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http://www.whatsyourgrief.com/5-grief-blogs-or-semi-grief-related-blogs-we-love/

What's Your Grief? Website listed five great blogs on grief and our own Marty's was the first listed. There is an endless amount of information on these blogs.

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A Conversation with Grief

by Susan Casey

There’s no getting away from myself when Day’s incessant chatter quiets. After her shift ends and Night’s long shift begins. There’s no crawling out of my own skin and kicking it into a corner after the pitter-patter of feet, heading to bed, fade out. When phones are charging and message alerts have been switched to the “silent” mode. When TVs are clicked off. When dogs are sleeping. When cars are tucked inside garages and kids into their beds. There’s no scooping thoughts out of my head, or the ache out of my heart, like seeds from a pumpkin. There’s just me in the pitch-black of my kitchen, sitting by the glow of my computer, tasting the salt on my tongue from my own tears as I watch a slideshow a friend has put together for my brother’s memorial. A slideshow I’d been dreading for weeks.

Forty-three years of my brother’s life are captured in frozen moments strung together as he grows up in front me. A newborn tucked against our mother’s chest. A one-year-old, enamored with toes he’s discovered on his baby feet. A toddler in a highchair, smearing chocolate cake on the tray. A five-year-old, clutching an orange Popsicle, my youngest brother nuzzled beside him, licking his own. Now six, he walks along a beach on a winter day, dressed in a snowsuit. In the next shot, he blows out ten birthday candles. In his teens and twenties, he gazes up at stars, dribbles a basketball, heads a soccer ball, slings arms around college pals, and kisses the cheek of his newborn son and years later, his daughter. His thirties and forties, a Balinese wedding, riding boats in Egypt, elephants in Thailand, motor scooters in Bali. Then there are pictures that mark beginnings before endings. My mother smiling with her son before her stroke, a wedding before a divorce, five siblings, arms around each other, before there were only four.

I reached a hand out (as I often do) to touch his face, to touch a moment that had passed at the same time the camera clicked.

My old pal Grief leaned over my shoulder, brushed my neck with his lips. “I’m here for you,” he said.

I turned, shined my light on him as he draped a black cape around my shoulders, mumbling, “You can wear this for the rest of your life if you choose as a reminder of how heavy I am.” Read on here >>>

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A powerful and significant blog post by Megan Devine who says it like it is...who speaks for me, for you, for so many who have lost a spouse/partner.

http://www.refugeingrief.com/2014/08/04/no-interests-in-grief/

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As I walked Bentley early this morning, I noticed the Birch trees turning yellow and even dropping their leaves. Fall and Winter are now my favorite seasons....read what Megan Devine has to say about how the seasons have their meanings to those who grieve: http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=65cb04e36e42aca80e299ef67&id=147efce9e7&e=503bc56b58

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Spousal Death Cause Power Outage: 25 Ways to Amp Up Your Power

by Gloria Horsley

http://www.opentohope.com/

In the past two years my brother-in-law and brother both died. It has been interesting to see how my sister-in-laws have responded to the death of their spouses. Of course it has been difficult and very sad for all of us, but looking at it from a family systems perspective I have noticed a major shift in family dynamics. Not so much for me as for the widows. Comments such as, "I am feeling lonely, sad, frustrated and angry" are often expressed to family and friends by these widows. Underlying these feelings I believe is a more fundamental issue, and that is "feelings of powerlessness." The power of two is now down to one. This power shift often causes frustration, anger and tension when friends, family and especially adult children are unable or unwilling to fill in the gaps left when one's partner dies.

If you or a family member are one of the thousands of people who were widowed last year and are having these feelings, you are not alone. No one likes feeling powerless or less connected. Let's look at what is going on. With the death of a spouse or partner you naturally lose the power of your status as a couple. This is a paradigm shift that requires you to give up the life you planned in order to embrace the life that awaits you.

In order to make change you will have to explore new outlets and claim the power of "one." Read on here >>>

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Article worth reading....from my perspective as a recent widow, this author is one of the "unsafe people" who doesn't get it.

Jo

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I'm so sorry that this article didn't speak to you in a way that was helpful, Jo, and I hope you will choose simply to ignore it. We're all mourning different losses, and we're all at different points in our grief journeys, so what appeals to some of us will not be acceptable to the rest of us. That's okay, and I'm glad you felt free to say what you thought of this particular piece.

