Shaq’s Reaction on Kobe Bryant’s Death Shows How Important Confronting Grief Is

Kobe Bryant’s recent death was a huge shock to the entire world.

The elite basketball star, his daughter, and seven others were killed in a fatal helicopter crash just over one month ago. While their deaths have led to some safety improvements – the Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act mandates that all helicopters come with a pre-installed awareness system to help prevent accidents like this – the rest of the world is still grieving.

Among the affected are world-famous basketball player Shaquille O’Neal. Shaquille, or Shaq, has long been associated with Bryant. They have been friends, rivals, and teammates over the course of their lives, and were considered as close as brothers.

One of the most emotional and authentic responses to Bryant’s death was that of Shaquille…   We are not promised tomorrow – here’s why

She Lost Her Brother in Iraq. To Heal, She Did This

On April 29, 2007, U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Travis Manion died in combat in Anbar province near Fallujah.

“My brother’s death changed me,” said the 40-year-old Doylestown native. With her family, she launched The Travis Manion Foundation, run by her mother, Janet. The nonprofit offers support and leadership programs to veterans and relatives of fallen veterans, providing opportunities to connect, build relationships and work together on service projects.

When her mother died of cancer in April 2012, Manion took over the foundation’s operation. She trained for and ran marathons to raise money to support it while trying to build her own identity as a “tough, capable, resilient woman. For a long time, I had lied to myself about how happy and fulfilled I felt.”

In truth, she had begun having panic attacks, had become too terrified to drive, and wouldn’t venture more than 10 miles from the home she shared with her husband and children.

“I had started smoking again,” she said, “crying in the shower, and regularly feeling seized by anxiety.”

That Christmas, she retreated to her bedroom and began hyperventilating. It was time to admit she was not OK.

Finally, she sought the help of a therapist. The diagnosis — post-traumatic stress disorder — outraged her. To vent, she called Amy Looney Heffernan, who had been married to her brother’s best friend, Brendan Looney, a U.S. Navy SEAL who died in combat in 2010.

“Can you believe that s—?” Manion barked at Heffernan. “I don’t have PTSD!”

“That’s OK,” Heffernan replied. “My therapist told me the same thing.”

Thus began many conversations between Manion and Heffernan about grief, loss and healing. They were joined by Heather Kelly, whose Marine husband, Robert Kelly, was killed in combat in 2010.

Yes, Grief is an Expression of Love

Dear Annie: I lost my wife of 32 years, and two months after, I lost my son. I will never be the same. How can I get through this? — Grieving

Dear Grieving: I am so sorry that you lost your wife. I am so sorry that you lost your son. Each loss is devastating on its own; that you should suffer them both in just two months seems unspeakably cruel. There are no words to lessen the pain, but the following is my attempt to help you endure it. Please take whatever is useful and leave the rest.

Reach out for support. Find therapists in your area who specialize in grief at https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/grief. Look into grief support groups in your community. If you are religious, see if your place of worship hosts a grief support group or can refer you to one. If you don’t like one therapist or support group, try another.

Take “breaks.” The weight of grief is so crushing; it’s important for your mental and physical health to seek out moments of respite, however brief. So if there is something that brings you the slightest bit of joy or lightness (that is not self-destructive), gravitate toward that: It could be something as simple as watching a funny TV show or movie. The goal isn’t to suppress your sadness; it’s to give yourself a tiny bit of rest from the all-consuming work of grief…

More from Ask Annie:

How do I deal with the death of a spouse?

This question was posed to Cathy Novaky, Ph.D., an outpatient clinician for Behavioral Health Services at Altantic Health System’s Newton Medical Center.

Q: My husband died last year, and my family seems to have dealt with it and moved on. But I’m still missing him every day. Is that wrong?

A: First, let me say that I’m sorry for your loss. It’s only one year since you lost your husband. You’re not doing anything wrong. You’re grieving. How we experience grief is as individual as we ourselves are. Personal factors like coping style, life experiences, faith and the depth of the loss all contribute to how grief affects you. Common symptoms of grief include shock, disbelief, sadness, guilt, anger, loneliness and fear. Some people lose motivation or try to isolate themselves. Physical symptoms like fatigue, weight change, aches and pains and insomnia may occur as well. Keep in mind, any of these could be considered a reasonable response to loss.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve, no timetable, no specific steps you need to go through. Most people are familiar with the Kubler-Ross “Five Stages of Grief:” denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. However, you do not have to go through each stage to heal, and some people don’t go through any of them.

The most important message for healing from grief is to recognize what’s happening, be patient with yourself, and reach out for support. Don’t try to escape the pain with self-medication like drinking or diving into work or TV; try to acknowledge that you’re suffering from loss and accept that it’s natural, even though it doesn’t feel comfortable. I usually tell my patients that our pain in loss represents the respect and caring we feel toward the lost one, and it honors them and what they brought to our lives. Missing your husband shows how important he was, and still is, to you.

