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Everything posted by MartyT

  1. I'm so very sorry to learn of your son’s tragic death by suicide, and I cannot imagine the pain you are feeling in the aftermath of this sudden, unexpected loss. Although there is nothing I can say to diminish your pain at this sad and difficult time, I do want to offer you some additional information that I hope will be helpful to you. As I'm sure you already know, you are facing one of the most difficult bereavement crises imaginable ~ not only the horror of suicide, but also the loss of your precious child. Although suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young people in this country, we still see in our society a very strong emotional reaction against this form of loss. People you know may have reacted to the news of your son's death with silence, hoping that if they ignore this dreadful event or refuse to take note of it, it will simply go away. At a time when you need the support of others the most, you may be left feeling very isolated and alone. Suicide is different from other deaths in many ways, and the grief experienced following this loss may feel very different as well. With understanding and encouragement, I hope that you will claim your right to grieve this death of your beloved son and find the bereavement support you need and deserve. Coping with grief effectively comes from understanding what is going on, learning what to expect and discovering what you can do about it. You might begin by visiting some of the sites listed in this article: Grief Support for Survivors of Suicide Loss. I also strongly suggest that you contact the local chapter of The Compassionate Friends, whose mission is to assist families coping with the death of a child. As I’ve said repeatedly in these forums and elsewhere, I believe very strongly that the more you know about grief, the better prepared you are to deal with it. It's understandable that you don’t know how you'll make it through this, and I want to say that you make it through by taking it in small doses, one day, one hour, one minute at a time, and also by finding someone to lean on. Don’t even think about trying to do this alone. You make it through by talking about your son with your other family members and with whomever else you trust. Too often when we lose someone to suicide we think we cannot talk about our loved one or about the manner in which the person died, which means that we don't even have our stories and our memories of our loved one to bring us comfort. Remember that your son's life was much, much more than the final moments of his life and the way that he happened to die. At some point it may seem to you that your friends and relatives have already "moved on with their lives." One of the great difficulties with grief is that oftentimes others are finished with our grief long before we are finished with our own need to talk about it. That's why this online discussion group can be so helpful. It's anonymous, and it's available to you at no cost, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. I hope you will continue participating in a bereavement support group, whether it is online or in person. I can assure you that no one in a grief support group will ask why you're still mourning the loss of your son, no matter what caused his death. People in grief support groups already know in their gut and from their own experience that you'll never stop missing the child you've loved and lost. I don’t know where else you’ve looked for individual support, but I want to suggest some alternatives. Call your telephone operator or public library and ask for the numbers for your local mental health association or your local suicide prevention center. Either agency will have good grief referral lists. You need not be suicidal to get a grief referral from a suicide prevention center. Use the Yellow Pages and call hospitals and hospices near you. Ask to speak with the Bereavement Coordinator, Social Worker, or Chaplain's Office to get a local grief referral. Many hospitals and hospices keep a good referral list of grief counselors who are in private practice, and most hospices and many places of worship offer grief support groups at no cost. (The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization maintains a database of hospices for each state in the United States. To search for a hospice in your own community, click on Find a Care Provider.) I hope this information proves useful to you, my dear. Please accept our deepest sympathy over the loss of your beloved son, and know that we are thinking of you. ❤️
  2. This article might help, Marg. Memory Loss & 10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer's See especially this section: What is the difference between Alzheimer’s and typical age-related changes?
