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Everything posted by enna

  1. No words. Holding you in thought, dear Katie.
  2. So excited for you Steve and Patty. I saw the article and was so glad Marty found it online. Thanks for posting it, Marty. This is such a 'feel good' story. It makes me happy every time I read something about your love story. It's good for our soul to have something to be happy about.
  3. "When we are thrust into exile, we are suddenly flooded with the backlog of unfelt feeling. This is why it can seem like one heartbreak joins with every other heartbreak you’ve ever felt in one mass of insurmountable grief. And though we may want nothing more than to distance ourselves from it, I believe we are being offered a chance, through the opening grief makes in us, to rehabilitate the relationship to our instinctual creativity. In exile, away from the hungry mouths and grabby hands that crowd in on our lives, we have a chance to come into conversation with our wild self again." Toko-pa Turner, excerpt from “Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home” (belongingbook.com) Artwork by Lucy Campbell
  4. Dear Ron, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved wife to breast cancer. Please accept my sincere condolences to you and your children. Right now you are in early grief and the most you can expect of yourself is to live hour to hour. It is perfectly normal that you are hurting. All the things you mentioned are what grief is about. Everything changes because everything you knew stopped. This will change. The pain is there because there was great love. I don’t know what ages your kids are but if they are still at the age of needing care you will find the strength to do that. You will need to take the time you need to go through this pain. If you need to sleep ~ sleep and if you need to cry ~ cry. Accept the feelings that surface. You are in what we call survival mode and this will last for as long as it lasts for you. In grief, there is no timetable. I lost my beloved Jim a little over six years ago after forty years of marriage and I still have those times that I can’t breathe. You will find your own way and believe me, much later you will focus on the wonderful memories that are buried right now. This is a perfect place for you to share your thoughts because you will find many caring people who come here. No judgments only love and understanding. Anne
  5. Widower's Grief Wednesday, July 18, 2018 The Metabolism of Grief Grief is an organic, biological process. Someone on Twitter used the phrase “metabolize grief.” I think. I haven’t been able to find who said it. Maybe my brain just took a leap. Whatever. I like the possibilities as if I’m cracking open something important open and peeking inside. When we hear the word “metabolism,” we may think first about weight loss — as in, someone has gained weight because they have a slow metabolism. Metabolism is the chemical process that converts food into energy for our bodies. It also fosters cellular respiration through oxidation, waste elimination, and helps the body adapt to changes in its environment. The process occurs in the mitochondria in our cells, those tiny internal combustion engines. Curious creatures, mitochondria originated outside the human body but now live inside us in a symbiotic relationship. “Metabolism” is a Greek word for “change,” which is fitting because everything living is constantly changing, including us. As the body metabolizes food and converts it into energy, so the heart metabolizes grief. The experience of grief is so enormous that it can seem like nothing is happening for a long time. Six weeks after my wife died, I felt that I wasn’t getting a handle on the grief thing, so I headed to Yosemite to shake things up and get grief moving. Hiking in the wilderness where you can die will do this. One morning I stood by a river trying to determine if snow melting in the highlands was making the water rise. I stared at the water but could not tell. I put a stick into the sand at the edge of the water and watched. In 15 minutes, the water had moved an inch past the stick. There was movement. I simply couldn’t see it. Just like grief. We can also think of grief as the wood for a campfire. As we deal with grief, we burn it up and generate energy and power that we can use to cook a meal and keep warm. Later, when the fire has died down, we poke the coals and become reflective. We look at the forest around us and at the stars above and think about life, relationships, and the deep heartache when someone we love dies. We think about our personal cosmos and begin to see the web of connections between our constellations. Metabolism is cause for optimism. When we metabolize grief, we break it down into its elements. We take what nourishes us and leave behind the husks of the rest. There is also a social metabolism to grief, although it’s currently more of a sluggish inertia. If we were able to share our grief in public, we would process grief faster because other people would act as catalysts. Instead of struggling to get them to listen, they would help us work our way through grief. And if we saw the different ways that people grieve, then we wouldn’t feel like the rhino at every dinner party and social event. Metabolize grief as it comes. Today’s grief is today’s grief. Make no judgment about it. It is what it is. Work with it. Breathe into the grief you feel in this moment (oxidize it), and exhale. Breathe in fresh energy and breathe out what is burned up. With each breath, we are changing our bodies. When we breathe life into our grief, we breathe death out. Share stories of your loved ones with others who knew them. Breathe life back into your memories. Let them bring you joy again. Even though progress may seem agonizingly slow, each day we are breathing our way through grief. When today is over, let it go. Tomorrow will have enough grief of its own. Posted by Mark Liebenow at 6:18 AM
