Resources for Healing Grief

by Peggy Sweeney

Grief is overwhelming. We confront grief whenever we experience a loss or a traumatic event. Divorce, loss of a job, a missing child, catastrophic illness, disabling injury, addiction, abuse, the aftermath of a fire or flood, post traumatic stress, caring for a loved one at the end of their life, and, of course, the death of a family member or friend are some examples of grief. Healing our grief is a life-altering and very personal experience. No two people will work through their grief experiences in the same way.

Because grief affects each one of us differently, I have included some resources here that may be of interest to you, especially in the early days, weeks, and months that you are in mourning. Be sure to search for articles on this blog under the heading Healthy Grieving for specific articles on this topic.

This is just a short list of recommended reading. For additional titles, you can view our current list of books in the Good Grief Books section. If you would like to recommend a book(s) you found helpful, please let me know. Include a brief synopsis and why it was beneficial for you. If possible, I will invite the author to share an article for this site. Continue reading “Resources for Healing Grief”

Grief and Running, You Taught Me Well

by Jenny Rainone

Jenny Rainone

Hello!  My name is Jenny Rainone.  I am 36 years old.  About three years ago, I found myself at an all-time low.  I had a failing 2-year marriage to someone I’d dated for 7 years, compounded by fertility challenges. I had lost a job that I’d seemingly invested much effort, time, and heart into. I had a brother, whom I’d been very close to growing up, that I hadn’t spoken to, heard from, or seen in over a year. About 6 months later, during a routine doctor’s visit, I was told that I could be put on medication for high blood pressure, plus I was borderline diabetic. I was also 50 lbs heavier than average. I’d never thought of myself as being depressed. I’d always been athletic in high school, and was a casual exerciser throughout college, so during the drive home, I reflected on how I’d gotten to this point.

Grief is interesting, because there’s no definite beginning or end. It can appear, go away, and re-visit without warning or reason. I was grieving for a failing marriage, for children I’d always wanted and hadn’t had, for a job I’d lost, and for a brother that was, for all practical purposes, gone. When we don’t address large looming life stresses, they have a way of reminding you that they’re still present. Continue reading “Grief and Running, You Taught Me Well”

Breathe…….with T’ai Chi

by Mary Cuchna

T’ai Chi (or Taiji) is a mind-body practice that originated in China with a philosophical basis……The words “T’ai Chi” are literally translated as “Supreme Ultimate”, or in other words, to become the best that we can be – reaching our full potential as human beings by balancing the positive and negative aspects in our lives. Tai Chi is characterized by slow, fluid movements in a choreographed pattern called a “form.” It is considered a martial art, but daily practice of this beautiful exercise art reaps many benefits.

One of the major benefits T’ai Chi is noted for is stress reduction. Most of us live fast-pace, overworked, stress-filled lives. But when something radically changes in our lives, such as the loss of a child, spouse, parent, or a close friend, normal stress is magnified as we are left to deal with such immense changes in our world; we can easily become overwhelmed.

Continue reading “Breathe…….with T’ai Chi”

Dealing With Traumatic Events

by Chaplain Bruce Lacillade, M.Div.

1029We have recently experienced a seemingly large number of tragic events in the U.S. These include, but are not limited to, wild fires, the Oklahoma tornadoes, rail transportation accidents, the Boston Marathon bombings, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, Super-storm Sandy, and hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and just recently the Colorado floods, and the shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington.

These events are devastating, not only to individuals and entire communities, but also the society as a whole. Such events are difficult to process and challenge our resiliency, both as individuals and as a people. However, let us remember that we have overcome past tragedies, and with faith, optimism and action, we will overcome our present tragedies.

As humans we tend to view disasters as uncommon events, while experience shows that catastrophes are actually the norm and stable systems the outliers. Dr. Michael Larranaga of Oklahoma University stated in a recent article that, “Many modern energy, industrial, transportation, health care, telecommunications, and political systems are highly vulnerable to small changes that propagate and develop into major disasters. The systemic tendency to unravel, decay uncontrollably, or move from order to disorder (e.g. disaster) is a characteristic of all natural and human-made systems and is defined by Newton’s Second Law of thermodynamics as ‘entropy’.” Continue reading “Dealing With Traumatic Events”