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: 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.

8 Ways to support a woman after she’s had a miscarriage

Acknowledge they are parents

Even if the miscarried child was their only pregnancy, that couple is still a mother and a father. Schwob says it’s important to “Validate the child as a precious life and acknowledge the mothers and fathers.”

Many mothers who miscarry feel like a failure. They feel guilt, thinking they could have avoided it somehow if only they’d been more aware of what was happening or taken care of their bodies in a different way. Schwob says, “Pregnant women immediately start planning and their nature is to protect that child. It’s a common thought that they have failed to do their job.” The feeling of guilt is common but it doesn’t make it true. Fathers have a hard time, too, because they cannot “fix” the problem. Help families grapple with guilt and understand that they aren’t failures.

Simply because the baby had a shorter life doesn’t mean mom and dad didn’t love their little one with all their heart. The grief process isn’t shorter and there should be no expectations for the couple to get over it, move on, and forget about the miscarriage. We can help by encouraging them to …

Don’t hide your grief from children. Grief can help bring you closer

…but like a great number of mothers (and fathers) after a bereavement, it wasn’t long before I attempted to pull myself together and go back to normal. And although at the heart of this was a desire to protect my daughter from my grief, I ended up distancing myself, creating a strained, unhealthy atmosphere. My understandable worry over the effect on her of what she’d seen made me cautious and reticent. It was as though we were communicating through glass, and the result was that I was no longer present as a mother in the way she needed me to be.

It’s impossible to be the parent you were after someone you love dies, because you aren’t the same person. But how do we explain this to our children? Death is one thing. But revealing your vulnerability too? This can feel irresponsible and unfair…

Dealing with Grief during Christmas & the holidays

Following the loss of someone close leaves a certain trepidation of days to come … birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, will never be the same. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s can be some of the most difficult and challenging times.

Holidays are meant to spend time with those we love the most — sharing love, food, creating memories and laughter. So, how are we “celebrate” when those that we love the most will not be with us? It isn’t easy and for many people, it is the most difficult part of grieving and the time when we miss our loved ones even more.

How do we celebrate being together when there is an empty place at the table? Our sadness seems sadder, our loneliness is unfathomable and you just don’t feel like celebrating. How do we handle it? We face it head on. It is not really the grief we are trying to avoid, it is the pain that comes from it. Remember, grief is our internal feelings and mourning is our external expressions…

Grieving and Christmas & the Holidays

The holidays can be a rough time of the year for many of us. Two years ago this month I lost my brother suddenly 7 days after my father in law was diagnosed with brain cancer and we were told that he only had weeks to live. And as if that was not enough, we had to have our 12-year-old black lab put down in the middle of all of that. My brother’s funeral and my father in law’s funeral were literally 7 days apart! As bad as that all sounds, I have to say that year was one of the best Christmas’ we have ever had.

Even though my sister’s and I all suffered the same loss of a brother, they knew that for me, losing my father in law and a long time family pet on top of it was more than I could handle. My younger sister decided to have all of us to her home that year including my mother in law, my brother in law and his family and my sister in law’s parents. We had nontraditional food and my sister and I gave everyone small yet meaningful gifts to everyone. It was nothing but love for Christmas that year. And that’s what it should be every year.

If you are suffering a loss this year or like me your loss happened close to Christmas and the holiday’s, I highly recommend you be proactive about how you get through the holidays:

1. Acknowledge the loss and your grief. My father in law died 2 years ago today.

2. Ask for and accept help. Two years ago, I had a couple of dear friends go to my house and set up and decorate my Christmas tree and our church family fed us for 21 days straight.

3. Don’t feel  …

NFL Star Opens Up About His Sister’s Suicide

Solomon Thomas family

copyright Solomon Thomas family

“People ask me what my life is like now that she’s gone. On the one hand, I’m thankful for each day I get to still be alive. I’m beyond blessed. I have two beautiful parents; I went to my dream college; and now I get to play football for a living. I know how lucky I am. But I’m also struggling every day. Sometimes life just sucks and I go to a dark place. She was my best friend and my only sister, and I won’t ever get to talk with her again. I just want her back, and there’s nothing I can do about it. The days are hard. The nights are … ”

49ers defensive end Solomon Thomas opens up about his loss concerning his sister’s suicide

Bride’s Photoshoot Goes Viral

Nearly one year after the tragic death of her fiance, this grieving woman decided there was something she needed to do, no matter how difficult it would be.

The results of her bridal photo shoot quickly went viral, and now people all over the world are finding inspiration in her show of absolute strength.  Read the full story here.