  3. My friend, I'm so sorry for your loss, and sorry too that you've kept yourself from mourning the death of your father. The thing about grief is that it doesn't go away and leave us alone simply because we've chosen to ignore it. One way or another, grief will have its way with us ~ and grief delayed does not disappear. It simply lies there, waiting for us to take care of it. Sooner or later it will demand our attention, and it can come out every which way but straight. Fortunately, however, it is never too late to do the work of mourning. It seems to me that the anxiety you're experiencing can be evidence of a delayed grief reaction. While I would encourage you to see your primary care physician to rule out any physical problems that may be causing your symptoms, I think it's safe to say that it is more likely the death of your father that is affecting you now, along with all the secondary losses that go along with that. As you say, after your parents divorced, the best parts of your youth were taken from you, and now you've lost all hope of having a better relationship with your dad. What is more, your girlfriend offers no understanding or support, even going so far as to forbid you from sharing your grief with her or your children! That is a boatload of pain that you are carrying, and it is no wonder to me that you are feeling as you are. It's good to know that you are seeing a counselor, and I hope the person you're seeing specializes in grief counseling (Seeing A Specialist in Grief Counseling: Does It Matter?) I also find it sad that you've not shared any of this with your children. Even as young as your kids are, undoubtedly they are aware that something serious has been bothering you. The fact that your girlfriend has her own issues about death and wants nothing to do with your father is only as relevant as you allow it to be. This is YOUR grief and your loss, and you've a right to have your own reactions to it. Besides, there are ways to convey sad news about death to young children that will not traumatize them. What is more, you are missing an opportunity to teach them one of life's most valuable lessons: that loss is a part of life and there are healthy as well as unhealthy ways to cope with it. (See, for example, Explaining Death to A Toddler and Explaining Death to Children). Finally, I hope you'll discover ways to express what you wish you could have said to your father, because that can be done as well (see Parent Loss: Continuing Their Song). I also invite you to read the following: In Grief: When Sorrow Is Delayed Residual Grief: Father Loss In Early Childhood
  4. Dear MaggieAmn, I'm so sorry for your loss, and for the fact that you have nowhere else to take your grief. Yours is a classic example of what is known as disenfranchised grief, and if you're not familiar with the term, I invite you to read the following ~ in the hope that doing so will help you to feel less isolated and alone: Coping with Hidden Sorrow Disenfranchised Grief: Mourning The Loss of A Dream Disenfranchised Grief: Mourning An Invisible Love
  5. I'm so sorry to learn of your troubles, Maryann ~ how awful for you! Life is difficult, that's for sure. It's good to know that you're seeking the professional help you need and most certainly deserve. Please know that we are thinking of you and wishing nothing but the best for you ❤️
  6. My dear, we are all concerned for you and hope you know that, as Kevinslove said, you are never alone, and we are here for you. If you think you need more than we can offer, I urge you to seek the support of a qualified, professional grief counselor: Finding Grief Support That Is Right for You I share this with you only if you think it may pertain to you. It is taken from our site's Guidelines: The site is not intended for individuals who are in crisis and actively contemplating suicide. If you're thinking of suicide, read this first. If you are experiencing serious suicidal thoughts that you cannot control, please stop now and telephone 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Using your smart phone, contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. In the UK the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. The crisis support service Lifeline in Australia is 13 11 14. The International Association for Suicide Prevention maintains a database of crisis centers throughout the world. Other international suicide helplines can be found at Befrienders Worldwide.
  7. This Issue focuses on Messages and Signs from our loved ones who have passed. Enjoy these true, and inspirational stories. LINK: JULY 2021 WINGS ELETTER Nan & Gary Zastrow nanwings1@gmail.com the founders of: wingsgrief.orgWings--a Grief Education Ministry Visit Wings on FACEBOOK website: wingsgrief.org
  8. No hidden agenda, but what IS your purpose here? And if earlier you found yourself fantasizing, isn't that an indication that on some level ~ even if it isn't conscious ~ there's still a part of you that's holding out hope of getting her back in a relationship with you?
  9. Your grandparents aren't here with you physically, my dear, but clearly you are keeping them alive in your heart, in your mind and in your memory. Good for you! You sound like a wonderful person, and I think making them proud and living a good life in their honor is the most precious gift you can give to your beloved grandparents. In the lovely words of Hugh Robert Orr: They are not dead who live in lives they leave behind. In those whom they have blessed, they live a life again, and shall live through the years eternal life, and shall grow each day more beautiful, as time declares their good, forgets the rest, and proves their immortality. ❤️
  10. It seems to me, dear Gwen, that you're already dealing with "all that comes with it" because you're in chronic pain now, with the added anxiety of anticipating surgery and recovery, with no end in sight. All this indecision is keeping you in a constant state of anxiety and pain. If you decide to go ahead with surgery, at least you'd have the chance and the hope of feeling better than you are feeling now.