While you've every right to criticize what she said in this article and how she said it, I must respectfully disagree with your characterizing the author as an unsafe person who doesn't get it. As one of the founders of Open to Hope, Gloria Horsley is a good person ~ and a bereaved mom who has devoted her life to supporting the bereaved and helping people to find hope after loss.

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Posted on Facebook yesterday morning by Alan Pedersen, Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends/USA

Today is my third day of “Random Acts of Kindness” week. You see, on Friday it will be 13 years since my Ashley died. These random acts of kindness I do during anniversary week have helped me feel better when the dog days of August try to bring me down. I have always kept this private, as I do these things simply for myself, to honor Ashley and how generous she was.

This year however, I thought I would share one of these acts of kindness with my Facebook family with the hope that maybe it will inspire someone out there who is struggling with a birthday, an anniversary date or simply just struggling because you miss the one you love so much.

I do very little planning or staging of who I am going to help, the situations just seem to lay out in front of me. After filling up with gas on Saturday at my local convenience store, I went inside to buy something to drink. In front of me in line was a young man probably around 30 or so (Ashley would be 31) counting out pennies and nickels to the cashier.

At first I wasn’t paying too much attention but then as they counted down the last 20 pennies or so I realized that the young man was using all of his change to buy $2 worth of gas. I didn’t think too much about it as I thought maybe he is filling up a gas can for his mower or something.

I paid for my stuff and walked outside where I noticed the man putting the gas into his Ford Explorer. Here in California, $2 worth of gas won’t get you far, and I could sense this young man was running on fumes. Before I could get close to him, he had already gotten his gas, jumped back in his vehicle and had actually started to drive away. Something told me to wave to him, and when I did he waved back and I continued walking toward him as though I had something to say. He rolled down his window and I said my daughter told me that you could probably use this $20 bill. As I handed it to him, he looked at me and said thanks as his eyes glazed over with tears.

That is all I said, I walked back to my car and drove away feeling like Ashley was in the passenger seat next to me. Random acts of kindness have been healing for me. Some involve money, some involve service to others, but regardless of how big or small these acts are, they bring me a measure of healing. Help me make this week my biggest Random Acts of Kindness week ever by doing something kind for somebody this week in honor of your child, grandchild, brother, sister or loved one. Love Lives ON!

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Yes, Anne. I agree. I read that and thought how helpful and well done it is....as usual from our Marty!!

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This article is excellent and it contains many links to other good articles. The first three links about fear and anxiety are relevant and you may wish to read them.

They are not specifically about grief though the video with Stephen Levine and his spouse do deal specifically with fear and death.

http://beyondmeds.com/2014/08/20/fear-is-life-force/

This is a website I monitor daily as our world wrestles with the long term use of prescribed drugs in the area of mental health.

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"...each branch of the tree can only reasonably support two apples. You have to go, branch by branch, and pluck off little baby apples until every branch has only as much as it can support."

After Bill died, I struggled with saying "no" as I attempted to ignore the reality that the old normal was gone and the new normal was evolving. I attempted to do too much as I had been doing all through his illness. I said yes to every invitation for fear of being left out or alone and because I was just plain out of my center. I knew better but did not honor my ever faithful gut. This piece is so valuable as we all evolve into our "new normal".

We frequently say Yes, when we mean no so that ultimately we are not rejected...we become "pleasers" to gain acceptance, praise etc. false as it may be. Or to avoid truth or reality or many other reasons. This piece is ever so helpful.

The Spiritual Art of Saying No http://www.onbeing.org/blog/the-spiritual-art-of-saying-no/6718

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:wub:

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I found this to be an excellent thought on what we sometimes think about our own helplessness...

Refuge In Grief shared Dr Geoff Warburton's photo.

a message from my friend and colleague Dr Geoff Warburton

10406898_354872031338314_151828296366194

Picture courtesy of http://bit.ly/1rxgDna

Being helpless

Helplessness is not deficiency. In grief they often get confused with each other, which can lead to suffering. There’s a profound truth in the helplessness experienced through loss – we can’t prevent the death of our loved ones. However, this can get translated into “It’s my fault, I did something wrong. I should have … so I’ve got to be different, then I can stop this ever happening again. I’ve got to fix something so that …” But being helpless does not mean we are lacking anything.