Helpful Tips for Coping with Grief

 

children grief helpThere are many different types of grief. We grieve the loss of a loved one, but to an extent we grieve any loss. We may feel a sense of grief when our children leave home, or a friend moves away, when someone we love is terminally ill or dealing with an illness or condition which will leave them permanently changed. Losing the person we knew, and the future we expected, leads to a sense of loss. When a woman loses a baby, the whole family grieves for the loss of the baby, but also the loss of the life they were preparing for and dreaming of. Equally, when a woman learns she cannot have children, she might feel a sense of grief for a life she never had. You can even grieve the loss of a job. Here are some tips to help you live with your grief, and not let it consume you.

Get Help

Speak to your friends and family members about how you are feeling. Don’t feel you need to suffer alone. There are people that want to be there for you; you just need to let them. Consider speaking to a counselor or therapist. Counselors are great at building trusting relationships with their clients, which can then be used to find the best possible way to help you through your grief.

Let Yourself Be Sad

It’s ok to be sad. Whatever loss you are grieving, it’s ok. Let yourself be upset. It may take time before you feel normal again, and you might be forever changed. It’s important to accept this, and allow yourself the time you need. You may have months or perhaps years of feeling ok, and then a small reminder will upset you. That’s ok too.

Laugh

Many people, when they are experiencing grief, feel guilty if they laugh or have fun. Don’t. It’s good to laugh. It doesn’t mean you have forgotten. Let yourself find peace in happy times. It doesn’t mean you don’t care.

Love

Take solace in those you love. Let your grief be a reminder of how important love is. Allow them to help you, and just enjoy them. Take positives from an awful thing; you may find it brings you closer together.

Be Honest

It’s incredibly important, to not only be honest with others, but to be honest with yourself. Recognize your feelings, and be honest with yourself. Don’t try and feel how you think you should. There is no reason to hide way, or be ashamed of your feelings. The fact that you can feel is what makes you human, and why you will recover.

Focus on Positive Memories

Whatever you have lost, remember the good times. Try not to focus on questions like “why?” or “what if?” Instead remind yourself of the positive times. Take peace from them and let yourself smile.

Often, when people have recovered from grief, and have had a positive experience with counseling, they have a desire to give something back. Use your experience to create something positive and peruse an online degree in counseling. You may find studying an online counseling degree leads to a rewarding career helping others move on from their own grief.

Why the Best Grief Counselors Are the Ones Who Have Suffered Loss

Grief comes in many forms and, unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all remedy to take away some of the suffering of loss. Sometimes that loss comes in the form of the death of a loved one and other times it is the result of the breakup of a relationship; and other times still it is the loss of a job or a pet or a friend who’s moved away. Anytime there is loss, there is potential for grief and if you have ever loved and lost, you know what grief can do to you. Those who have suffered loss understand the stages of grief and the pain they experienced, and why it is often said they make the very best grief counselors.

The Difference between Sympathy and Empathy

Let’s take a look, for a moment, at a grief counselor who is sympathetic towards a client’s pain and suffering. Although that sympathy is heartfelt, it isn’t the same thing as empathy. How many times have you wanted to smack someone (figuratively of course) because they said, “I know how you feel.” No, they don’t know how you feel. They’ve never been there, never done that and certainly have never felt what you are feeling now. (No, you can’t know this but you ‘feel it’ in their response. There’s something not quite authentic in their tone or expression.)

Popular Careers in Psychiatric Social Work Prepare You for Grief Counseling

One of the most popular and highly needed careers as a social worker with an MSW online is in the field of grief counseling because that is something that not everyone is cut out for. Some people can work with those suffering profound loss and others are simply unable to deal with such a high level of pain in another person. According to information released by Rutgers Online in their online MSW program, psychiatric social work is a highly favored branch of social work in which a grief counselor would be employed.

With the right training you can be taught to think with empathy and not sympathy because that is what a grieving widow will hear in your voice. That is what an unemployed family man with three little kids will feel coming from you. Without that touch of sincerity, ‘understanding’ what they feel may do more harm than good.

Many Approaches to Help Those Stricken by Grief

Whether you choose a career in social work to counsel those who are suffering grief from a psychological or emotional perspective, or are in a profession that enables you to offer them the kind of financial help they need to get through a very trying time, this is something you can do and be good at if you, yourself, have suffered loss. Yes, you can learn social work without having shared common experiences with your clients, and sometimes it helps you stay detached if you haven’t.

However, when it comes to grief counseling, those who have suffered loss are less likely to give textbook platitudes. They are more likely to speak from the heart and that is what someone grieving really, really needs.