Love

Camp Erin offers a weekend for kids coping with grief and loss

"We strongly believe that the Camp Erin experience is life-changing. Family members and caregivers experiencing their own grief, while simultaneously helping their child to grieve, are often overwhelmed and feel helpless. Grief left unchecked can lead to depression, behavioural issues, suicide and substance abuse.

Much of what is addressed at camp is the isolation kids feel around their grief; it is a poignant experience for the campers to have the chance to go away for three days, (oftentimes, these kids have never been up north) with other people their own age, forming a bond over their loss. Camp Erin is a safe place for young people to identify with other kids who are feeling the same emotions, including anger, worry, guilt and often, a "Why me?" outlook.

When kids come back from camp, at ease and with the confidence to talk about their grief, it gets passed along to their parents."

Full article: Camp Erin offers a weekend for kids coping with loss

What it Really Means to Hold Space for Someone #Grief

"It means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control."

@BreneBrown The Power of #Vulnerability: #Courage, #Compassion and #Connection

"Feel the story of who you are with your whole heart...

Courage to be imperfect...

Compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others. We can't practice compassion with others if we can't treat ourselves kindly...

Connection - this was the hard part - as a result of authenticity they were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were... fully embraced vulnerability they believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful...

to do something where there are no guarantees..."

#Dying is Inevitable. #Living is Not. "#Love is Stonger Than #Death" Rest in Awesome Esther.

"Wayne Earl reveals the power of living and loving life by sharing the wisdom of his daughter, Esther Earl, who lost her battle with cancer just before her 16th birthday. Esther's courage, positive spirit and hope for the future transformed all who knew her. She showed the world what it meant to live life before death (via her well known vlogs and blogs) and that love is the engine of life. Esther Earl shared her spark of possibility with great generosity and was the inspiration for author John Green's #1 New York Times bestseller, The Fault In our Stars.

Wayne Earl recently authored the compelling life story of his daughter, Esther Grace, who succumbed to cancer shortly before her 16th birthday. Before she died, a deepening friendship with her favorite author, John Green, greatly encouraged her. The friendship also inspired Mr. Green, most notably in his writing of the world- renowned novel, The Fault in Our Stars, which he dedicated to Esther. The Earl Family founded the non-profit organization, This Star Won't Go Out, to help ease the financial burdens of families caring for children with cancer."

How We #Grieve: the Messiness of #Mourning and Learning to Live with #Loss. @meghanor

“It’s not a question of getting over it or healing. No; it’s a question of learning to live with this transformation. For the loss is transformative, in good ways and bad, a tangle of change that cannot be threaded into the usual narrative spools. It is too central for that. It’s not an emergence from the cocoon, but a tree growing around an obstruction.”

A #Daughter Pays Homage to Her #Parents With an Intimate Look at #Love and #Loss. @nancyborowick #hpm

"One can only truly understand and appreciate life when faced with one’s own mortality. Nobody wants to talk about death, but it is one of the only things that is certain in life, so an awareness of this finitude allowed my family to take advantage of the time we had left together. “Cancer Family, Ongoing” is the story of family, looking at the experiences of two parents who were in parallel treatment for stage four cancer, side by side. The project looks at love and life in the face of death. It honors my parents’ memory by focusing on their strength and love, both individually and together, and shares the story of their final chapters, which came to a close just 364 days apart from one another."

The "On Coming Alive" Project. #Grief. @lexibehrndt #oncomingalive

"We believe that we are meant to come alive. This doesn’t mean we’ll be without pain. This means that we’ll face the pain, looking it in the eye, feeling it, acknowledging it, never faking it, but embracing life for what it is, a coexistence of the deepest sorrows and the deepest joys. We want to be alive to feel both, because we know that if we hide from the pain, we often also hide from true, deep joy, from freedom, from love and life.

We believe that we come alive as we mend, but we also come alive when we reach up and reach out.

We want to dig down deep and muster the grit within us, reach out our hands, and pull one another to the light, because we don’t believe that we’re meant to always live in the darkness."

It’s worth it: #Love in the face of #Death. @lexibehrndt

"It’s a painful thing losing someone you love. It wrecks you at your very core. It shatters you, as they take a piece of your heart with them as they go. It is earth-shaking and dream-crushing and horrible in every way imaginable.