Being helpless is not the same as being a victim. It’s quite common, though, to tell ourselves that we are being a victim when we feel helpless. More often than not this message comes from our inner critic that has taken on cultural values. In our Western egocentric culture it’s usually bad to be or feel helpless. But if someone is dead, they are dead. We are helpless about this, and we are helpless to change our experience of grief about it. We can’t change the pain; we can only transform it by being with it.

In our confusion about helplessness and deficiency we say “I feel helpless, there must be something deficient about me. I must do something to correct that deficiency, such as pull myself together, snap out of it, get on with life, move on, and jump right over that sense of helplessness.” A really good question to ask here would be “What is wrong with helplessness?”

We need to examine our motivation for wanting to change helplessness. Quite often our motivation comes back to the influence of our inner critic, telling us we must be this, that or the other; we must be more than we are. This kind of motivation only prolongs our suffering.

How about you hang around with the experience of helplessness for a while, even if you are going “Help! Quick – get me out of here! Oh my god, I’m helpless, I’ve got to do something.” If you follow the impulse to run from your helplessness, you may be resisting a profound opportunity for change. Why not surrender to your experience?

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It is very common for a spouse to become ill following a loss. This article explains some of why that happens. It is in part about the immune system and hormones as we age.

(How Grief Makes You Sick in Old Age) http://time.com/3311270/how-grief-makes-you-sick-in-old-age/?xid=newsletter-brief

This final sentence may be the most important one in the article:

"But you can balance your hormones naturally through exercising, having active social networks, and paying attention to your diet, she says. "

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Thank you, Anne. Seems mine disappeared. Thanks :wub:

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Hi Anne,

We will be checking in often and waiting to hear how your meeting with the pulmonary doctor goes today. I know you are going to get a good report.

And sending lots of *<fairy dust>* your way for today as well. :wub:

Much Love,

fae

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My friend, Elaine, speaks for so many of us including myself. A brief reminder to love ourselves through our pain and into our pain.

http://elainemansfield.com/2013/befriending-myself-rescued-by-pema-chodron/

and here

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In Ashley Davis Bush’s blog today she asks a question that I found helpful as I transition in my grief journey…

What Door is Opening for You?

“September is a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, it heralds the end of those especially sweet long summer days. The season’s playfulness starts to ebb away with the longer, cooler nights of September.

On the other hand, even as I zip up my fleece, I’m also aware of a new energy that sweeps me up in its realm of possibility. The school year brings renewed routine, hope, inquiry. Mosquitos are noticeably absent and the bounty of harvest is bursting forth.

With every transition, with every loss, with every closed door there is also a door that opens. Often we spend so much time focusing on the closed door that our heart closes with it. The closed door is real, to be sure, and needs to be grieved. However, those who get stuck in their sadness tend to forget to turn their heads and look for the open doors.

When you make that shift in attitude and scan for new doors, you invite possibility. What September doors beg to be knocked upon? For me, door #1 is my chorus rehearsals starting up again. Behind another door, the season premier of my favorite television show. Behind door #3 the honking geese as they make their way south. And best of all, a door a little further down the corridor . . . apple cider donuts.”

What door is opening for you?

For me ~ behind door # 1 I continue my classes with Suzanne O’Brien as I learn how to become an End-of-Life Doula and perhaps be able to give some comfort to those who are alone at the end of their journey of life.

Behind door #2 I look forward to watching season 5 of “Downton Abbey” ~ I really like Lady Shackleton and look forward to some of the secrets that may crop up.

My door # 3 will be full of different surprises. Besides home repairs and some travel I hope to have finally learned how to manage my heart failure. I am now successfully off of the ten medications I have been on for the last two years. My body is healing itself with my conscious effort to lower my salt intake, exercise and learn how to live in the present moment rather than worrying about the future or focusing on the past.

I am looking forward to this Fall. What doors are opening for you?

Anne

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Dear Anne, I so appreciate that not only do you share with everyone here all the helpful things you find in your grief journey, but also that you describe how you're putting into your own practice what you have learned. I'm so proud of you!

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