the funeral service is over the bereaved may find themselves alone. They may feel as though they are going crazy, painfully uncertain in their world of thoughts and emotions. The bereaved begin to feel normal again when the experience is shared with others who have lost a loved one. Then, in reaching out, the focus of life becomes forward. The bereaved need others: Find others who are experienced.
      

    Provided courtesy of Jack Redden, CCE, M.A., President; John Redden, M.S., Vice President, Cemetery-Mortuary Consultants Inc., Memphis, Tennessee

     

     
     
     
     

     

    More is learned about loss through experience than through preparation. Living may not provide preparation for survival. Handling grief resulting from the death of a loved one is a process that takes hard work. The fortunate experience of a happy life may not have built a complete foundation for handling loss. Healing is built through perseverance, support and understanding. The bereaved need others: Find others who are empathetic.

    Family and friends will understand.

     

    If a spouse dies children lose a parent, a sibling loses a sibling, a parent loses a child and a friend loses a friend. Only one loses a spouse. Each response is different according to the relationship. Family and friends may not be capable of understanding each other thoroughly. Consider the story of Job’s grief in the Bible. Job’s wife did not understand his grief. His friends did their best work the first week when they just sat and did not speak. It was when they began to share their judgements of Job and his life that they complicated Job’s grief. Allowance must be made so that grief may be experienced and processed over time. The bereaved need others: Find others who are accepting.
     
     

    The bereaved should be finished with their grief within one year or something is wrong.

     

    During the first year the bereaved will experience one of everything for the first time alone: anniversaries, birthdays, occasions, etc. Therefore grief will last for at least one year. The cliche, “the healing hands of time,” does not go far enough to explain what must take place. The key to handling grief is in what work is done over time. It takes time and work to decide what to do and where to go with the new and changed life that is left behind. The bereaved need others: Find others who are patient.
     
     

    Along with the end of grief’s pain comes the end of the memories.

     

    At times, the bereaved may embrace the pain of grief believing it is all they have left. The lingering close bond to the deceased is sometimes thought to maintain the memories while, in fact, just the opposite is true. In learning to let go and live a new and changed life memories tend to come back more clearly. Growth and healing comes in learning to enjoy memories. The bereaved need others: Find new friends and interests.
     
     

    The bereaved should grieve alone.

     

     

After the funeral service is over the bereaved may find themselves alone. They may feel as though they are going crazy, painfully uncertain in their world of thoughts and emotions. The bereaved begin to feel normal again when the experience is shared with others who have lost a loved one. Then, in reaching out, the focus of life becomes forward. The bereaved need others: Find others who are experienced. At times, the bereaved may embrace the pain of grief believing it is all they have left. The lingering close bond to the deceased is sometimes thought to maintain the memories while, in fact, just the opposite is true. In learning to let go and live a new and changed life memories tend to come back more clearly. Growth and healing comes in learning to enjoy memories. The bereaved need others: Find new friends and interests. During the first year the bereaved will experience one of everything for the first time alone: anniversaries, birthdays, angelveraries, occasions, etc. Therefore grief will last for at least one year. The cliche, “the healing hands of time,” does not go far enough to explain what must take place. The key to handling grief is in what work is done over time. It takes time and work to decide what to do and where to go with the new and changed life that is left behind. The bereaved need others: Find others who are patient. If a spouse dies children lose a parent, a sibling loses a sibling, a parent loses a child and a friend loses a friend. Only one loses a spouse. Each response is different according to the relationship. Family and friends may not be capable of understanding each other thoroughly. Consider the story of Job’s grief in the Bible. Job’s wife did not understand his grief. His friends did their best work the first week when they just sat and did not speak. It was when they began to share their judgements of Job and his life that they complicated Job’s grief. Allowance must be made so that grief may be experienced and processed over time. The bereaved need others: Find others who are accepting.

 

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Rabbi Dickstein has led the Conservative movement to establish new legal responses that carry with them the full authority of Jewish law. Here are the major points of this new practice:

1. In the case of a full-term pregnancy, when an infant dies for any reason, at any time after birth, its parents and other family members should be obligated for full bereavement practices, just as for any other child. The parents should recite Kaddish for 30 days and should observe yahrzeit. Young siblings have no oblig­ation to say Kaddish, and post-bar/bat mitzvah siblings should be encouraged to use the traditional rituals to work through the many feelings they have.

