Ways to Live with grief in this season of love

It seems that in February, everyone is talking about love – it’s a sentimental season with thoughts of romance and togetherness, with Valentine’s Day at the heart of it all.

But if you’re grieving after the loss of a partner, this retail and media messaging around the season of love can amplify your sense of loss and loneliness. Add to that the dark and dreary winter days and even greater sadness can follow.

The good news is that February’s arrival also brings a little more daylight, and the promise of spring just around the corner, says Julie Evans, from Sands Funeral Chapel in Colwood.

“Spring brings us new beginnings with a sense of renewal and hope,” Evans says.

Having helped many families through holidays and special occasions following a loss, Evans shares a few ideas to make the season a little easier:“I think it’s important to plan how you’re going to get through the day,” she says.

  • Make arrangements with friends to get out of the house – Plan a lunch out or a potluck dinner, take in a movie, or meet for a walk at a favourite park.
  • Get active and …

How can HR help workers grapple with the death of a colleague?

When SurveyMonkey’s then-CEO Dave Goldberg died suddenly in May 2015, the company he left behind faced tremendous grief, Chief People Officer Becky Cantieri recalled. “As an organization of more than 650 people at the time, we suffered a pretty significant loss,” she told HR Dive in an interview. “It was an experience that not very many other companies had gone through or could lend any advice on.”

Collectively, SurveyMonkey walked a difficult but emotionally honest path as it healed from its trauma. Company leaders agreed quickly that they would share their grief with employees, treating the situation with the utmost transparency, Cantieri, who had been recruited to SurveyMonkey by Goldberg, said. “We addressed employees first thing Monday morning after his Friday passing.” she said. “We acknowledged in front of all employees that this was a tremendous loss; that, as a leadership team, we were pretty devastated by the loss, and that we were going to take the time to grieve and take care of each other for a period of time.”

In today’s job market the competition for talent is fierce and turnover is costly. Dive into the latest findings in the Pulse of Talent report to understand what drives employees to consider jumping ship, and what it takes to keep talent engaged.

How Play therapy can help children heal

Play therapy is an evidence-based practice designed to helps a child build a greater sense of self. Erin Hassall gets to play on the job. A lot. Hassall, the services manager for the Family Support Center in Spencerport Central School District, is a licensed marriage and family therapist and […]

When Hassall started at the Center 10 years ago, she was one of two counselors who provided short- and long-term counseling and relied primarily on talk therapy. That method works for junior high and high school students who are older, but elementary children are different. Hassall recalls an early encounter that permanently changed how she interacted with younger children.

“I was trying to do talk therapy with a kindergartner, but he just wanted to play,” she says. “It was my first year working with elementary students and I felt ill-equipped.”

It’s been recognized that elementary students lack the vocabulary and maturity to verbally articulate what’s bothering them. At these ages, children use play to express any difficulties they are facing.

Hassall saw only one solution: Become a registered play therapist. Getting the title required hours of dedication. She had to attend numerous college classes, participate in multiple workshops and hire a supervisor to oversee her play therapy hours.

Grieving? Don’t overlook potential side effects of your Grief

Stress and grief

Grieving takes a toll on the body in the form of stress. “That affects the whole body and all organ systems, and especially the immune system,” Dr. Malin says. Evidence suggests that immune cell function falls and inflammatory responses rise in people who are grieving. That may be why people often get sick more often and use more health care resources during this period.

But why is stress so hard on us? It’s because the body unleashes a flood of stress hormones that can make many existing conditions worse, such as heart failure or diabetes, or lead to new conditions, such as high blood pressure or heartburn. Stress can also cause insomnia and changes in appetite.

Extreme stress, the kind experienced after the loss of a loved one, is associated with changes in heart muscle cells or coronary blood vessels (or both) that prevent the left ventricle from contracting effectively. It’s a condition called stress-induced cardiomyopathy, or broken-heart syndrome. The symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack: chest pain and …

Grief Help: Authors Start Book Series On Infertility

Despite all the medical approaches to infertility, two Chandler women think those who struggle with the problem might want to consider divine intervention.

That’s why Evangeline Colbert and Angela Williams wrote “Borrowed Hope: Sarah’s Story of Triumph Over Infertility” – the first in a series of books aimed at bringing comfort to women who have struggled with infertility and miscarriages by examining the struggles with infertility that are recounted in the Bible.

Colbert, a certified professional life coach, already wrote an earlier book on the subject, titled “A Seed of Hope: God’s Promises of Fertility,” and began working with Williams, a counselor and mediator, two years ago on the joint creation.

Now they’re working on publicizing that first joint effort, starting with a book-signing party at 2 p.m. Jan. 26 at Sunrise Faith Community Center, at 800 W. Galveston St., Chandler.

Both women think their own lives back up their encouragement and words of hope to women who struggle with infertility and miscarriages…

Source: Santan Sun News Staff

Grief Help: Hospital suites deal with parents’ grief

“Losing a baby at any stage of pregnancy is a very traumatic experience, so to be able to offer families the use of the suites is so important.”

New bereavement suites in Lincolnshire’s [Massachusetts] hospitals are helping to provide families with comfort and support following the death of a baby.

The new suites, already open at Lincoln County Hospital and soon to be opened at Pilgrim hospital, Boston, are there to make memories and give families a chance to grieve in a quiet, comfortable space away from the hospital.

