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sevenofwands
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« on: December 15, 2008, 03:01:38 PM »

Perhaps this has been posted before, but it sounds like a useful book.
Seven

The Grief Recovery Handbook : The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death Divorce, and Other Losses (Paperback)
by John W. James (Author), Russell Friedman (Author)

Incomplete recovery from grief can have a lifelong negative effect onyour capacity for happiness. Drawing from their own histories, as wellas from others, the authors illustrate what grief is and how it ispossible to recover and regain energy and spontaneity. Based on a provenprogram, now extensively revised, The Grief Recovery Handbookoffers grievers the specific actions needed to complete the grievingprocess and accept loss. For those ready to regain a sense of aliveness,the principles outlined here make this a life-changinghandbook.

Essential for anyone who is experiencing grief, whether from arecent loss or one many years ago. Shows one how to complete theprocess and begin enjoying life anew. I can't recommend it highly enough. Please try it if you are "locked in limbo" and unable to experience real joy in your life.
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kevinjj
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2009, 10:46:25 AM »

I used that and it was helpful to me. One thing that helped with this book was being able to distinguish between guilt and things that could have been better, more of or different. Guilt = feeling that things should have been a certain way, non-guilt = knowing that things could have been a certain way. Should Have v  Could Have , these are two very different things  and it makes a huge difference in how we feel about ourselves and the death of loved one. The book has some very practical guidelines for resolving  unfinished business no matter how trivial it seems.
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sevenofwands
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2009, 07:03:30 AM »

Yes, Kevin.  And isn't 20/20 hindsight a wonderful thing.
We are only human, we all make mistakes in all areas of our lives, and perfection does not exist.

What you say is very valid.

All the best
Seven
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sevenofwands
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2009, 05:05:45 AM »

Knowledge about grief and grief work is essential in getting through a major loss.

Where can you start?

1. Begin by considering friends and relatives who have suffered similar losses and how they have coped with them (even ask people you don’t know well). It is perfectly normal and smart to humbly seek out the wisdom of others. A grief companion is invaluable. Reach out, and don’t let your pride hold you back. There is much experience out there. Ask specific questions, weigh the benefits and disadvantages of the answers, then decide if you want to use what you have heard or let it go as not applicable to your situation.

2. Search the grief literature for some of the huge quality resources available. Pamphlets and articles on grief are abundant. At your library, local hospice, church, or on the Internet you will find a wide variety of materials. You may not feel like reading anything early in your grieving. If so, come back to this resource later. There is so much information from reading alone that can help you. Again, pick and choose what rings true for you and discard the rest.

3. Be willing to join a grief support group. There is much quality information you will be introduced to. For example, many grievers do not realize that there are many secondary losses, in addition to the major loss, that need to be recognized and grieved. Also, you can learn much from other mourners who are at different stages in their grieving. Here is another opportunity to find that needed grief companion. Remember that the fabric of connections you have with others are unique just to you, and no one else. You will sense who to speak to about your feelings and who to ask advice from.

4. Become aware of the damaging grief myths you believe in. Here are some common ones: you should be over grief in a few weeks; crying is a sign of weakness; grief only affects the emotions; you are supposed to let go of the person who died; you will be your old self again. Remember, all beliefs have a powerful effect on your behavior, often without you knowing it. There is nothing wrong with discarding unworkable beliefs.

5. Visit a grief counselor. Write up your list of questions before you go. Don’t just go to anyone who does counseling. Look for a professional whose primary counseling load is with people who are grieving. Consult the Association for Death Education and Counseling (www.adec.org) for grief counselors in your area. They can help you uncover your strengths, myths that are prolonging grief, and remove the obstacles to reducing the intensity of your grief. Always go to professionals who are recognized experts on grief.