2. The body should be buried in accordance with Jewish practice. The funeral should follow standard practice with appropriate readings of comfort in place of a eulogy. Parents should be encouraged to attend the funeral, as should family and close friends. The funeral should be held as soon as possible, although if the mother wants to attend, burial may be delayed until she recovers enough physical strength following the delivery to attend.

3. If the infant was not named prior to death, it is usually given a name at the grave. The name may be the one the parents intended to use for their child (although this might be difficult for the surviving grandparents whose own parents may have been remembered with this name), or they might choose a name like Menahem or Nehamah, names that indicate a desire for “comfort.” There are two reasons for the naming: a) according to Jewish folk tradition, giving a name will enable parents to “find” their child in the world to come; and b) psychologists consider the prac­tice of naming to be an important help in healing the parents’ grief.

4.  If the information gathered from an autopsy can help determine the advisability of future pregnancies for the couple or of treatment of diseases to which other chil­dren of the couple might be susceptible, it should be allowed, even encouraged.

5. A complete shiva should be observed, beginning with the meal of consolation and including daily prayer services for the mourners. Communal participation in the shiva makes real this loss and overcomes the tremendous isolation the parents feel. If things had turned out differently, the community would have been there for visit­ing the baby and welcoming it with Jewish birth rituals. The family whose newborn dies should not be denied its community. It is also extremely important, especially for the father, to allow permission to do nothing else but mourn during the shiva period.

6. The father and the mother should be treated equally as mourners. Both parents will react differently to the loss, [but] it is partic­ularly important for the father to recognize his loss, for it is no less real than the mother’s. When the father is treated as a mourner, he is relieved of the burden of “being strong” for his wife. He has a specific set of ritual tasks to do that encourage him to confront the magnitude of his loss in all its dimensions.

7. In the case of infants born prematurely, there is still debate within the Law Committee on how to define “viability.” Some, including Rabbi Dickstein, argue that between five months and thirty weeks the decision concerning mourning might be made by the local rabbi and the parents.

Certainly, there may be those who feel the centuries-old practice of not mourning a neonatal death could be more comforting than engaging in the whole ritual of Jewish bereavement. But for those who desperately need a vehicle for grief, this recent ruling allowing for the mourning of newborns is indeed a welcome development.

Dr. Ron Wolfson is the Fingerhut Professor of Education at American Jewish University and the president of Synagogue 3000.

Jewish twist on parenting

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An energy reading and a very detailed interpretation of the reading were presented to me by Janet Nestor, holistic healer and author of Pathways to Wholeness.

Janet is a supporter of Just a Cloud Away, Inc. Journal offering articles not typically accepted by mainstream society. If you are willing to open your mind to the possibilities, please do consider speaking with her regarding your losses.

Because my son died at birth, any memorabilia, pictures, descriptions are very much welcomed. A few photographs were taken of him at birth, clipping of hair, ashes, foot and hand prints and it just isn’t enough for a mother. Below is an energy reading where Janet connected with my little angel on August 3rd, 2010.

Tanner, son of Diana Gardner-Williams

Tanner has a whole lot to say. His senses are all operational from the spirit realm. His is connected to spirit, his listening ears are wide open for communication. He has a lot to say about a lot of things.

The blue orb at the third eye…inner eye. He is like a magnet. He intuits everything and is able to process through the center better than any others. His vision is full spectrum vision. He sees everything on all at once….many levels of seeing and understanding and had the ability to communicate what he sees and understands.

Colors:

Peach-he is social. Likes to be part of the mix. Also patient and kind and you can feel his love and compassion without hardly trying. He is shadowy in structure, but when he communicates you can hear and communicate with him.

Light pink/lavender-He is vibrant. He has a lot to say/intuit/process. He likes where he lives and is exactly where he is supposed to be. This is his world. He is comfortable within his world. He knows his way around.

The light blue in his energy field-it is his level of permanence. He is ever-present in your life, will remain ever-present in your family life as long as this family exists. He is part of the family and enjoys his interactions. He has a sense of humor. He can pop in and out and does.

His spiritual body seems to be a thought form. He is light and airy. He has great wisdom, which he will share if you listen to what he has to say. It is not infant wisdom, but wisdom of spirit that is collective in nature. He really does not seem to be identified with his human body at all. He is identified with his spiritual being and that life.

Notice his eyes and the fact that they appear alert. They are alert. The line through his eyes is a boundary of sorts. Reflects his deep insights. He will not interfere in what is not his to see and hear. He stays back unless invited. He is not hesitant. But he is respectful of privacy and of his role. As a child one might have called him timid, but not silent. Shy, but not withdrawn. Funny, but not a clown and center of attention.