Take care of yourself. Be patient with the roller coaster of emotions. Treat yourself to healthy food and …

Read the rest of how do I deal with the death of a spouse below:

A Neuroscientist used his Research to Heal from Grief using This

Our brain on gratitude

Neuroscientist Glenn Fox has dedicated his life to studying gratitude — how it improves our resilience, lowers stress, and boosts overall health. He’s an expert on the ability of gratitude to help us through tough times.

But on Thanksgiving in 2013, Fox was feeling anything but grateful. That’s because, just a few days before, he’d lost his mother to ovarian cancer.

Your brain on gratitude: How a neuroscientist used his research to heal from griefThe day after, going down to Starbucks for coffee and some pastries, “it was like the most intense experience ever. And I just thought, how am I even going to get through this? How am I even going to order?”

Fox was just months away from completing his Ph.D. on the neural bases of gratitude. He knew from his research how therapeutic gratitude can be — and how it could help him in his long journey recovering from grief. What he didn’t know was how to make that happen on a practical level.

“I thought, you know, I really need to put this into action,” he said. “I don’t want to be flattened by this forever. I don’t want this to define me.”

Jealous of the Angels – read this beautiful poem

Fox’s personal journey into the power of gratitude began after his mother’s diagnosis with stage 4 ovarian cancer. She was interested in his work, but also interested in how it could help her…

“Gratitude fits into a category of what we would call pro-social emotions, and these are emotions that orient us towards the welfare of others,” Simon-Thomas said. “It creates this kind of bond, this enduring sense of connection, with another person or another organism who we’re poised to cooperate with.”

That cooperation, Simon-Thomas said, has been key to our survival as a species.

Learn more about healing with gratitude:

Jealous of the Angels

I didn’t know today would be our last
Or that I’d have to say goodbye to you so fast
I’m so numb, I can’t feel anymore
Prayin’ you’d just walk back through that door
And tell me that I was only dreamin’
You’re not really gone as long as I believe
There will be another angel
Around the throne tonight
Your love lives on inside of me,
And I will hold on tight
It’s not my place to question,
Only God knows why
I’m just jealous of the angels
Around the throne tonight
You always made my troubles feel so small
And you were always there to catch me when I’d fall
In a world where heroes come and go
Well God just took the only one I know
So I’ll hold you as close as I can
Longing for the day, when I see your face again
But until…

Source: LyricFind

Grieving? How to Heal Yourself

One of life’s most difficult challenges is dealing with grief, the feeling of sadness over the loss of someone or something significant. Although grief is normal, the pain can be overwhelming, and the sorrow so profound that it defies description. You wonder if you can ever heal yourself.

The most common causes of grief are the death of a loved one, divorce or breakup, diagnosis of a grave illness, and loss of a job. You’ll experience a plethora of emotions, such as anger, despondency, guilt, anguish, and despair. The intensity and duration of grief differ in each situation. The death of a child can bring on excruciating pain that may diminish over time but never go away while an aging parent’s demise is expected, making the loss more acceptable…

Take your time and put major life decisions on hold.

The grieving process is fraught with emotions that can interfere with your rational decision-making mind. You might regret impulsive actions, such as moving to another place, getting married again too soon, or suing the boss who sacked you.

Learn about “The Road to Recovery” here

Grieving? A Twist on Social Media and Using It to Your Benefit

Social media taught me how to grieve on Mother’s Day

My mother was killed in a car accident when I was in middle school. For those of us who have lost our mother figures or have strained relationships with them, social media on Mother’s Day is a punch to the gut. Here’s how I now use the internet to […]

Pre-Instagram-era, Mother’s Day was just a day in May in which I would shut my door to the world, indulge in my saddest music and memories, and give myself a break for eating cookie dough directly from the roll. The next day was business as usual. But thanks to Instagram and Facebook, I’m now highly aware of how friends, colleagues—even influencers I’ve never met—are embracing the day.

Never one to be left out, I’ve devised a strategy of sorts over the years…

I was left a 30-year-old widower – here is how I survived

Dealing with Death of a Spouse at a Young Age

THERE WERE ONLY three weeks from cancer diagnosis to death.

When you’re 30, you never think something like this will happen to you. This isn’t how it’s meant to be. We had so many plans – things we wanted to do and places we wanted to see.

The thing is that you’re not just grieving the person you’ve lost, but also the future you thought you were going to have with them.

Honestly, it’s hard not to feel like I’ve been robbed. That Kathy was robbed. That our families were robbed.

There is no greater plan here. Giving a 29-year-old woman an aggressive form of cancer that she never had a chance to beat, never even had a chance to fight against, is just so cruel.

Initial bereavement

When I returned to our apartment for the first time, there was a weird sense of comfort, but it also felt utterly surreal. Everything as it was, but at the same time, never will be again.

I also wasn’t sure how I was ‘meant’ to feel. Although society seems to have this narrative around grieving and what to expect, I quickly learned there is no right or wrong way. Everyone handles grief differently…

Read the “Road to Recovery” by Rich Nilsen

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