To help with further development of the suites, the maternity team at Lincolnshire’s hospitals are asking for donations of items such as towels, clocks, pictures and un-opened toiletries.

The hospital trust’s Bereavement Midwife, Nicky Kirk said: “I am very proud to be able to offer families a dedicated bereavement suite.

“Losing a baby at any stage of pregnancy is a very traumatic experience, so to be able to offer families the use of the suites is so important.

“We have already received some amazing donations from staff and patients, for which we are very grateful.

“I really hope they can provide some comfort to anyone that may need them at a very distressing and emotional time.”

Grief Help: Oak Hills mother writes book on grief after son’s death

Shortly after Rhonda Crockett Logue’s son Jeremy died, Logue found herself at an unfamiliar bookstore, seemingly by chance.

As she perused the bookshelves, Logue found herself drawn to a particular book from a mother whose son had committed suicide. The book delved into the grieving process and how to cope with the passing of a loved one.

Suddenly, Logue knew what her next step would be — and who was responsible for it.

“Jeremy led me there,” Logue said. “He really wanted to share his story.”

Logue has since thrown herself into what she calls “channeling” her son’s “heavenly perspective” for the book, which was published last November. Titled “Jeremy Shares His Love From Above,” the book serves as a guide for anyone grieving the loss of a loved one.

“Jeremy is on a mission to assist people to not only get through grief, but to live their best life on earth,” Logue said. “Free from sorrow and from grief, because that is not living.”

Grief Help: Couple opens grieving room in honor of stillborn daughter Jane

WINNETKA, Ill. — Bob and Berkley Wellstein were thrilled to be expecting their first child. The baby’s room was ready. They had the crib and the clothes.

And then, one day in the 32nd week of an easy pregnancy, Berkley noticed that her baby hadn’t been moving. She tried lying on her side. She had some sugar. Then she went to the hospital for an innocent-sounding “reassurance check,” only to learn that medical staff could not detect a heartbeat. The Wellsteins’ daughter, Jane, had died in utero in a rare accident in which the umbilical cord becomes wrapped tightly around the baby’s neck.

“It was just complete destruction. It was devastation,” Bob Wellstein said of the loss seven years ago.

But even as the Wellsteins left the hospital with Jane’s footprints and a snip of her bright blond hair, the Winnetka couple knew that their little girl’s story wasn’t over. They wanted to do something to honor her and to help other parents who experience similar losses, including miscarriages and newborn deaths. Within a year of Jane’s death in January 2012, they’d opened the first Jane’s Room — a comfortable, homelike space for grieving parents and family members — at Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago. On Thursday, Jan. 17, the newest Chicago-area Jane’s Room was unveiled at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights.

Grief Help: 6 Strategies To Help You Overcome Grief After A Bitter Divorce

Divorce drags a lot of agony in its wake. And grief is an inescapable part of it. But the work to overcome grief after a bitter divorce can create another level of agony altogether.

Emotions like anger, guilt, shame, embarrassment, disappointment, and fear are among the normal line-up after a divorce.

Bitterness, however, is ugly. It oozes out of anger, resentment, and indignation over the perception of being treated unfairly. It goes beyond anger to nastiness and malevolence toward the other person. It can even carry undertones of hatred.

Think about someone you have known who was so full of negative energy that s/he couldn’t focus on anything good. Perhaps that person had such deep, uncontrollable anger that s/he said and did “crazy” things.

Perhaps you even tried to reason with or help the person, but came to realize that there was no getting past the bitterness.

A person that “pissed off” can’t move on, and remains a prisoner to the past.

If you’re trying to overcome grief after a bitter divorce, you will have to do a lot of work to defuse the rancor.

You won’t be able to control what your ex says or does. But you can decide for yourself that your survival depends on moving through the stages of grief. The alternative, staying stuck in any stage can lead to emotions and behaviors with lifetime consequences – and neither of us wants that for you…

Grief Help: When a baby dies, Faith and Medicine aim for Compassion

Grieving a miscarriage or stillbirth can be heart-wrenching. As awareness of that difficulty grows, medical professionals and clergy strive to offer meaningful ways to help parents mourn.

Frequently periods of mourning after a stillbirth or miscarriage are quiet, and perhaps too quick. Now, new medical devices allow parents of stillborn babies to spend more time with a stillborn baby’s earthly remains, possibly giving new ways to aid grieving families.

“To God, no life is lost, no life is insignificant,” Fr. Christopher Zelonis, a priest of the Diocese of Allentown in Virginia, told CNA. “Parents who have suffered miscarriages are parents and have every right and, we would say, need, to regard themselves as such.”

“The community around them, in doing the same, would create greater reverence and respect for the life that those parents have carried. Certainly, no parent wants to bury a child or wants to grieve that loss,” said Zelonis.

The priest spoke about the significance of stillbirths and miscarriages in the life of parents, community, and the Church. He has been a priest for 15 years and a part-time hospital chaplain for the last four years, in addition to his current duties as a parish pastor.

Newly developed cooling cots, also called cold cots, aim to help parents of stillborns. The New York Times profiled an eight-pound device called the CuddleCot, a describing it as a “kind of refrigerated baby bed that helps preserve the body of a deceased newborn for days.”

“The device gives parents a chance to bond with their babies — to love and hold them, take pictures, even take them home and take them for walks, creating memories to last a lifetime,” the New York Times personal health columnist Jane E. Brody wrote Jan. 14.