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Broken Heart Syndrome


Nurturing Yourself During Grief

5 Steps Towards Nurturing Yourself

1. Discover what feels nurturing to you.

Try journaling to remember times in which you felt particularly nurtured. Gently ask yourself, “what feels nurturing?”

2. Resolve any conflicts around nurturing yourself.

Discuss your goal of nurturing yourself with the people around you so they support you in your efforts to nurture yourself.

3. Give yourself permission to do what feel nurturing
to yourself.

Create the time, space and energy to nurture yourself by simply giving your self permission to do so.

4. Evaluate if something was nurturing or not.

Spend some time evaluating whether your efforts are working.

5. Be patient with yourself and other people.

Like anything new, learning to nurture yourself takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself and your families as you learn to nurture yourself. You also will teach your family a valuable lesson.

“Within All of Life…. There is a Season”

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I Have a Friend in Grief: How Can I Help ?

One of the mistakes we make is asking people in deep grief how we can help them.  They are often too lost in their own sorrow to identify needs.  It’s OK to ask; but just know you can step in and help.  For instance, if it’s after the funeral at a reception and the trash needs to be taken out – don’t ask, just help.  In the old days we would gather around the loved one and just do things for them.  Bring over some food so that they don’t have cook but can still eat well.  You probably know their life – offer to pick up the kids, help them with their yard, offer to take them on errands.  See the ten ways.


What is Grief ?

Grief is the internal part of loss, how we feel. The internal work of grief is a process, a journey. It does not end on a certain day or date. It is as individual as each of us. Grief is real because loss is real. Each grief has its own imprint, as distinctive and as unique as the person we lost. The pain of loss is so intense, so heartbreaking, because in loving we deeply connect with another human being, and grief is the reflection of the connection that has been lost.

Why Not Just Avoid Grief ?

We think we want to avoid the grief, but really it is the pain of the loss we want to avoid. Grief is the healing process that ultimately brings us comfort in our pain.

What is the Difference Between Grief and Mourning ?

Mourning is the external part of loss. It is the actions we take, the rituals and the customs.  Grief is the internal part of loss, how we feel. The internal work of grief is a process, a journey.

When Does Grief End ?

Grief is not just a series of events, or stages or timelines. Our Society places enormous pressure on us to get over loss, to get through the grief. But how long do you grieve for a husband of fifty years? A teenager killed in a car accident? A four-year-old child?  A year? Five years? Forever? The loss happens in time, in fact in a moment, but its aftermath lasts a lifetime.


What is Anticipatory Grief ?

Anticipatory grief is the “beginning of the end” in our minds. We now operate in two worlds; the safe world that we are used to and the unsafe world where a loved one might die. We feel that sadness and the unconscious need to prepare our psyche.

Anticipatory grief is generally more silent than grief after a loss. We are often not as verbal. It’s a grief we keep to ourselves. We want little active intervention. There is little or no needs for words, it is much more of a feeling that can be comforted by the touch of a hand or silently sitting together. Most of the time in grief we are focused on the loss in the past, but in anticipatory grief we occupy ourselves with the loss ahead.

When a loved one has to undergo preparatory grief in order to prepare for the final separation from this world, we have to go through it too.  We may not realize it at the time. It may be a strange feeling in the pit of the stomach or an ache in the heart before the loved one dies. We think of the five stages of death occurring for the dying person, but many times loved ones go through them ahead of the death also. This is especially true in long drawn out illnesses. Even if you go through any or all of the five stages ahead of the death, you will still go through them again after the loss. Anticipatory grief has its own process; it takes its own time.

Forewarned is not always forearmed. Experiencing anticipatory grief may or may not make the grieving process easier or shorten it. It may bring only feelings of guilt that we were grieving before the loss actually occurred. We may experience all fives stages of loss (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) before the actual death. We may experience only anger and denial. Not everyone experiences anticipatory grief and if they do, certainly not in the same way.


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