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mittam99

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Marty,

We so badly need an Off-Topic section at the forum. Please take the time to read this with an open mind. I'm saying this from the point of view of someone who has started and managed many forums of varying kinds for nearly 20 years.

I understand that this is a Grief based forum and certainly that's where the attention belongs. However, we are all human beings and even though we grieve there are other aspects that make up our lives. That's where the Off Topic board idea comes from. Let me give you some valid and pertinent examples.

The recent, horrendous attack in Orlando. Sure, we've referred to the tragedy in a few posts in the Spouse forum but a tragedy of this emotional magnitude deserves it's own thread. A while back, Prince died. No one knew where to post the news so it wound up in "Loss of Friend". The thing is, no one who posted in the topic was actually a "friend" of Prince's. We were fans.

I've talked to a number of members here who agree with me on this. It won't "dilute" the quality or intent of this board in any way and it might just make it even more inviting. Certainly all posts within the off-topic section would abide by the forum rules and guidelines.

Sincerely,

Mitch

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This could be a good way to let the grief topics stay on topic and give people another place to post about their day or what they're going through, or their Windows problems or whatever.  I am as guilty as anyone of getting off topic, but if we had a separate place to do so, maybe it would help grief threads to stay as such, and be more helpful to guests and newer ones looking specifically for grief help.

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7 minutes ago, kayc said:

... if we had a separate place to do so, maybe it would help grief threads to stay as such, and be more helpful to guests and newer ones looking specifically for grief help.

Kay, that's a fantastic point! I imagine if someone newly in pain comes to the spouse forum on a day where we all get "chit-chatty" in a topic called "It hurts so bad", that could be rather off-putting. We don't want someone in need of help running away from our forum for that reason.

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I am not in favor of this idea, Mitch, for I believe that this forum is about grief and I would not like religion, politics, or points of view added here.

Marty has her hands full just keeping up with grief topics. I can't imagine having to monitor what people think about everything going on in the world. 

This is not a blog forum. If people want to just "chit-chat" then there is instant messaging or emails to do that. 

It does not mean that I am insensitive to what is going on in the world ~ it just means that this forum is not the place for what you are suggesting. This is only my opinion.

Anne

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You both have good points. What concerns me is the concept of keeping each forum right on target so people would have to worry about saying something off topic. I'm really guilty of that myself and I find myself worrying that I have crossed some line. Is it not human nature to babble just a little? What I mean is what would be allowed and what might cause attention to a mistake?  Members here often do not think about where they are in a thread. For example, a lot of newly grieving members post and respond in forums specifically designed for veteran members such as "Living With Loss" and "Behaviors in Bereavement" . If you read the description at the top of each of those forums, you see what they were designed for yet we grieving souls don't sometimes see the obvious. It's kind of like how I didn't see your post Mitch in "Honoring a Loved One" because I so seldom have the time to look at all sections of this site. I often get tunnel vision when emotions are running high.

The concept of a separate group for off grief topic is a good idea for sure but I wonder if it still won't stop people from speaking about off topic things. It may however lessen it but the point is that to chastise someone for not using the correct forum could drive them away too. I'm sure we wouldn't chastise but some might.

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(Thank you Anne and Stephen for weighing in on this matter.)

Dear ones,

While I appreciate your intent, it seems to me that no matter how many separate forums we provide, members are still free to choose wherever they wish to post. Do we really want to take that freedom away from them? And if so, how do you propose that we control that? How do we define “off topic?” Since these are open forums, no prior screening of content takes place, so we cannot know what is contained in a given post until after it appears. So it is only after the fact that any judgment can be made as to where that post “belongs.” What is more, who gets to decide what “belongs” in a particular forum? Who gets to decide whether a person’s post is “off topic”? And once that is decided, what do you propose should be done about it? The only way I see this working is if someone serves as a sort of traffic cop who screens posts for content, decides where the post “belongs” and then sees that it gets put into its “proper” forum.

I appreciate your experience in managing many different forums over the years, Mitch. What sets our Grief Healing Discussion Groups apart from other forums, however, is that this one is monitored and moderated by a certified grief counselor. As such, I take as my legal and ethical responsibility to monitor all the forums, and to read every single post that appears in each. (I think you’ve seen on some occasions how quickly things can get out of hand on this site if it isn’t carefully monitored.) Depending on how wordy our members can be, it takes an enormous amount of time. If someone needs a considered and carefully constructed response from me, that too takes a considerable amount of time. There is a limit to how many different forums I am willing to handle.

As for making our site “more inviting,” I screen anywhere from three to six new member applications each and every day, and judging by the activity on our site as well as the positive comments freely offered by our members and its stellar reputation in the community, I get the impression that the site is already inviting enough.

