Grief Help: Using Writing to Help Us Process Our Sorrow

Using Writing to Help Us Process Our GriefEight months after John died, Neustadter started sending emails to his old Yahoo address, because “communicating with John was truly the only thing I wanted to do at that time,” she said. It gave her a way to keep the conversation alive.

“And it felt symbolic and ritualistic to send an actual letter out somewhere into the unknown,” Neustadter said.

Neustadter also used writing to make sense of John’s suicide—why did he turn to suicide? what signs did she miss? She wrote down everything about John that she could remember.

Writing gave Neustadter “some sense of purpose.” She wanted to write the book she wished she’d had: “a book about a young woman, effectively widowed at 29, struggling to make sense of the loss of her soul mate and why he took his life. There were a lot of parts to this, and I had a lot of questions. None of the books on grief that I found helped me with understanding how to navigate my loss.”

“If I could offer other women (or men) like myself a book that made them feel less alone and helped them navigate through traumatic grief, then maybe, just maybe, it would make my experience of John’s death worthwhile in some way.”

More on this Grief Help….

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: 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.

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…

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.

Chicago Cubs’ Player Driven by Memory of Sister

 He plays with a glove embroidered with her name. Because every catch Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez makes, every hit and home run, is for his sister, Noely, who was 21 when she died in April from complications related to spina bifida. “Her dream was for Javy to make it to the pros,” says their older… [Read more…]