Tag Archives: Grief

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Grief Educational Program or Bereavement Group?

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As an Advanced Grief Recovery Method Specialist® many people have asked me what the difference is between The Grief Recovery Method® educational program and bereavement groups. Since I have participated in both, I wanted to share my perspective.


After the suicides of two friends, no one seemed to want to talk to me about what happened. Because I REALLY needed to talk about these suicides in order to try and make sense of it all, I finally joined a suicide bereavement group. This group was sponsored by a local Mental Health clinic and facilitated by a licensed clinical social worker. It was a safe place for me to talk to other individuals who had also been through the suicide of someone close to them. I was able to share and express the feelings that I had bottled up inside of me. It was probably the best thing I could have done at the time. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders after every meeting finished.  Little by little I started to feel better.

Bereavement groups are also offered by churches or synagogues, as well as by funeral homes, hospitals or hospices. They are mostly focused on death, rather than divorce or other losses. They are open to anyone and are sometimes offered on a “drop-in” basis – individuals are welcome to come and go as needed. These groups help individuals to feel less isolated from society while they are grieving. They provide a safe, supportive, non-judgmental atmosphere where grievers can talk to each other about what they’re experiencing. After all, one of the most important aspects for a griever is the need to be heard and not feel alone.  Bereavement groups do just that.


There are other groups that offer a different approach – a structured program aimed at recovery.  One of those is The Grief Recovery Method® educational program which uses a long-established format based on the principles and actions of The Grief Recovery Handbook. Their format offers a structured action plan to help grieving people discover and complete what was left emotionally unfinished as a result of any loss – not just the death of a loved one. It differs from traditional bereavement support groups in several ways. One difference is it is focused exclusively on recovery from grief, rather than primarily being a place for sharing feelings. Another is that the program is presented over a period of weeks and is facilitated by Certified Grief Recovery Specialists®. As part of my grief journey, I found the outreach program to help me recover from the unresolved grief that came as a result of my friends’ suicides, as well as the other loss events in my life – like divorce, moving, miscarriage, etc. It became an opportunity for me to complete these unresolved feelings so that  could move on in my life.

Bottom line is that a bereavement group had wonderful value for me. It helped me as a  griever feel less isolated and have a safe place to express my grief. The Grief Recovery Method® educational program helped me move from my grief to recovery. I found both to be valuable as I moved through my own personal grief journey.

Below is a short video describing The Grief Recovery Method® educational program in more detail.


Sending you love, comfort and peace!


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Mediums, Psychics and Psychic Mediums

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After my best friend’s death, I gravitated to learning more about mediums in an effort to better understand if she was okay. I had grown up Catholic and had been taught suicide was a mortal sin. If so, what did that mean for her? Was she “trapped” somewhere for the rest of eternity? Was she “locked out” of Heaven? I know it sounds silly but no one I knew had ever died by suicide. I hoped a Medium would help me to know if she was okay. Heck maybe even I would be able to get me a message directly from her.

Despite my eagerness, I proceeded with caution especially since I live in Los Angeles where people professing to be Mediums are on every street corner. First, I did my research on who was reputable and made a list. However, I chickened out and never made an appointment. I guess my fears (or maybe it was the cost) got the best of me. If you decide to go down the path of finding a Medium, make sure you thoroughly check them out first. Ask for referrals. The last thing you need when you are grieving is someone who takes advantage of your grief or ends up making you feel worse.

So now that I have brought up the “M” word, you may also be wondering about Psychics. Is there a difference between a Medium and a Psychic? And what is a Psychic Medium? It’s important you understand the distinctions. The differences between a Medium and a Psychic are:


Mediums communicate with the deceased or spirit world. They receive messages directly from spirit. They use their clair senses (see below) to interpret the information they receive.


Psychics see the past, present and future. It is said they “perceive” whereas a medium “receives.” Psychics often work with tarot cards, crystal balls, palmistry, astrological charts, tea leaves and runes.

And what is a psychic medium?


Psychic Mediums use both psychic and medium abilities. They receive information from the spirit world then interpret the information using their psychic abilities.

Bottom line, if you want to know what is going on in your past, present or future, see a Psychic. If you want to communicate with someone who has died, a Medium or Psychic Medium would be your choice. I have never had a personal reading from a Psychic or Psychic Medium, although I have been to a Medium. The reading I received from the Medium brought me a great sense of peace.

