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More on Grieving

Old 04-26-2005, 04:40 AM
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More on Grieving

Healthy Grieving

One of the key elements of healthy grieving is allowing your emotions to surface in order to work through them. In the long run, trying to stuff down your feelings—in the belief that they will simply fade with time—is counter-productive. When ignored, grief causes pain that is sometimes so excruciating that people want to numb and escape it through alcohol or medications. But in blocking the grieving process you block the natural return to interest and meaning in life that follows the grieving process and is its real end point.

Take care of yourself through self-expression

* Talk. You deserve to express yourself at this difficult time, even though others may discourage or even reprimand you for having a strong emotional reaction. Talk about your loved one to others or to God (and encourage them to do so, too). If they are uncomfortable, gently let them know that part of your healing process is getting it off your chest.
* Write. Start or continue writing in a journal or diary. You may want to compose a letter to the deceased person to describe how you feel and ‘say’ things you never got to say. Some questions to write about: how would you spend the rest of your life if you only had a short time to live? Would you say or do things differently? Be as honest as possible about how you feel.
* Create. You may want to create a special collage or other artistically-inspired memento about your loved one, like a scrapbook. For those who are beginner artists, you can use memorabilia items or something symbolic like seashells. In the process, your thoughts and feelings may become clearer as you provide a creative outlet for expression. This exercise also may bring up other feelings that you need to face.
* Remember . Let this be an opportunity to reflect on the good times. Looking back, what do you appreciate about the contributions of your loved one? What are the moments together that you cherish the most? Do things to honor and remember your loved one: if they loved flowers, plant a garden in their honor or help others plant gardens; support the causes and organizations that were important to your loved one.

Take good physical care of yourself

* Get enough sleep . A regular sleep routine will be of benefit. If you are tired during the day, give yourself a chance to sit or lie down. Resting your body will help your emotional recovery . See Helpguide’s Getting the Sleep You Need: Sleep Stages, Sleep Tips and Aids to understand why a restful night’s sleep is important and how it’s adversely affected by caffeine, medications, heavy smoking and alcohol.
* Avoid chemicals. Though you may crave a chemical to help you get through this time, try your best to steer clear of substances like alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, because their side effects can be unhelpful in the long-term. For instance, instead of coffee, opt for green tea, which is less jolting to your energy.
* Exercise regularly. If you are physically able, take a brisk walk in the morning or at lunchtime. Choose something that will motivate you to get out of bed. Whether you feel like it or not, get some sort of physical exercise every day.
* Eat well . Even if it’s the furthest thing from your mind, pay attention to the quality of what you eat. Take the time to eat nutritious meals while sitting down, avoiding processed or ‘fast’ food (even though you may be pressed for time and not feel like cooking). For more information on optimal nutrition, especially when you must eat out, read Helpguide’s articles on Healthy Eating / Healthy Diet and Fast Food Nutrition / Healthy Restaurants.

Take care of yourself emotionally

* Have fun. Is there a book that you have wanted to read or a movie you haven’t had time to see? This is the time to do it. Whether it’s listening to uplifting music or getting a massage, do what makes you happy. For more ideas, see Helpguide’s Playing Together for Fun: Creative Play and Lifelong Games. Even though you may feel guilty about being pampered at this time, you deserve to treat yourself well.

* Forgive. The death of someone you love brings an end to opportunity to communicate. You may be reminded of the need to forgive that person for a past hurt—and forgive yourself if need be—then move on. Maybe you said something you regret. Perhaps you wish you had done more at the time. In your grief, you may have felt embarrassed, guilty or angry (which is completely understandable). Let yourself off the hook and apply that energy into something positive.

* Plan ahead. Anniversaries and holidays bring their own particular challenges. You may feel especially emotional a year after your loved one dies, on their birthday or another significant marker. Attending an event such as a graduation, wedding or funeral can be highly charged, as well. This is a completely normal reaction. In order to prepare, talk to other members of your family to find out what their expectations are. Decide together how you would like to change your traditions while honoring the memory of your loved one.
* Get the support you need. There are people who want to help you get through this time—friends, loved ones, pastoral counselors, bereavement counselor, trained laypersons and professionals .Often people want to help, but don’t know what to do.

o Accept help that feels good.
o It’s alright to tell people who want to help how they can best help you.
o One of the most helpful things might be to prepare healthy meals for you.
o Some people can take time to just listen and hold you as you cry.
o A good friend might even laugh with you, in the midst of your pain.