The only thing he misses is the ability to cuddle. He would have loved touch and still likes touch although it is not the same. He will snuggle in close to you if he can…almost feel like a part of you. You might notice when he is around because he likes to be so close. He would loved to be noticed in those moments, but he does not seek to be noticed.

He is both child energy and very wise energy all rolled up into one spiritual being. His identity in this life is one of infant child. His spirit identity is ages old. A lovely mix of innocence and aged wisdom.

I cannot thank you enough Janet. These words are precious to me and gives my being another purpose and understanding of my child. This is tangible and will be cherished upon my alter for him.

 

Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™Journal thanks you for providing resources for our community.

Janet Nestor will be signing copies of her book on Friday January 14th at Chanel Lace Hair Gallery-2011. Beautiful wigs for women on a healing journey, click here for more information

More information on energy readings, click here

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Support is available for bereaved families of pregnancy and infant loss in the Piedmont Triad Area. Heartstrings  is our local non-profit working with families who have lost a pregnancy or baby from conception to one year of age. This is done through a variety of supports designed to help them grieve, mourn, and begin to reconcile themselves to the death of their baby as well as cope with the emotions of a subsequent pregnancy.

The 6th Annual “Walk to Remember” of 2010 was held at Triad Park in Kernersville, NC. Families come to remember their children who briefly came into their lives and forever in their hearts.

The morning was beautiful and perfect for remembering angels.

T-Shirts were provided for the walkers.

Tammy Councilman is our local photographer representing the non-profit, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.

Handmade Quilt by families of the babies passed.

The children are missed and remembered.

Every year symbolic ornaments are presented to the parents, which are then hung on a tree while the baby names are read.

This year, a butterfly.

Many sponsors provide refreshments, signs and donations.

Many people walk the 1 mile track to honor babies and their families.

To help those comforting bereaved parents of pregnancy and infant loss, please take a few minutes to answer a few questions to be published within Just a Cloud Away, Inc. Journal. It is only by sharing our experiences, will others know how to comfort those walking in different shoes. We thank you for your time.

Journals are published online at, Read Journals Online.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above

Diana Gardner-Williams  publisher

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 Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal is our community paper addressing loss, healing, memorials and proactive living. Founded by a mother, whose stillborn son is an integral part of the family today.

They are looking to educate society by providing articles within the journal addressing questions below. The journey of loosing a baby or pregnancy is devastating; however, if one has not walked in these shoes, it is difficult to comprehend. Please contact Diana@justacloudaway.com with answers to these questions (you may remain anonymous). Feel free to comment directly onto this post as well.

  1. Have you experienced any signs from your child/children?
  2. What words or actions of others comforted you the most?
  3. How can people help you in the future to honor your child?
  4. How have you memorialized your baby/babies?
  5. How have you described your loss to other living siblings?
  6. When people ask, “How many children do you have?” what is your response?
  7. Has the loss of your child/children changed your spirituality?
  8. Men and woman grief differently, do you have any suggestions to help other couples understand these differences?
  9. How do you acknowledge the Angelversary (day child passed)

10. Would you be interested in attending a casual paper crafting workshop at the Emerald Event Center, on a Friday night from 5-11? The location is 2000 East Wendover Ave, where supplies are provided to create memorials. More information is provided at http://www.justacloudaway.com on various ways to remember and memorialize our angels.

Please help increase awareness of pregnancy and infant loss. If you are located in another state other than North Carolina, please note in your answers and thank you.

Peace …..Diana

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Angelversary n. 1. is a word created by a bereaved parent denoting the annual date of a baby’s death, either early in pregnancy, stillbirth, or shortly after. This day is just as important to a bereaved parent as a birthday, and many are marking both birth and death on the same day. While “anniversary” might work, that often seems too celebratory a word for this kind of day. Angelversary is our answer to describing the most difficult day during the year.

 These are suggestions and ideas for Angelversary days.

