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Extended illness, disability, severe accidental injury, a terminal diagnosis, or the aging and decline of an elderly family member can produce anticipatory grief. We are reacting and continually adapting not only to an expected loss, but to all the losses -- past, present, and future -- we encounter in that experience. These cumulative losses can shatter our assumptive world, cause us great confusion and challenge our most basic spiritual and philosophical beliefs. The resulting grief can affect us physically, emotionally, cognitively, socially and spiritually. Here we will comfort and support one another as we identify, confront and mourn these many losses.
Been wondering if you are crazy? Forgetting the day or the time of day? Missing appointments? Not sleeping or eating properly? These are all normal and natural responses to grief. Share your experience with others.
There is nothing so wrenching as the death of a child, regardless of the child's age. This forum brings together those who have experienced such a loss, including miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss and the death of a child or grandchild.
When a husband, wife, partner, or significant other dies, life changes completely. Your identity is now different, and your entire world may have been turned upside down. Here you can share your thoughts, feelings and reactions with others whose experiences may be similar to your own.
In our society, the death of a parent or grandparent is assumed to be part of the 'Natural Order of Things.' Tell that to the son, daughter or grandchild who has just lost his or her best friend. Loving (and, perhaps, conflictual) relationships with a parent over many years cement a bond not so easily broken when death occurs.
Special issues arise when our brother or sister dies, no matter how old we are at the time. We may feel as if part of our own identity is lost. Whatever part our sibling would have played in our future is lost as well, casting a bittersweet shadow over everything that happens to us regardless of how wonderful it may be. Because our sibling is our peer, we’re suddenly acutely aware of our own mortality, and we may be wondering how many years of living we have left. We may blame ourselves for our sibling’s death, or even feel guilty for being the surviving child. We may suddenly feel totally alone in our responsibilities toward our parents as they grow older – or feel somehow obligated to set aside our own grief for our parents’ sake, as well as for the other family members our sibling has left behind. In this forum we are not alone; we can connect with others who’ve endured this special kind of loss.
The death of a close friend may be considered by others as less significant than that of a family member, and bereaved friends may feel completely left out of the grieving process, as if they don’t have a legitimate right to grieve, or permission to mourn their loss. Yet for many of us, “friendgrief” can be more painful and troubling than the death of a relative. Close friends are precious and irreplaceable, and their loss is certainly worthy of grief.
Whenever there is a loss of something significant in our lives, we suffer grief. When an intimate love relationship ends – whether we were married, living together with a partner or significant other, or committed to another as part of a couple – the separation can be overwhelmingly painful. Usually for a death there is a set ritual with a funeral or memorial service, and some understanding in our culture that mourning is important. But for the death of a love relationship, there is no prescribed ritual of mourning, and the accompanying grief that is part of the divorce / breaking-up process is seldom acknowledged or accepted. The ending of a love relationship is yet another kind of death, and here we are invited to share our experiences, mourn what has been lost, and offer information, comfort and support to one another as we move forward together on this journey.
Companion animals offer a kind of loyalty, devotion and unconditional love that cannot be found in the more complicated relationships we have with relatives, friends and neighbors. Pain over the loss of a beloved pet is as natural as the pain we'd feel over the loss of any significant relationship -- but sometimes the loss of a special animal is trivialized by others as insignificant, as if you don't have a legitimate right to grieve. Here you'll find the understanding, comfort and support you need and deserve.
This forum is for those whose grief is no longer fresh and raw, and whose issues may differ from those who are newly bereaved. You may have made it through the second year and beyond, but you're still in need of the companionship, understanding and support of others you'll find here as you continue on your journey. You may wish to share with others what you've learned along the way, some signs of your own progress, how this experience has changed you, what discoveries you've made about yourself, or where you plan to go from here.
As you continue to come to terms with the impact of loss on your life, you may notice your focus shifting from why this death happened to how you have grown through this experience to become a stronger person. With some satisfaction, you’ll look back on all the new tasks you have mastered, the new roles you’ve had to fill, the changes you’ve endured, and recognize how you’ve grown. As you ponder where you’ve been, where you are now and what needs to happen next, you may see a whole new you looking back at you in the mirror – someone who’s stronger, kinder and wiser than the person you once were.
As we travel our individual grief journeys, we may find it helpful to return to activities of self-expression that satisfy or relax us, or we may discover new ones that bring us comfort and relief, helping us to feel calmer, more relaxed and less stressed. Here we can recommend and share whatever helps us feel informed, cared for and nurtured: the ideas, tools, resources and practical information we can revisit and use throughout our grief experience (books, music, videos, meditations, quotations, poetry, art, writings, webinars, seminars and the like).
Here is a space where we can honor our loved ones, in any way that is meaningful to us ~ a letter, a poem, an essay, a eulogy, an obituary, a prayer, a Web site ~ or we can share with one another a ritual that brought us comfort.