It is important to have an outlet for sharing grief, even for people who aren’t usually comfortable talking about their feelings. Humans are social creatures and knowing that others know and understand will make you feel better, less alone with your pain. Many support groups exist for the general public as well as specific populations, such as grieving parents and suicide survivors. Whatever the nature of your loss, connecting with others will help you heal. You will know how far you’ve come when you can share another’s pain and know the possibility of recovery.
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Old 04-26-2005, 04:58 AM
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Great advice Wolf thank you.

hugs indigo
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Old 12-02-2006, 02:03 PM
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Thumbs up Dang the two links sounds like what I need to do and it helps !

Yes this sound like me.
Im still grieving my mother thirteen years after her passing. I am now grieving the loss of my girlfriend of 8 years (might have been an unhealthy relationship to boot - I think I knew what to do for me at the time and mentioned that felt I had alot of healing to do before getting "involved") I am also grieving our cat of 6 years, my dog of 18 years who I had to put to sleep not more than 5 months after my mom passed.
The girlfriend moved out the sunday before thanksgiving and we sent the cat to maine to live w my dad for a while. I cant afford to get up there very often so I am hoping she will remember me, be well taken care of, be happy and get too attached as she is a great friend and helps me feel less alone.

Due to my lifestyle 3 rehabs, multiple massive stomach surguries, and my upbringing I have not been able to grieve.

HP Give me Strength please !!!
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:17 PM
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thanks for the advice....

much love,
~B
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:05 PM
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Thank you for those words of wisdom. I am having to deal with grief right now since a close friend lapsed into a coma this weekend. Our families have been such an interregnal part of each others lives that it seems more like they are family than mere friends. Although she has not passed on at this writing, it is only a matter of time now.

I was so angry last night and wanted to take it out on the person I felt had failed in his responsibilities (her personal physician) for not following up on the medication he was giving her, as my doctor would have. (The long acting insulin may have played a major role for the catastrophic low sugar level she had when they found her. It was 17.) It's a long story, but the results are the same. Little to no brain waves and now her brain is swelling. Being a recovering alcoholic, anger is not a good place for me to be. I want to hit something (or preferable someone), but I know that won't do any good nor change a thing about her present condition. However, how I deal with the feelings and anger is my responsibility. Using your suggestions will come in very handy in coping as will getting myself to meetings right now. (I seem not to have much problem in the area of showing my emotions because Ive cried for two days.)

Although I know that the Good Lord is taking care of Sharon right now by way of a team of dedicated doctors and ICU team members, your prayers for her family (husband and two young sons) and for me and my family would be greatly appreciated at this moment.
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Old 12-06-2006, 03:53 PM
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Prayers going out to all of you (((Sheryl)))
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Old 12-29-2006, 03:16 PM
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I can't say that I did any of that after my wife died.
It didn't help that I began to drink a lot.

But, I got thorough it. I'm OK now.
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:20 PM
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(((Wolfstarr))) Excellent post... thank you.

(((Sheryl))).... just hugs.
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Old 12-31-2006, 08:24 AM
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Thanks Again ....xXx...

Great post's...
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Old 01-01-2007, 05:04 AM
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Thanks for this post. I will try to do some of these things. I started drinking again after my son got killed. I want to stop but it's the only thing I have to look forward to these days.
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Old 01-01-2007, 03:12 PM
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I certainly understand, beedfreek. I have been there.

Those suggestions are quite good; and, I most certainly hope that you quit drinking soon.
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Old 01-01-2007, 10:42 PM
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Everyone is different, but there are several of those things that have helped me since my 14 year old son committed suicide in October. I have a journal where I have a conversation with him. Some days I write pages, others just a paragraph. I thought the idea was silly when my counselor suggested it, but it's been very helpful. I can now remember the good times without too much pain. I've created a video of him and am working on a book with his photos in it. Keeping busy and keeping my thoughts of him happy are the most important things to my sanity, and sobriety.

beedfreek, I hope you find something else than alcohol that can ease your mind. PM me if you need to vent.
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Old 01-02-2007, 07:20 AM
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There are many good grief web sites on line.
A good site is "groww".

For those who are widowed, "widownet" is good.
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:56 PM
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Thanks Wolf

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