Release balloons or butterflies

 ♥ In-name-of Gift -You can buy a star named after your child or give a financial contribution to a deserving charity

Visit child’s resting place – You can spend this day visiting your child’s gravesite, memory garden, site where you spread your child’s ashes, or any number of places that hold special meaning to your family and remind you of your child

Take baby someplace new – We believe your baby is with you in some spiritual way.  If you too believe this, you may like the idea of taking your baby someplace new each angelversary.  You can take pictures at that location and compose a scrapbook of all the places you visited in honor of your special angel baby

Send a letter to family and friends – Sharing the memory of your child can be especially important and healing.  One way to do this is to send a letter to your family and friends with special memories and thoughts you have of/for your child

 ♥ Adopt a pet – Pets are great healers and need your love. Perhaps now is the day you want to choose an addition to your family

 ♥ Living object – You can plant something in honor of your beloved child.  The choices of what to plant are quite plentiful and if you don’t have space at home you can plant in a community garden, pot or memorial garden.

 by Basil Augusta

Some information provided by www.alovingjourney.org and www.kotapress.com

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If this subject doesn’t affect you, you are blessed. If a friend or family member looses a baby and you are aware of supportive resources, you may be their angel when most needed. No one ever dreams of loosing a baby, however, 1 out of 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and 26,000 stillbirths occur in the USA every year.

If the parents have not named the baby, you may want to suggest thinking about this. Even if the loss was an early miscarriage, naming the baby will give them an identity and validation.

What do I do to help a friend who has lost a baby regarding the funeral or memorial service?

If you have not lost a child yourself, it may be very difficult to find the words to comfort them. There is a list found here to help  support your friend. Another list is available regarding, what not to say to bereaved parents.

Some funeral homes offer free memorial service for stillborn babies and give discounts for a funeral. Help them by making these necessary phones calls.

When the parents of the deceased baby have decided to have a funeral or memorial service, they may need additional help from you with the logistics. It is important to involve both parents as much as possible in the decision making. Even though this is a very sad time, this event will be remembered for a lifetime.

Areas of the funeral:

  • Notifying people of the service
  • Location
  • Music
  • Readings, Poems or Stories
  • If a priest or pastor will be present
  • Does the baby need to be baptised
  • Cremation or Burial (small caskets for later miscarried babies are available at Heaven’s Gain)
  • Burial Clothes
  • Container or urn for ashes
  • Headstone or marker
  • Obituary in paper
  • Would the family like flowers or encourage donations
  • Helping to assemble the altar with keepsakes and other memorabilia
  • Contacting Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep if  parents want professional pictures of the funeral and baby after declining at the hospital
  • Choosing an outfit for the baby
  • Donating organs

Remember that the scents of the season, colors, music on the radio, the landscape, the ambiance of the month will all attribute to the memories etched into the minds of the  parents, later triggering thoughts of  their baby.

Usually about the time of the service or funeral (2-5 days after the baby’s death) the mother’s milk will come in if she was further along in the pregnancy. The milk can be donated to save another child’s life. The program is The Breast Milk Project.

Wedding gowns can be donated to the Mary Madeline Project or Heavenly Angels in Need  to make burial gowns for babies that have died. Sewers are also in great need.

Some of the smallest burial gowns were made for 18-22 week old babies.

Here is the Triad, Busy Bee Crafters, a non-profit, volunteer their time sewing, knitting and crocheting. This group, led by Sandra Vernon and has been in place for over 20 years. Some of the garments created are: bereavement pocket or bereavement dress and blanket, and prayer shawls in pastel colors. 

These are some of the logistics family and friends can help organize for the bereaved parents of pregnancy loss or infant death. Having this knowledge could someday be the gift providing a grieving family direction and assistance in a time of devastating grief.

Please feel free to leave additional suggestions and comments.

Peace Love and Hugs

Diana

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Grief is a healthy expression of pain

 When our loved one dies, we feel pain.  There is not a detour around the grief.  Grief is the physical and psychological expression of pain.  Grieving is a very painful process, and it can feel overwhelming.  It is hard work and diminishes our energy, leaving us exhausted, without any desire to engage in our daily activities.

   Grief doesn’t have a set timetable.  Individuals grieve in different ways, and members of a grieving family many times find it difficult to support each other.  Although it is accompanied by intense emotions, grief itself is not a feeling.  It is a process that can take a lifetime, a slow journey toward acceptance and peace.

   When my daughter died, I was devastated.  My life shattered and I had to force myself to get out of bed in the morning and engage in my daily routine.  My daughter’s death not only impacted my life, but family life too.  It was very difficult to communicate, especially with my son who was only 16 years old.

   I have always believed in the healing power of the written word, so I sought solace in literature and books about spirituality.  I believe what has helped taken one step at a time.