  11. I just happened upon this article / broadcast, which you may find of interest: On the Disenfranchised Grief Experiences of Romantic Heartbreak and Pet Loss ♥
  12. My dear, I urge you to keep in mind what your beloved has asked of you: to live and keep living. Let this be enough, until with the support of your counselor you find the strength you need to do it.
  13. My heart hurts for you as I read your tragic story, my friend, and I hope you can feel our collective arms around you. You are barely three months into this most difficult journey, so it's no wonder that you're still in a state of shock. Like Kay, I'm pleased to learn that you have the support of friends and counselors to help guide you through this challenging time. I also hope you will find your way to some of the many resources that are out there and available to help support you as you find a way forward in this life ~ not only for yourself, but for your precious child. I realize that at this early point in your grief you may find it difficult if not impossible to concentrate, but I hope when you feel up to it, you'll check out some of the articles and resources listed here: Surviving A Spouse's Death by Suicide. If you're a reader, you may find that this book speaks to you: Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love by widower Matt Logelin. 24 hours after baby Madeline was born, her mother suffered a pulmonary embolism and died. Matt suddenly found himself a single father, faced with working his way through grief while raising his baby daughter alone. You can read Matt's story here. (I read just this morning that Matt's story has been made into a movie, Fatherhood, scheduled to appear on Netflix beginning today, June 18.)
  14. Hi there, my name is Jessica Zalewski, and I am a doctoral student at Wayne State University. I would like to invite you to participate in a research project by opting into a series of five anonymous surveys that will be administered over the course of the next 12 months. The impetus for this research stems from having experienced the sudden passing of my father 10 days before the start of my senior year of undergrad in August of 2018. After planning and attending the memorial services, I had the option to take additional time off because I was a student. For my other family members and the majority of working adults who have experienced such loss, their return-to-work dates are decided by their organization’s leave policy. And the current 3-5 business day standard for full-time employees does not allow for individuals to adequately attend to grief, which can yield negative long-term effects at the individual and organizational levels. In my thesis I will be investigating the relationship between grief and job satisfaction with the goal of inspiring data-driven changes to workplace bereavement leave policies. At this time, I am seeking participants ages 22 and older who have experienced direct loss and are employed full time. I am hoping to sample from individuals whose losses are recent and not-so-recent to gain a deeper understanding of the evolution of grief over time. If interested, please follow the link to the survey below, and please feel free to share with anyone who may be interested. Grief is a process all individuals endure, and research in this area is useful to not only normalize this experience, but to also ensure individuals have access to the necessary resources. If you have any questions or concerns, you can email me at jessicazalewski@wayne.edu. The survey link can be found here: https://waynestate.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_czG5XjyZikxCNg2 I also have a video participants can watch for more information, if you would find it useful to include: https://youtu.be/C5RCYudiIng
  15. I'm delighted to report that PsychCentral has named our own Grief Healing Discussion Groups Pet Loss Forum as one of The 7 Best Online Grief Support Groups in 2021! From PsychCentral's notice: Online grief support groups can provide people going through bereavement with a healing space for their loss. Finding support when you’re grieving can be overwhelming, but online grief support groups exist at arm’s length — as close as your laptop or your phone. The loss of a loved one is considered one of the most stressful experiences in a person’s life. It can profoundly change the way you live after you go through it. Speaking to others who have gone through the same experiences that you have can bring about enormous relief. Online support groups provide an outlet around the clock and allow participants who may feel isolated, stigmatized, or unable to attend in-person meetings an opportunity to reach outside their immediate communities for help. They can serve as a touchstone while coping with grief. Criteria we used to choose There are plenty of bereavement support groups out there. To narrow it down, we looked at: Qualifications: Do the founders or staff hold certain qualifications that make them suitable to lead a grief support group? Activity: Are the groups busy with daily new posts? Security and safety: Do the sites show concern for members’ security and safety? Cost: All the resources listed here are free, though some ask for donations to support their programs. Accessibility: Most online support forums on this list are open to people worldwide. However, phone hotlines and other services like in-person meetings may only be accessible to people within the United States. Best for people grieving the loss of a pet Grief Healing Discussion Groups for Pet Loss Although the forums at Grief Healing Discussion Groups encompass many varieties of loss, the site is run by a counselor who has written extensively about pet loss and runs pet loss support groups. For many, losing a beloved pet can be as traumatic as losing a human companion, and grief can be long lived. This site recognizes this and offers people a place to talk about their animals and relationships with them. What we like The site owner has an extensive background helping people deal with pet grief. Plus, she was a moderator and monitor for the site before she became its owner. The forum site is quite active and moderated by trained counselors. What to look out for The site doesn’t cater exclusively to grieving pet owners. FEEDBACK: Medically reviewed by Ashleigh Golden, PsyD — Written by Lela Moore and Susanne Arthur on June 14, 2021
  16. Please let us avoid any form of name-calling in our forums. This only leads to misunderstandings, hurt feelings and reluctance to join in a discussion. There are areas related to this pandemic where reasonable people can reasonably disagree, and they are far too complicated for any of us to resolve here. Please, dear ones, let us keep our focus on the intended purpose of this site: to offer reliable information, comfort and support to the bereaved and those who care for them. We are not here to decide who should wear a mask or who should be vaccinated ~ and we are not here to pass judgment on anyone for sharing beliefs that are different from our own.