In developing coping skills to deal with your loss, be assured that the specific information to help you is out there. But regrettably, you must take action at a most difficult time in order to uncover it. Follow your heart; it will lead you to the right people. We need each other; and at a time of great loss it is not a sign of weakness to seek assistance, and through trial and error, move through the grief process and the growth it will surely bring.
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sevenofwands
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2009, 05:42:20 AM »

http://knitandcontemplation.typepad.com/canticle_of_creatures/2006/01/the_grieving_pr.html


“Life is change. We undergo change, loss and grief from birth onward. Every venture from home, every move, every job or status change every loss of a person, pet, belief, every illness, every shift in life such as marriage, divorce, or retirement, and every, kind of personal growth and change may be cause for grief. These do what Elizabeth Kublerross calls the ‘little deaths of life’. Grief is in fact like a neighbor who always lives next door, no matter where or how we live, no matter how we try to move away. Whether we want to or not, every one of us has to learn to let go, to move forward without someone or something we wanted every much.

“Grief may result from any significant change or loss in our lives. Healthy grief. dramatic and even traumatic as it may be, is a three-stage process. First, it is fully experiencing and expressing all, the emotions and reactions to the toss. Second, it is completing and letting go of your attachment both to the deceased and to sorrow. Third, it is recovering and reinvesting anew in one s own life. For most of us that is a big order. Therefore, it takes courage to grieve.”

Tatelbaum discusses in detail the processes that will help us to grieve normally and successfully. She mentions in particular five special strengths that help us to face death or loss: 1) knowledge: becoming educated about grief 2) emotional maturity, which she defines as the willingness to acknowledge and cope with reality, to experience and express our feelings , 3) having a life purpose that sustains meaning in our lives, 4) having a support-system of people and activities that fill our lives and 5) having courage to face life’s difficulties.

Tatelbaum also discusses the negative effects and signs of incomplete or unsuccessful grief:

“Missing any of the steps in the grieving process may result in unhealthy or unsuccessful grief. Because these stages may take months, unsuccessful grief may not show up until long after the loss.

“The suppression of grief can incapacitate us by causing our emotions to be deadened or distorted, our relationships to suffer, and our functioning to be impaired. There are many signs of unsuccessful or inhibited grief. Sudden personality changes and progressive social isolation after a loss may signify unresolved grief. The bereaved may become apathetic or unusually contained and careful. (They) may control their feelings (to an extreme degree). Anxiety or fearfulness that persists much beyond the loss experience is another sign of unsuccessful grief.

“The other extreme - exaggerating or prolonging our grief years beyond the actual loss is also unhealthy. This occurs when we overidealize the deceased, or hang on to such feelings as sorrow or guilt, or fail to resume our lives fully after a loss. Hidden feelings, too painful to face, are often the underlying cause of prolonged grief. Sometimes our fears of life are harder to face than our grief, which by now is familiar.”

Tatel baum writes, “There are two major psychological tasks to be accomplished during the mourning period. The first is to acknowledge and accept the truth: that (loss) has occurred and that the relationship is now over. Whether we are aware of it or not, we pay an enormous price for inhibiting grief. Sometimes the price is a loss of our zest for living that may continue for months or even years.”


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sevenofwands
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2009, 06:39:59 AM »

I'm Grieving as Fast as I Can: How Young Widows and Widowers Can Cope and Heal
by Linda Sones Feinberg

A reader says:

I just want all grieving widows out there under the age of 60 to know that this book is a must read. ON January 2nd 2008 i lost my best friend husband and father of my three children of 16 years tragically and didn't think life would go on. But after reading this book two times consectively I knew that it would be ok. I have since had several good friends also become widowed and have given this book to them as a helper in coping with what we all go thru. I truly beleive that we all love different so we all grieve different but this book shows that we all can learn about grieving in the same way. Great book and a great gift to those that have loved and lost. thanks to the author and to B and N for caring such a great book."""

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sevenofwands
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2009, 01:29:39 PM »

http://freespace.virgin.net/ahcare.qua/literature/mindspirit/understandingdetachment.html

"Yes, we can make plans and have goals in our lives. However, the more prepared you are to let them go, to change them, to leave them behind, the more free you will be. This freedom will allow you to concentrate on your status today, rather than on what is missing from your dream. By all means have dreams and desires, but don't attach any expectations to them. Whether or not they become reality is irrelevant. Detach yourself from the outcome of your desires. Whatever happens, it is all right. Attach yourself to feeling good, regardless of the situation you are in or the things you would want to change. Have dreams, make plans, but live for today.