My advice to you is if you decide to get a reading from either a Medium or Psychic Medium, don’t have high expectations about getting a message. There is a very good chance that your loved one may not come through. This could lead to disappointment and more sadness.

Just be open to whatever happens!


Here is a list of well-known Mediums and Psychic Mediums  you may want to check out:

George Anderson                                    www.georgeanderson.com

Sylvia Browne                                          www.sylviabrowne.com

Theresa Caputo                                       www.theresacaputo.com

Chip Coffey                                              www.chipcoffey.com

John Edward                                           www.johnedward.net

Tyler Henry                                             www.tylerhenryhollywoodmedium.com

John Holland                                          www.johnholland.com

Colby Psychic Rebel                              www.psychicrebel.com

Monica Ten-Kate                                   www.monicathemedium.com

James Van Praagh                                 www.vanpraagh.com

Lisa Williams                                          www.lisawilliams.com

Thomas John                                         www.mediumthomas.com


Sending you love, comfort and peace!

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Pet Loss

Why Pet Loss Is So Hard

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Words can’t describe how it feels to lose a pet. For many, a furry friend is a beloved member of their family. For others, their pet is the only family they have. These are a few reasons why pet loss can be so hard.

Often when a pet passes away, people resort to incorrect mechanisms to deal with the grief. Sometimes they even attempt to replace the pet immediately. Unfortunately, there is little effective guidance for grieving pet owners. As a result, many pet grievers either isolate themselves or pretend like “everything is fine” for fear of being judged or criticized – especially by non-pet owners.


Another problem is that friends and family don’t know what to say to someone who lost their pet. Oftentimes they resort to statements that are not helpful at all to the griever like:

“It was only a dog (cat, fish, lizard, etc).”

“Don’t feel bad you can always get another dog (cat, fish, lizard, etc).”

“Just give it time and you won’t remember your dog (cat, fish, lizard, etc) anymore.”

In fact these statements are not useful at all. They are almost cruel. They actually break a grieving pet owner’s heart into a million more pieces. This is why many grieving pet owners often choose not to share their pain with anyone. Non-pet owners just wouldn’t understand the special bond they shared with their pet. They wouldn’t understand the feeling of unconditional love they received on a daily basis. It’s just too hard to explain so pet grievers find it easier to just bottle it up inside.


Here are some things we need to keep in mind when losing a pet:

– In any household in which a pet has died, it is important to remember that each family member will have a different reaction to the loss. Each relationship to the pet was unique, so each person’s grief will be unique to them. This needs to be respected and honored. Never compare your reaction to that of another family member.

– Talk openly and honestly about the loss. Trying to hide your feelings will only make it confusing – especially if you have children.

– Don’t turn to short-term energy relieving behaviors (STERBs) – anger, alcohol, drugs, shopping, etc.- to deal with the loss. These only make you feel better for a little while and don’t help you to “complete” the relationship you had with your pet – i.e. face your grief.

– Remember that although your pet is no longer here physically, we continue to have an emotional and spiritual relationship with them.  These aspects of the relationship need to be “complete” so memories of your pet don’t turn painful.

– Being in pain over the death of your pet is not an expression of love. Completing what was left unfinished (especially if your pet died tragically – hit by a car, etc.), will get you out of the pain. You will still have sad and happy memories, but those memories will no longer turn painful.

– Never use the word “guilt” or say that you “feel guilty.” Guilt implies intent to harm, and most pet owners would never do anything maliciously to harm their pet. A better descriptor would be “unresolved grief” – things you wish you had or hadn’t done with your pet. Unresolved grief is very different from guilt.

– Think of those things you wish you could apologize for (“I am sorry I yelled at you when I got home from a bad day at work”), forgive (“I forgive you for ripping up my favorite pair of shoes”) or wished you had said to your pet (“I loved how you used to greet me when I came home. It was the best feeling in the world”).

If you are having a difficult time, you are not alone. The Grief Recovery Method®, through their Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss, offers a structured action plan to help grieving pet owners discover and complete what was left emotionally unfinished and ultimately, have fond memories of your beloved pet not turn painful.


The WEBINAR from The Grief Reiki® Academy will:

– Discover how society treats grieving pet owners.

– Better understand why it is so hard to lose a pet.

– Learn what to say and do (and what not to say and do) for a grieving pet owner.

Bottom line, grieve for your furry friend. Be sad.

Remember the time you spent with them. Hold them in your heart forever.


Sending you love, comfort and peace!


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