Today is Ricky’s 8th “angelversary”. It doesn’t feel like the day he died. It doesn’t feel like the first anniversary or the second. It doesn’t feel like a regular day, either. My body will always mark this day and I will always be gentle with myself as I feel whatever bubbles up during this day and this week.
Grief is conflicting feelings caused by the end of, or change in, a familiar pattern of behavior. These feelings can be activated by a wide range of life events: the loss of a relationship, the death of a beloved pet, the loss of a job, the loss of independence, and many other significant losses fall under the umbrella of grief. This year, I as navigate this week, I am reflecting on how much additional loss I experienced last year and what I have learned navigating the loss of a beloved pet and a home.
Each loss is different. Each person’s journey of grieving is different. I know you can Google resources, but here are some that I have found helpful and some words for you to remember as you help friends and loved ones who are grieving.
If you are more of a podcast listener, I linked several podcasts that I have been a guest on and chatted about some ways that I found helpful throughout this grief journey.
Words of Comfort
What moves through us is a silence, a quiet sadness, a longing for one more day, one more word, one more touch. We may not understand why you left this earth so soon, or why you left before we were ready to say good-bye, but little by little, we begin to remember not just that you died, but that you lived. And that your life gave us memories too beautiful to forget. God speed and God bless your loved ones.
How to Help Someone
A hurting person is in a storm. They are cold, wet, shivering, and scared. Preaching, platitudes, and advice will not get them out of the storm. Don’t tell a person in a storm that it’s a sunny day. There will likely come a day when the clouds part, but it is not today. It’s not your job to pull them out of the storm. It’s your job to get wet with them.”
—Adam McHugh, When Someone is in A Storm
- GriefShare (griefshare.org): GriefShare offers a nationwide directory of support groups, online resources, and video seminars to help individuals navigate the grieving process.
The Dougy Center (dougy.org): This organization provides support for grieving children, teens, and their families, offering online resources, forums, and educational materials.
National Alliance for Grieving Children (nacg.org): NAGC offers resources, support, and information for children and teens dealing with grief and for the professionals who work with them.
American Association of Suicidology (suicidology.org): AAS provides resources for those who have lost someone to suicide, including online support groups, articles, and educational materials.
What’s Your Grief (whatsyourgrief.com): A website and podcast offering practical advice, articles, and courses to help people cope with grief.
The Compassionate Friends (compassionatefriends.org): A support organization for families who have experienced the death of a child, with online support groups, chat rooms, and a sibling support program.
Grief in Common (griefincommon.com): An online platform that connects people with similar losses, allowing them to share experiences and find support.
Crisis Text Line (crisistextline.org): A 24/7 crisis support service that provides help via text message for individuals experiencing grief and emotional distress.
The Grief Toolbox (thegrieftoolbox.com): An online resource hub with articles, blogs, and a directory of grief support services.
Modern Loss (modernloss.com): A website and community that explores grief in the context of contemporary life, offering personal stories, articles, and resources.
Grieving.com (grieving.com): An online grief support community with forums and discussion boards where individuals can connect and share their experiences.
Open to Hope (opentohope.com): Provides articles, radio shows, and resources related to grief and loss, offering a wide range of support.
Hospice Foundation of America (hospicefoundation.org): Offers a wealth of information and resources on end-of-life care, grief, and bereavement.
The Center for Loss & Life Transition (grief.com): Founded by grief expert Dr. Alan Wolfelt, this website provides articles, books, and resources on grief and mourning.
TAPS (taps.org): The national nonprofit organization providing compassionate care and resources for those grieving the death of a military or veteran loved one.
Soaring Spirits (soaringspirits.org): Creating connections and maintaining a peer-based support group and programs for widowed men and women that serves a worldwide population. No one need grieve alone.
Remember that it’s essential to reach out to a mental health professional if you’re struggling with intense grief or experiencing complicated grief reactions. Online resources can be a valuable supplement to seeking help from trained experts.
Podcasts Where Roxanne Shares Her Story
- Lucky Star Art Camp Podcast:
Nourishing Creativity through Connections
- Faith and Grief:
Creativity in the Shadow of Grief
- She’s Crafted to Thrive:
How to Use Creativity to Find Hope and Healing After Loss
- Laughter After Trauma:
Doodle Your Way to Creative Freedom
The Grief to Growth Gratitude Journal
Top 10 Things I Learned about Grief
- Grief is unique. No two people grieve the same way.
- There is no timeline. You can’t schedule grief.
- Grief isn’t linear.
- It’s okay to feel a range of emotions…sometimes, all at the same time.
- There is an intense emotional AND physical impact. This is where my restorative yoga practice was so helpful!
- Support is crucial. Reach out. Check in.
- Grief changes over time. There will be a new version of you. Different and new.
- Memories are precious.
- Self-compassion is key. Take care of yourself. Be gentle with yourself.
- Life goes on. Grief doesn’t mean giving up on life. Moving forward brings new sources of meaning and joy.