  17. Please copy this and post it where you can see it as often as necessary, dear Kay, because it's the TRUTH ~ and I hope that for your own sake you will abide by it. ❤️
  18. From the founders of Wings - A Grief Education Ministry: What do you think? Messages from Beyond Have you been touched, changed, or given a gift of peace by a unique encounter with your loved one who died? It might be difficult to believe but the stories are convincing. Many of these signs go unrecognized, unless we pay attention. But some people find comfort in finding signs or messages that indicate their loved one is still around and can communicate in unique ways. These stories represent a continued bond with those we love that can never be broken. Messages offer reassurance that your loved one is okay and may give you comfort and hope that our love and life lives on. We’d like you to share an experience you felt was a message or sign (example: butterflies, scents, phone calls, technology, lights) from your loved one who died. Please include your name, city and state. (Only your first name, city and state will be used if we include your story in our July Eletter. Or you can stay completely anonymous on request.) Nan & Gary Zastrow nanwings1@gmail.com the founders of: wingsgrief.orgWings--a Grief Education Ministry Visit Wings on FACEBOOK website: wingsgrief.org
  19. http://www.sandcmemories.com/i/CottageCutz/Cottagecutz_Sending_Hugs_Bear.jpg
  20. My dear Kay, I'm so sorry that you're feeling so overwhelmed with so much, and I wish we could take some of these burdens off your shoulders. You take such good care of everyone else, but I worry that you don't place yourself very high on that list. I know you know all about self-care and you don't need anyone telling you how to manage all that's on your plate ~ but I do feel a need to remind you to take care of yourself, lest you have nothing left to give anyone else. And I do wonder ~ if your precious George were here, what advice might he be giving you while you "recoup and spend time dealing with Peggy's situation, the family and her neighbors"? ❤️
  21. I'm so sorry that you were given such a discouraging message from someone at your church, Jean. Not everyone would agree with that point of view, and it certainly does nothing to bring you the hope and comfort you need and deserve, as you continue to mourn the loss of your beloved son. I invite you to read this article ~ and pay special attention to the many resources listed at the base, too: Religion and Spirituality in Grief ❤️
  22. My dear, I invite you to read this article, as I think the response I gave this reader could have been written just for you: Pet Loss: When Guilt Overshadows Grief ❤️
  23. From Pet Loss: Curious Cats Get Killed in Clothes Dryers: For those of you who have cats or kittens in your home, I urge you to consider taking these precautions: Always keep the doors to appliances closed (washer, dryer, refrigerator, freezer). Keep the door to your laundry room closed. Place sticky notes on your appliances to remind you to check first for kitty’s presence. Once you’ve loaded your washer or dryer (and before you turn it on), check the inside with a sweep of your hand. If you hear any noise or strange sound coming from your washer or dryer, investigate immediately.
  24. My thanks to you for sharing your thoughts with us, my friend ~ and I wish you all the best as you continue to grow. ❤️
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