  6. This is a favorite book of mine ~ "We grieve the loves we’ve lost. We grieve our abilities vanishing through illness or age. We grieve the loss of faith in our religion. We grieve our children leaving home. We grieve the paths we didn’t walk. We grieve the family we never had. We grieve the suffering of the planet. But while grief may look like an expression of pain that serves no purpose, it is actually the soul’s acknowledgment of what we value. Grief is the honour we pay to that which is dear to us. And it is only through the connection to what we cherish that we can know how to move forward. In this way, grief is motion. Yet in our culture, we are deeply unskilled with grief. We hold it at a distance as best we can, both in ourselves and in each other, treating it as, Joanna Macy says, like “an enemy of cheerfulness.” There is unspoken shame associated with grief. It is sanctioned in very few places, in small doses, for exceptional occasions such as death and tragedy. Beyond that, it can feel dangerous and weak. Perhaps because we fear we’ll drown in our despair, or because it means falling apart in a world which values ‘holding it together’ above all else. But grief plays an essential role in our coming undone from previous attachments. It is the necessary current we need to carry us into our next becoming. Without it, we may remain stuck in that area of our life, which can limit the whole spectrum of our feeling alive." Toko-pa Turner, excerpt from “Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home” (belongingbook.com) Artwork by Inhyuk Jo (https://www.facebook.com/joinhyuk)
  7. Dearest Patty and Steve, Wishing you a very Happy First Wedding Anniversary on the 18th of this month. So much has happened in your lives during this past year. You both are an encouraging sign that love can happen after a great loss. I believe that it is the love you have for Kathy and Ron that makes what the two of you share today so magical. I am so happy for you and I send my love to both of you. You are indeed an inspiration to those of us who are grieving the loss of a significant other. Love to both of you, Anne
  8. Dear Astala, I am so sorry to hear about the untimely death of your sister at such an early age only a few short months ago. You sound like you were very close. I can understand the closeness you had with her. I have lost three of my siblings and the one I was closest to and shared everything with was the one I had the hardest time accepting that she was no longer here. Your loss is too soon to feel anything but the deep pain of your sister not being here with you. This is about the time for the numbness to wear off and for the pain to hit so hard. Much later you will be able to focus on some of the good memories. I like the idea that you named a boat after your sister. Sharing something that meant so much to both of you is a good memory that you will find comfort in for a long time. Anne
  9. Hello fellow forum members, I find it hard to believe that we are halfway through 2018. It is time for us to review the value of having a discussion group like this. The membership has grown to almost 9300 members and this is so awesome. Knowing that there is a safe place for us to come and share in our grief healing is a reason to contribute financially to its continuation if we are able. Our moderator has placed a donation button to help with the cost of monitoring and moderating a site that has solid and informative information to guide us along the way of healing after significant loss. There is no other forum on the Internet like this one. Marty’s grief healing blog, as well as her Pinterest site, offers more places where we can gather information that is meaningful to each one of us. The site will always be available to us free as Marty wants it to be but we all know that to continue with this forum it is important to realize that the time spent on its success does require some help from us, its members. Any amount of a donation is greatly appreciated and accepted with deep gratitude. Besides the time put into the success of this forum, it does require money to continue with a ‘no ad’ spot on the Internet. Marty would never come right out and say how much it costs to keep a spot on the Internet but a few of us can gently do it. Please consider a donation of whatever you are able to contribute to keeping this site going. I have no problem asking for donations for a worthy cause. This grief healing discussions group is worth keeping it available to all of us. Those who do contribute to the forum thank you and to those who might think a dollar or two a month won’t help you are wrong. Any amount is greatly appreciated. Every post is read by Marty and links to help in a particular need are spot on. The exchange of support by its members is what makes this site unique. Grieving people are the most caring and thoughtful of all and that is what makes this a site to keep up and running.
