Tag Archives: normal responses to grief

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power of love radio show

Power of Love Radio Show (9/7/16)

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For a second time, I was very honored and privileged to have been invited by the Dee Dee Jackson Foundation (DDJF) to appear on their Power of Love Radio Show to talk about grief and loss. The Power of Love Radio Show, broadcast on LA Talk Radio, shines a light on loss and grief and how it impacts our lives. It provides hope, resources and a community so no one feels alone in their grief.

Listen to the 9/7/16 broadcast archive here.

The Grief Recovery Method

The Grief Recovery Method® is an action program to move beyond death, divorce and other losses.  It was founded almost 30 years ago by John James and Russell Friedman. Grief Reiki, LLC leverages material developed by The Grief Institute®, which provides training coast-to-coast, border-to-border in the United States and Canada with affiliates in Australia, Mexico, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Some the things we spoke on the show about included what you can say to someone who is grieving:

“I can’t imagine how heartbreaking this must be for you.” – Grief is about a broken heart. How do you even begin to understand how that feels for your friend? This statement indicates that you respect how sad and difficult their grief must be for them.

“I really don’t know what to say.” – Words can’t even describe the feelings associated with grief. Saying you “don’t know what to say” is one of the most honest answers you can give. This way your friend knows you are not trying to judge, analyze or fix them.

“I am so sorry for your loss.” – Sorry in this sense means to be sad or mournful. It reminds your friend that you are also sad for their loss. It’s another way of answering them honestly. 

“Can I give you a hug?” – Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist, said “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” Hugs reduce the amount of stress in our bodies. Grieving is one of the most stressful events in our lives. Offering a hug (or two) to your friend will be good for their emotional, physical and spiritual health.

“What happened?” – Grievers need and want tell their story. They want you to hear and understand to what they have to say about their loved one. Don’t avoid talking about them. The most loving thing you can do for your friend is to listen without judgement. Be a “heart with ears.”

Henri’s Personal Journey

The producer of the Power of Love Radio Show, Henri Hebert, talked about her own grief journey. She is currently going through the 7-week one-on-one Grief Recovery Method® educational program. She spoke about some of the things she had already learned in just two weeks of attending the class.  Things she now realizes had affected her over the last five years like moving, changing jobs, going through a romantic break-up and losing her best friend to brain cancer. Henri will be sharing more of her journey on future radio shows.

 

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Sending you love, comfort and peace!

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Empty Nest Grief (Part II)

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This is an update to an article I wrote over a year ago about grief and the empty nest. I wrote it on the day my youngest was coming home from college for Spring Break. I hadn’t seen her since Christmas vacation. It made me think how, as the youngest of my three children, her leaving for college was the most painful. I know many of you are already anticipating your son or daughter heading off to college in the upcoming months, some for the very first time.  Maybe this article can help bring some perspective to how you may be feeling.

This week my only son left for Graduate School at Georgetown School of Medicine. It brought up all those feelings I had when I originally wrote the article. Happiness that he is finally going off to pursue his dream of being a Doctor. Excitement that he is going back to the east coast where we had so many wonderful years as a family. Sadness that I am going to miss the time we have been able to spend together walking at the beach and talking about life. But this isn’t the first time he is leaving the nest. In fact, he is off to Graduate School not his freshman year of college, and yet I find myself facing my old friend grief again.

www,grief-reiki.com

Life CAN CHANGE

For parents facing an empty nest, life can become a huge grieving event. It is either devastating or it is liberating. The deep sense of missing your child can be overwhelming or maybe even for some, surprising. Never thought you’d miss not having to step over the pile of dirty clothes in the hallway did you? Never thought you’d long for the laughter of high school girls gathering in your living room to watch The Bachelor on Monday nights? Just driving by the track or soccer field where you spent most of your weekends now brings you to tears. It feels like your life has been swept out from under you. Of course it is not surprising you are hurting when you have been fully integrated into your child’s life for the last 18 years. Now what are you supposed to do?  Spend time with your spouse? Take up underwater basket weaving? Take that long awaited trip to Europe?

