This morning I was collecting quotes for our SOSL newsletter.
~ Transcending Loss by Ashley Davis Bush
This morning I was collecting quotes for our SOSL newsletter.
…look up Ted E. Bear Hollow. It seems to be a vibrant community offering bereavement services for families, teens, and children. When you’re not in the area their website has plenty of helpful resources.
27 Advantages of Mental Health Home Visits http://goo.gl/MqaRm
I was honored to help facilitate a discussion on handling the holidays last night at meeting of the Bereavement Parents of the USA, North San Diego County Chapter. While there I mentioned the Survivors of Suicide Loss, San Diego, (SOSL) had posted the Winter newsletter on their site this week with practical information on getting through this difficult time of year.
Unfortunately I did not have copies of the newsletter with me but here is the link to the site: SOSL home page. From there click on the ”Newsletter” tab and you will be taken to a link where you can read a pdf copy of it.
I hope to write out some of the suggestions discussed, such as pausing to take a deep breath or two when feeling pressured. Meanwhile, feel free to add your concerns or what has helped you balance your grief with the various demands of these days.
A friend emailed yesterday concerned about her granddaughter whose other grand mother died recently form cancer. She asked for online support for her grand teen. I googled about yesterday and sent her these:
Results from Ask Metafilter (have to weed through a bit but good leads):
Not exactly what you’re looking for but a great endeavor: A project called Developing an Online Community for Grieving Adolescents. Even has a mock website:
This center in Seattle has an online chat room and other online support:
A good article reviewing several online support groups including teens:
Good article on Teen grief:
An active forum, includes a section for teens:
Another forum with a teen section:
Later in correspondence discovered teen lives in Seattle, Washington so added these:
An excellent, large center in Portland:
A large hospice in Seattle that provides bereavement support for teens and children, including a camp:
Link to the camp:
Parentmap site with links to Seattle area grief support:
Another article on Teens & Grief – for parents:
Please comment and add any others you have found helpful. Thanks.
This new site has just come to my attention. It is actually a pair of sites. The blog is mostly of father’s stories submitted to the main site. You can also read the stories on the main site.
The tag line: “A Place To Share Your Story And Help Other Bereaved Dad’s.”
From GrievingDads.com Project blog:
This project is designed to reach out to all bereaved dads and to provide a conduit to share their stories. One of my goals is to bring awareness to the impacts that child loss has on fathers and to let society know that it’s okay for a father to grieve the loss of a child. A father shouldn’t have to hide his pain or feel ashamed to show his emotions.
Blog: GrievingDads.com Project
Main site: GrievingDads.com
From the Flyer:
Losing a child is unlike any other loss a parent will ever experience. Bereaved parents often feel over-whelmed and alone. I want you to know that you are not alone. This support group brings together bereaved parents to help each other cope with the devastating feelings that we bereaved parents experience.
Hello, my name is Karin Trujillo and I lost my daughter six years ago. With the help and support of other bereaved parents I learned I was not alone, and that many of the feelings I was experiencing were very normal. I am starting this group because the group I used to attend no longer exists, and I want to make sure that other bereaved parents have a support system they can count on.
If you need support and would like to meet other parents dealing with the loss of a child, then please join our group.
I get asked form time to time for suggestions. My usual answer goes something like this reply to a recent email from a colleague for a friend in England who is facing several losses,
Yikes. Yes, anything by Therese A. Rando. Her book on Anticipatory Grief is excellent. Here’s link to her on Amazon: http://goo.gl/tocq
For the primary grievers I usually suggest browsing through a bookstore or library to see what speaks to you. We are each in such unique – for us and others at these times that it’s hard to second guess.
It would be helpful to have a collection of books that folk have found helpful. Please leave a comment on what you have found helpful. A paragraph or two about it or them would be a bonus. I can also link them up to reviews on Amazon.
This entry grows out of a recent session where a father and mother asked about issues that they found extremely troublesome. The following is an outline of our discussion.
I suggested they think of boxes representing things that stress us stacked up on each other. Imagine we can handle 12 of these boxes before we crumble, or flip out. Imagine a horizontal bar that crosses at the 12th box that marks this level of tolerance.
There are two strategies for for dealing with this mounting stress: Find ways to raise the bar so more boxes can be stacked, or find ways to remove some of the boxes.
1. Work to raise bar on how much stress we can endure. Establish a daily practice of one or more of the following: Contemplative prayer, meditation, yoga, tai-chi or any other discipline that allows slow purposeful movement or non-action. Find a place and time where you’ll be undisturbed. Consider making this a shrine to your god or to your loved one.
2.Remove some of the boxes. Look at current behaviors, tasks, commitments that add stress. Examples might include: Not sleeping well or enough, eating unhealthy foods, staying needlessly busy, being over committed, being argumentative, or any things that leads to friction with family or close friends. Decide which you can remove or manage differently. This is also a bit like avoiding known triggers.
“The Why Room”: Be aware of when you are heading there. Decide if you want to be there. Consider setting an appointment for visiting that room at a later date. Keep visits short. Have an exit strategy before going in. Note where the exit is and how to get out.
Reactivity to incidents (waves, triggers):
1. Know that they can be reduced by regular practice of quiet prayer, meditation, etc.
2. Work with specific incidents by practicing a breathing technique. Below you will find one I taught to children, the 5-5-5 technique:
While breathing techniques such as the one above may not always be needed, if practiced regularly they will be available when the next incident occurs.
a. List occasions of guilt
b. Review each with him: if legit, ask his forgiveness.
c. In any case listen to his response. Take dictation if journaling.
Know that often we hold on to pain or guilt fearing that it is our last, strongest connection to our loved one. The exercise of journaling or speaking with him or her will supplant this need.
When journaling or speaking/thinking to him, allow him to respond. Write out responses.
Feel free to ask questions about or discuss any of this.