  10. Good Morning. Being positive today.
  11. This article appeared in a paper that my friend writes for and I asked her if she would send me the part that I found most helpful hoping that some of the ideas might help others. This is what she sent so I could share it with our forum: Living Well, Dying Well (Published in Voice of the River Valley, July-2018) So what happens when someone experiences a significant loss and cannot bring themselves to deal with the pain of that loss? Instead, they distract themselves, keep far too busy with just about anything and run as fast as they can from the tears, pain, anger, frustration, fears, triggers and even trauma. My experience working with the bereaved for well over 45 years and of dealing with my own string of significant losses, including my husband, is that one cannot bury their feelings without paying a price. I am not suggesting that everyone grieves the same way. That is very far from the truth and actually is impossible. Grief is as unique as a fingerprint. It depends on the people involved, the quality of the relationship, the history they shared, circumstances and so much more. But if grief is buried, it is buried alive and prevents us ultimately from feeling much of anything...we dissociate in many instances from our feelings and ourselves. And when we do that, we prevent joy and creativity from existing. Not a good move. So what do grief counselors mean when they say "do your grief work" or "deal with your grief"? They are suggesting you use these or other tools. 1. Let yourself feel your pain; cry your tears alone if you need to cry or with a friend or counselor. Some people do not cry. Be yourself. But do not deny tears. 2. Share your pain with trusted friends or family....safe people who will not judge you or try to fix you. There is nothing to fix. You are not broken. Grief is normal. 3. Educate yourself about grief. Read current literature on the subject. This great site managed by a friend and colleague has many resources: www.griefhealingblog.com 4. Distract yourself every day with a job, hobby, friends etc. Live your life. 5. Join a well moderated online group (www.griefhealingdiscussiongroups.com is one I used and helped moderate). 6. Practice self-compassion and self-care. Eat well, exercise, meditate, drink water. 7. Journal your feelings, write letters to your beloved and then write back as if you were that person. 8. Get professional help if you need it from a grief counselor trained and current on the subject. 9. Avoid those who say hurtful things no matter how well-intentioned they are. 10. This one is for you to identify. Creating time each day to do some or all of the above will help you work your way through this labyrinth. Grief does not end. The only way that can happen is if you totally forget the person you love and miss never existed. Grief, however, does ease up as you practice some of these steps. Time does not heal. What you do with time can heal. People have sought me out for counseling 20 years after a loss because they suppressed it and it reared its head. Keep in mind that our joy is as deep and rich as our grief. Deny the grief and you deny joy. Mary Friedel-Hunt MA CSW CBC is a Clinical Social Worker (license retired in 2018) and certified bereavement counselor. She can be reached at mfriedelhunt@charter.net; P.O. Box 1036, Spring Green, WI 53588; or www.PersonalGrowthandGriefSupportCenter.com ps - thanks, Marty, I was about to correct those two links and saw that you gave the correct ones.💕
  12. “Understanding Why People Die by Suicide” This was an excellent webinar lead by Dr. Carla Stumpf-Patton today and the webinar, as well as the slides, will be available to us soon. I’d like to give a few of my notes in case you don’t have a chance to watch this webinar at a later date. ***There are NO answers – we cannot hold ourselves responsible ***Normal reaction to ask WHY? “The person who commits suicide is seeking a solution to a problem that is generating intense suffering within themselves.” ***It is a way to escape the intolerable emotion and unbearable pain… ***Thomas Joiner – ideation vs intent – a desire for suicide – two components: “I am a burden.” “I am alone.” ***The suicide person feels hopeless and helpless ***One has access to a means: firearm, knife, rope, or collecting medications ***Warning signs: talking about it, expressing feelings of the situation being unfixable or beyond help, better off without me, isolating, numb the pain Myths ***Talking about it – the risk is NOT talking about it – every threat must be taken seriously ***Suicidal people want to die. NO, they just want the pain to end Facts Suicide does not run in families Depression is not the only cause of suicide We must be proactive: We can educate ourselves by reading about suicide, watching webinars, etc. Join peer support groups if you are thinking about suicide Use the many resources that are available to us Seek counseling
  13. Keeping you in thoughts and prayers. I wish I could give you joy and a happy heart...
  14. enna


    I love Mary Oliver... Mindful Every day I see or hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light. It was what I was born for - to look, to listen, to lose myself inside this soft world - to instruct myself over and over in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant - but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab, the daily presentations. Oh, good scholar, I say to myself, how can you help but grow wise with such teachings as these - the untrimmable light of the world, the ocean's shine, the prayers that are made out of grass? ~ Mary Oliver ~ (Why I Wake Early)
  15. enna


    A thought for the day... DAILY MEDITATION Small Steps of Love June 15 Photo courtesy of SDGimagery.com How can we choose love when we have experienced so little of it? We choose love by taking small steps of love every time there is an opportunity. A smile, a handshake, a word of encouragement, a phone call, a card, an embrace, a kind greeting, a gesture of support, a moment of attention, a helping hand, a present, a financial contribution, a visit ... all these are little steps toward love. Each step is like a candle burning in the night. It does not take the darkness away, but it guides us through the darkness. When we look back after many small steps of love, we will discover that we have made a long and beautiful journey.
  16. I am so sorry to hear that your husband passed away after such a long illness. Of course, you are ‘lost and empty.’ Family and friends mean well when they say that things will go back to ‘normal’ but your normal will never be as it was. And you are right to say that things will never be the same nor will you. Try to just do what you want to do right now. You will have many things to tend to and it will take time for you to sort all those things out. You will feel the need to sleep and for many months you will think you are in a fog. This is to protect you and to keep you from being overwhelmed by all that is going on. There are many people here who understand the loss of a significant other and it is good to know that others who come here listen with understanding.
  17. Steph, This is what Marty says about your question – “Confidentiality - What about privacy? Membership is free but will require that you register with a unique username (not your "real" name) and secret password of your own choosing. Bear in mind that whatever you post on the site will be visible to anyone who visits the site, and may be searchable on public search engines. In order to protect your privacy (and prevent Internet search engines such as Google from finding you there), please do not use your full name as your display name, and do not include your address, telephone number or your e-mail address in any of your posts.” And as Gwen said we are free to private message anyone and share numbers. The above information from Marty can be found here…
  18. Oh Julie, what a very handsome Jasper. I am so sorry you have this pain. It is too early for you to not feel deep loss right now. When we love our pets it is up to us to know what they need. You sound like a very loving pet mama. Sending hugs. Anne
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