As parents, we should look at the empty nest syndrome as an opportunity to put closure on this chapter in our life, embrace it and move forward. Face your grief. Be sad. Don’t isolate yourself but participate in life. Re-discover what you like to do. Find your identity. Remember you are not broken just sad and that is perfectly normal and healthy.

Our gut reaction may be to try to “suck it up” and pretend like everything is ok. We smile when we are asked how we are doing. “Just fine” comes out of our mouth even when we don’t feel that way. When asked about our college student we try not to tear up.  Everything is “great” we say while gritting our teeth. We may avoid going out so we don’t run into anyone who may ask about them. That would certainly bring on the tears. In reality, these responses are only hurting us. They are masking what we are really feeling.  Sadness. Pain. Loneliness.

Even worse, we pretend everything is “fine” when we talk to our college student.  Wouldn’t want to upset them. They probably don’t care anyway. Too much fun in college. We’re sure they don’t even miss us. So we call, but not too much. We text, but only occasionally. We make sure we don’t leave tearful voicemails on their cell phones. When we haven’t heard from them for a few days, we try not to panic. We plan a trip so we can go see them, then count the days until it happens. Deep down we are still sad and hurting.

It’s Hard for Our Children Too

As hard as it is for us, we forget it is also hard for our child. They too go through a sense of loss once they leave home. Home – the place they couldn’t wait leave – now becomes a place they begin to miss terribly. No more home cooked meals. No more Mom or Dad bugging them to make their beds. No hugs just because. They try to be strong. They grieve alone. Wouldn’t want to other kids to see they are homesick. Not cool. They don’t let us know because they know how sad we are already.

From a grief recovery perspective it is best for everyone to face their grief. It is ok to be sad whether you are the “empty nest” parent or the child away at college. Sharing your grief as a family brings healing. Talk about it. Know that it is ok. In fact that it is even better if you grieve together. My daughter gave me the biggest HUG when I finally saw her six weeks after she became a college freshman. Schools plan those Parent Weekends at six weeks for a reason. It’s about the time that college freshman really begin to miss their families. That HUG from my daughter told me everything I needed to know.

If you aren’t an empty nester but are a friend of one, listen and be supportive. Hand them a kleenex when you are at lunch and let those few tears roll down their cheek. Don’t try to intellectualize with them, just listen with your heart. They just need to get it out – not be fixed.

The same goes for the college student who may be also be facing a grieving event by moving away from home. As a parent, let them express how they feel. Listen and don’t try to fix them. Allow them to share their sadness. Then when you see them on Parent’s Weekend, just give them the BIGGEST HUG you can muster. That will say it all.

You will all survive this TOGETHER.

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Sending you love, comfort and peace!

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Pet Loss eBook (Download)

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Losing your pet is painful.

Grief is normal and natural, but society has taught you that it is not acceptable to feel sad. Most people consider their pet a part of the family, so losing your pet can be traumatic.

Because we live in a “feel good” society, we are raised with misinformation about how to recover from pet loss.

If you’ve tried to feel better, but still feel heartbroken and alone, there is nothing wrong with you. It’s simply a matter of using the wrong tools.

This eBook gives you the right tools to start on the path to recovery from the devastating loss of your pet.

Download the book instantly which includes information on:

What is grief?

Why am I having such a hard time?

Common responses to losing your pet.

How to know if you are grieving the loss of your pet.

Grieving the loss of your pet is normal.

There are no stages of grief.

You are not alone.

Misinformation you were taught about grief.

Moving pet loss from the head to the heart.

Unhelpful comments people say.

Helpful ways to express your grief.

Will I ever feel better?

When can I get a new pet?

https://form.jotform.com/61688371855166

 

 

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Sending you love, comfort and peace!

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