In any event, I do appreciate your input, and I’m certainly open to whatever ideas you and any other members wish to share. I sincerely hope you understand, however, how I feel about this particular one, and why. 

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We never said we'd add religion or politics, and  "whatever" is already talked about in the grief forums.  My thought is especially for the new griever that comes here looking for help and finds people talking about computer problems, Xanax, you name it.  My concern is that some may be off put by what they see and not come back, defeating the purpose of being here to help them through their grief.  I know you won't change your mind but I didn't want to be misunderstood, which I felt I was.

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I am a relatively new member...it seems like much longer but it has only been two months. I was looking for some more support because my sisters have virtually disappeared from my life, as did one of my best friends, and I only talk to my grief counselor once a week. I initially had AloneAndLost as my screen name, remember? I looked online at several things and found this so impressive I never really gave anything else I looked at much of a second look. I have found this place to be so kind, sensitive, gentle and supportive-I find it truly remarkable that something this absolutely sweet exists! I think that is partly because of the people that are attracted to it, partly to a few people who are very involved and have been for some time, and in a huge part due to Marty's thoughtful and caring monitoring of the site.

I discovered right away that you could follow a thread back and find all kinds of things; the topics wander all over like a mountain stream. People have good days and bad days. When we have bad days, we find support from our online friends here for our pain and heartbreak whether it is due to our original loss, another loss, an injury or illness, or a tragedy in the world we are struck by. When we have good days or happy moments, our online friends celebrate with us, whether it is a new baby in the family, a hard-won triumph in college, or a trip to Hawaii. I try to be sensitive and I think everyone else does too. I wanted to share some pictures and stories of my beloved cat, but I thought carefully about where to put it, and thought Tools For Healing was the most appropriate, and started a new thread there.

I find that there are plenty of forums as it is, and there are plenty of places to put anything you want. I started a thread once called "Not my pet, but..." to talk about the grief I feel about the way animals are treated on the reservations. It is not the same as losing my own beloved pet, but still I felt particularly grieved about this at some point, and I was felt very much supported and validated by the responses to my thread. I LOVE this site. It has made a huge positive impact on my life, and Marty, I love YOU for making it possible!!!

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I am actually 2 hours new and joining for a specific loss. I must admit I’m struggling as it is just go find my way around and I’ve been in computer for over 30 years. I found the site because I was looking for people with similar losses. I may not have gone far enough to want off-topics, but if your concerned not having them causes confusion, I can tell you from my perceptive that’s not the case. Finding the topic I want/need to post to is and an additional one will only be more confusing.  Just my two cents. If someone could point me to a could place to post my story about lost my kitten to the dryer, I’d really appreciate. Its taken me since fri night just to get signed up and this far and that took an email to Marty and some kinks she sent me. I’m very hopeful after finding this place, for the original reason I looked about my kitten and now after reading more, a worse situation from Jan. 4th 2018I hadn’t looked for, a loved ones overdose death.

 

thank you for such a welcoming place either way 😔

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9 hours ago, BeanyBeans said:

If someone could point me to a could place to post my story about lost my kitten to the dryer, I’d really appreciate.

My dear, I know that getting comfortable with our site and its features can be daunting, especially in the early days of grief. I would suggest that you post your story in our Loss of a Pet forum, here: https://www.griefhealingdiscussiongroups.com/forum/11-loss-of-a-pet/

You can start your own thread simply by clicking on the "Start New Topic" option at the top of that forum's page, or you can click on someone else's thread whose topic is similar to your own. A quick way to "preview" each topic is to hover your mouse over its title until a "pop up" appears.

See, for example, these threads:

Tragic Death, 

I Need Help, 

Dryer Got My Cat, 

 

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Thank you! I was thinking a topic was bigger than what it is. I posted mine last night. I will do the same for my son in laws death. He died from an overdose Jan 4th, 2018. Is there any place where people have posted for similar stories, overdose of some kind? Thanks again 😊

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Thank you, I’ll go there and I’ll try to get my daughters to come here also. As if 8/1 the 3 of us live in the same 4 town house rental bldg. long story how that happened, but my youngest, 29 came because of her husbands death who was likely was her soulmate, if u believe in that. Regardless she was struggling financially and emotionally and a unit came open. Being near each other helps, for now, but she needs a place to go where  people understand and/or are compassionate. It’s a difficult topic with some people. Then yesterday, on top of losing her husband, losing our little girl, they lost their grandfather yesterday, on their fathers side. He was a very good man and it was his time, but  it’s been a rough year and I know they could both use some external  support. Thanks Marty for the information. I, hopefully we, will take a look and hopefully be able to get some support. Take care!! 

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