    Time, hard work, and the awareness and acceptance of my pain have helped me reconnect with life again.  So be aware that this will be a long and difficult journey.  Just when things begin to look better, the calendar slaps you with another reminder of your loss.

   How can you cope with your grief? Don’t set any timetable for yourself.  The physical and Psychological impact of a loss will affect each person differently.  Like any other psychological process, it will follow its own course and will depend on the beliefs, values and inner resources of each person at the time of the loss.  Don’t shut out your pain.  The feeling you will bury will not go away.  They can hide below the surface for years, but sooner or later, they will erupt without warning in ways that can affect your physical and mental health.

    Allow yourself the time and space you need to grieve.  Learn to say “no” to people who invade your privacy. Ask them to respect your need for solitude. Let them know when you are ready to establish contact with them again.

    Praise yourself for each small step you take.   Remember it can be two steps forward, three steps backward.   It doesn’t matter.    What matters is that you are determined to walk through that dark and frightening tunnel, knowing there is a light at the end.

    Use any resources that can help you cope with grief: therapy, support groups, friend and family who are willing to listen to your story, prayers, literature and journaling.

    You must understand your loss will never go away.  You learn to live with it. You incorporate your loss into your life.   There will always be a hole in your heart, a void that cannot be filled, because it belongs to your loved one.  But slowly as you walk the path of grief, you will start to reconnect with life again.

    You will fill your heart and soul with new experiences, with a new life.  One day you will look at yourself and realize you have walked a long way.  You have walked the dark tunnel of grief and found the light at the end.

This article was written By Gisela Lujan.

 Peace Love and Hugs

Diana

Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal

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If you are grieving a loss, there are certain rights Dr. Alan Wolfelt has documented.

 Though you should reach out to others as you do the work of mourning, you should not feel obligated to accept the unhelpful responses you may receive from some people. You are the one who is grieving, and as such, you have certain “rights” no one should try to take away from you.

1. You have the right to experience your own unique grief. No one else will grieve exactly the same way you do. So, when you turn to others for help, don’t allow them to tell what you should or should not be feeling.

 2. You have the right to talk about your grief. Talking about your grief will help you heal. Seek out others who will allow you to talk as much as you want, as often as you want, about your grief.

 3. You have the right to feel a multitude of emotions. Confusion, disorientation, fear, guilt, and relief are just a few of the emotions you might feel as part of your grief journey. Others may try to tell you that feeling angry, for example, is wrong. Don’t take these judgmental responses to heart. Instead, find listeners who will accept your feelings without condition.

4. You have the right to be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits. Your feelings of loss and sadness will probably leave you feeling fatigued. Respect what your body and mind are telling you. Get daily rest. Eat balanced meals. And don’t allow others to push you into things you don’t feel ready to do.

 5. You have the right to experience grief “attacks”. Sometimes, out of nowhere, a powerful surge of grief may overcome you. This can be frightening, but is normal and natural. Find someone who understands and will let you talk it out.

 6. You have the right to make use of ritual. The funeral ritual does more than acknowledge the death of someone loved. It helps provide you with the support of caring people. More important, the funeral is a way for you to mourn. If others tell you that rituals such as these are silly or unnecessary, don’t listen.

 7. You have the right to embrace your spirituality. If faith is a part of your life, express it in ways that seem appropriate to you. Allow yourself to be around people who understand and support your religious beliefs. If you feel angry at God, find someone to talk with who won’t be critical of your feelings of hurt and abandonment.

 8. You have the right to search for meaning. You may find yourself asking, “Why did he or she die? Why this way? Why now?” Some of your questions may have answers, but some may not. And watch out for the clichéd responses some people may give you. Comments like, “It was God’s will” or “Think of what you have to be thankful for” are not helpful and you do not have to accept them.

 9. You have the right to treasure your memories. Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after the death of someone loved. You will always remember. Instead of ignoring your memories, find others with whom you can share them.

 10. You have the right to move toward your grief and heal. Reconciling your grief will not happen quickly. Remember, grief is a process, not an event. Be patient and tolerant with yourself and avoid people who are impatient and intolerant with you. Neither you nor those around you must forget that the death of someone loved changes your life forever.

Center For Loss & Life Transition

http://www.centerforloss.com

DrWolfelt@CenterForLoss.com

office 970-226-6050  mobile 970-217-7069

Thank you Dr Wolfelt and I know our community will benefit from your article helping those supporting bereaved families.

Peace Love and Hugs

Diana

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