• Announcements

    • MartyT

      About Our Donation Button   08/10/2015

      While visitors are welcome to browse our forums and registered members are free to use all the features of our site, you will notice a Donate button at the top of every page, which gives everyone who comes here an opportunity to contribute toward its ongoing support. Members and visitors can donate as much (or as little) as they can afford, and as often (or as seldom) as they choose, either all at once or over an extended period of time (that is, a recurring amount automatically deducted from a credit card each month). Donations are accepted via PayPal, credit card or bank account (where available). The Donate button is located at the top of every page.  We are proud of the fact that, since it was launched in May of 2003, our Grief Healing Discussion Groups site has been advertisement-free and open to everyone, members and visitors alike, at no cost, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, offering the information, comfort and support we believe you need and deserve as you each find your way through your individual grief journeys. Unlike other self-help forums for the bereaved, our site is privately administered, closely monitored and professionally moderated to ensure the highest level of quality, safety and security for our participants. Every post is reviewed and read by our moderator: a nationally certified grief counselor who visits the site several times a day, and who feels a deep personal and professional responsibility to monitor our site in a way that encourages understanding, growth and healing. Our site has been described by the caregivers and bereaved who come here as a lifeline ~ a safe place to land when you need to be with others who “get it” and who understand. We know from your unsolicited comments and continued active participation that this is an important and valued service. Still, it costs money to sustain this service, and many hours a month to administer and moderate the site. We are deeply grateful to our regular donors and to all those who have contributed, but we think you should know that it is the same half-dozen people who continue to give. Some members have donated far more than their fair share, and they’ve done so more than once.  Grateful as we are for their loyalty and support, we hope you will agree that it’s not fair that so few of our members have been carrying the weight for so many, who clearly have derived some benefit from our service. For this reason, we are asking for your consideration. If you donated some time ago, would you consider doing so again? And if you’ve never done so, would you consider making a contribution of $20 or more? You can rest assured that your gift will be used directly to fund this service and to keep it going. With heartfelt gratitude, Marty Tousley ♥    


  1. News Topics

    1. The Latest News

      The administrators and moderators may post articles and news tidbits here. In addition, if you are a member, send your news to a moderator for approval. Please do not use this as a forum for marketing or advertisement. Such posts will be removed.

  2. Specific Bereavement

    1. Anticipatory Grief and Mourning

      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.

    2. Behaviors in Bereavement

      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.

    3. Loss of an Infant, Child or Grandchild

      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.

    4. Loss of a Spouse, Partner, or Significant Other

      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.

    5. Loss of a Parent or Grandparent

      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.

    6. Loss of a Sibling or Twin

      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.

    7. Loss of a Friend

      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.

    8. Loss of a Love Relationship

      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.

    9. Loss of a Pet

      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.

  3. Grief and Loss

    1. General Grief & Loss Topics

      This is an area where you can dicuss topics around death, loss, and bereavement in general.

    2. Living with Loss

      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.

    3. New Beginnings

      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.

    4. Tools for Healing

      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).

  4. Tributes and Remembrances

    1. Honoring a Loved One

      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.

    2. Special Days

      Here we can pay tribute to our loved ones -- or offer comfort to another member -- on a day that holds special meaning for us, such as a birthday, death day, anniversary or holiday.

  5. A Forum for Bereavement

    1. Your Comments

      Here is your opportunity to comment on the layout and content of our GH Discussion Groups site. Please use this forum for any messages or feedback you want to share with the developers.