"""So, taking responsibility for your own life is an essential tool for health and survival. And this involves making your own choices and becoming aware that indeed you do have a choice. Our emotions are said to be outside of our control, but, as we have just seen, they are most definitely not. You decide whether or not you are going to be angry, or jealous, or happy, or depressed. You decide how a particular event is going to affect you. Realising this gives you the freedom to analyse each decision you make. It cuts you loose from the event itself. The event and your reaction to it are two different and separate things. You are detached.

This also means that there is no need for certain things to happen in order for you to be happy. You may want to take the decision that you are going to be happy anyway, regardless.

So, you need to take responsibility for your own life. You need to be aware that you are making decisions all the time and that it is these decisions that are effectively determining whether or not you are contented in life. Implementing that detaches you from the effects of life as it goes on around you. Of course there are circumstances of which the effects will have a major influence regardless, such as natural disasters and group decisions (laws and group beliefs). However, once again your attitude towards this will have a major influence on how you cope with it. Feeling sorry for yourself will rarely help you to find a way forward.

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sevenofwands
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2009, 05:29:15 AM »

Grief generates fear, or at least it seems to do so for many. 



Why Is God Laughing? The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism, by Deepak Chopra


"""Your stuck energies force you to be someone who doesn’t exist anymore: The angry child deprived of love, the frightened child who doesn’t feel safe. The past is a false guide to the future, and yet it’s what most of us rely upon. By letting go of stuck energies, you let go of your past.

People get used to fear, and they mistake that for overcoming fear. I’m trying to get you to look inside yourself. Even when you don’t notice it, fear has you in its grasp. Anytime it wants to, it can jump you, and you’ll be powerless to resist.

If you identify personally with negativity, you will never let it go. Learn to see anger as only energy, like electricity. Electricity isn’t about you. Neither is anger. It’s universal and sticks to anything that seems unfair or unjust. Fear sticks to anything that feels dangerous or unsafe.

Imagine that your worst enemy comes over to your house. He sits down in the living room, and no matter what you do, he won’t go away. Day after day he refuses to leave. What do you do? You begin to ignore him. You pretend he’s not there. You home isn’t your home if there’s an enemy living there. It doesn’t matter if you toss a drop cloth over him, or if you decide to completely redecorate the place. Until you figure out a way to make your enemy leave, you’ll never feel safe.

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sevenofwands
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2009, 12:56:14 PM »

A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss (Hardcover)
by Jerry Sittser (Author) "

"The experience of loss does not have to be the defining moment of our lives, writes Gerald Sittser. Instead, the defining moment can be our response to the loss. It is not what happens to us that matters so much as what happens in us. Sittser knows. A tragic accident introduced him to loss of a magnitude few of us encounter. But this is not a book about one man's sorrow. It's about the grace that can transform us in the midst of sorrow. For those experiencing loss, A Grace Disguised offers a compassionate, deeply affirming message of hope, richness in living, and joy not after the darkness, but even in the midst of it"

He lost his wife, mother and a daughter in a single automobile accident.
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sevenofwands
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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2009, 06:05:44 AM »

http://www.ncpamd.com/bereavement.htm#Why Must We Grieve?

""When someone we love is gone from our lives, it is as if a piece of us has been torn away. The loss rends the fabric of our lives and the wound must be repaired. Grief is that process by which our minds heal this hurt. For us to go on with our lives and again risk caring about others, we need to let go of those we love who are no longer with us. Through this process of mourning, we gradually accept the loss. We allow the dead to be gone from our lives.

At the end of mourning, there is still sadness, but it is a wistful sadness that is tempered by the happy memories that we still possess.""

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sevenofwands
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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2009, 06:17:26 AM »

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/classic/A616231

It's one of the great indisputable truths (perhaps the only one) that at some point, we're all of us going to die. And when human hearts stop beating, other humans mourn the loss, suffering terrible sadness in the process. ""There's nothing that can be learned, no clever tricks to be employed, that will avert the pain of genuine bereavement. No matter how different we all are or how different our belief systems, if we live long enough, we'll all experience the agony of bereavement.

This compassionate and generous Community-written entry looks at the different ways individuals have each tried to best cope with their grief. We've let these individuals, thus this entry, speak for themselves. Editorial, outside of actual quotations, has been kept to the barest minimum. A super-enlightened piece of Community work, this....""

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sevenofwands
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2009, 04:55:43 AM »

http://forum.psychlinks.ca/fears-and-phobias/13071-fear-of-abandonment.html

Excerpts from this article:

"The fear of being left all alone to cope in a hard and scary world is universal; everyone feels it sometimes. But there are people whose lives are far too controlled by this fear. These insecure ones don’t trust their abilities to cope by themselves. While it is fine to be interdependent with others in life, it is important to be one’s own person and know where one is going, whether or not there are always people to support you.

If threatened with having to be alone, those whose lives are controlled by fear of abandonment tend to compulsively reach out to find someone, anyone, to have around them..."

"People with major abandonment fear generally have a weakened sense of self; they feel more happy, confident and real when someone else is there to prop them up and protect them from the boogeyman. The boogeyman represents their own inner fears and urges: if I’m alone, I won’t be able to cope with the emotions that come up, or with outer world challenges. It is too hard to be me and I don’t have the supports and resources to make it in this hard world."
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sevenofwands
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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2009, 02:23:28 PM »

Avoiding Grief May Help With Recovery, Says Professor of Psychology
30 October 1995

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

or people who suffer the loss of a loved one, a complete recovery from grief may be impossible. But avoiding the emotional impact of the loss may help.

"Complete denial of grief would be a bad thing. Loss does not go away, but allowing grief to overwhelm you or to play a major role in your life is harmful," says George Bonanno, assistant professor of psychology at The Catholic University of America.

He studied long-term grief in 100 middle-aged individuals who lost their spouses. He found that those who repressed their grief or appeared to be holding grief inside were psychologically and physically healthier six and 14 months after their losses than others who grieved more.

His study refutes the accepted belief that delayed grief will catch up to the bereaved individual. Three years after the death of their spouses, Bonanno found that the individuals who repressed their grief still had not suffered from any traumatic confrontations with grief.

"A part of grief is feeling isolated and cut off from people. It makes sense that people who appear to contain their grief are more easily approached by others around them. This contact helps ease the feeling of isolation," says Bonanno.

Not everyone can repress their feelings, but bereaved individuals who are naturally disposed to avoiding emotions should not be forced to confront their grief. "Respect your natural disposition. If you can let your grief go, do it," he says.

Dwelling on grief can increase the stress of the loss and stall recovery. "If a person copes with the loss of a loved one by avoiding his emotions, that is not a bad thing. The important thing is that he is coping and doing it better then a person who lets his grief consume him," says Bonanno. George Bonanno, a psychologist at Catholic University, is available for interviews at 202-319-5750.

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sevenofwands
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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2009, 06:30:47 AM »

Toxic Faith (Paperback)
by Stephen Arterburn

When religion becomes a means to avoid or control life, it becomes toxic. Those who possess a toxic faith have stepped across the line from a balanced perspective of God to an unbalanced faith in a weak, powerless or uncaring God. They seek a God to fix every mess, prevent every hurt, and mend every conflict.

Toxic Faith distinguishes between a healthy faith and a misguided religiosity that traps believers in an addictive practice of religion. It shows how unbalanced ministries, misguided churches, and unscrupulous leaders can lead their followers away from God and into a desolate experience of religion that drives many to despair. Toxic Faith shows readers how to find hope for a return to genuine, healthy faith that can add meaning to life. In the words of the author, “I want to help you throw out that toxic faith and bring you back to the real thing.”
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