And it is worth every single second— every beat of their heart, every whispered prayer, every ounce of love given, every time you held their hand, every tear shed, every smile, every kiss, every lullaby and every single time they looked at you with soulful eyes, and told you in their own way, 'I love you, too.' They are worth it all.

Take it from me.

Choose the harder path. Love until you feel like your heart has given all it has, and then give a little more."

Cry, Heart, But Never Break: A Remarkable Illustrated Meditation on #Loss and #Life. @brainpickings

"Now comes a fine addition to the most intelligent and imaginative children’s books about making sense of death — the crowning jewel of them all, even, and not only because it bears what might be the most beautiful children’s book title ever conceived: Cry, Heart, But Never Break (public library) by beloved Danish children’s book author Glenn Ringtved and illustrator Charlotte Pardi, translated into English by Robert Moulthrop.

Although Ringtved is celebrated for his humorous and mischievous stories, this contemplative tale sprang from the depths of his own experience — when his mother was dying and he struggled to explain what was happening to his young children, she offered some words of comfort: “Cry, Heart, but never break.” It was the grandmother’s way of assuring the children that the profound sadness of loss is to be allowed rather than resisted, then folded into the wholeness of life, which continues to unfold". 

Looking Forward. ~ PhotoGrief. #Grief #Bereavement

Photos by Jimmy Edmonds

“These are montages that I make using my son Josh’s image against a background – these are from Mexico while we were filming of the Day of the Dead last year. The original image is of Josh (he died in 2011 aged 22) pretending to be asleep, but it has become one of the main pictures that I remembering him by. What is important for me is that it represents a continuing relationship that I have with him as I re-craft his picture as part of my on going work as a photographer and filmmaker. Photographs we have of our dead love ones are always in the past from when they were still alive – and in that sense they are stuck in history. What we teach on our photography course is that by reworking them and creating new photos we can re-invent the deceased as part of our present lives – its a very cathartic process and does a lot for my own healing – instead of always looking ‘back’ at photos as a way remembering him I am now looking ‘forward’ to the next image I will make with him in it.”

Let's Go Home. #PhotoGrief

"In my dreams she is still there and nothing has changed except for me.  The house is still messy, paint is chipping, doorknobs are missing, and there are dishes the sink.  My brother and sister have the TV turned up way too loud in the living room and one room my mother is flawlessly playing the piano, totally undisturbed by the commotion going on around her".

"Before I go". ~ Dr. Paul Kalanithi

"Time for me is double-edged: Every day brings me further from the low of my last cancer relapse, but every day also brings me closer to the next cancer recurrence — and eventually, death. Perhaps later than I think, but certainly sooner than I desire. There are, I imagine, two responses to that realization. The most obvious might be an impulse to frantic activity: to “live life to its fullest,” to travel, to dine, to achieve a host of neglected ambitions. Part of the cruelty of cancer, though, is not only that it limits your time, it also limits your energy, vastly reducing the amount you can squeeze into a day. It is a tired hare who now races. But even if I had the energy, I prefer a more tortoiselike approach. I plod, I ponder, some days I simply persist".

"My Marriage Didn’t End When I Became a Widow". ~ Dr. Lucy Kalanithi

"One night recently, alone in bed, I read “A Grief Observed” by C.­S. Lewis, and I came across the observation that “bereavement is not the truncation of married love but one of its regular phases.” He writes that “what we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase, too.” Yes, I breathed. Bereavement is more than learning to separate from a spouse. Though I can no longer comfort Paul, the other vows I made on our wedding day — to love Paul, to honor and keep him — stretch well beyond death. The commitment and loyalty, my desire to do right by him, especially as I raise our daughter, will never end". 

Lucy Kalanithi is an internist at Stanford University’s Clinical Excellence Research Center. She wrote the epilogue to her late husband Paul Kalanithi’s forthcoming book, “When Breath Becomes Air.”

The Heart and the Bottle: A Tender Illustrated Fable of What Happens When We Deny Our Difficult Emotions.

"Jeffers tells the story of a little girl, “much like any other,” whose expansive and exuberant curiosity her father fuels by reading to her all sorts of fascinating books about the sea and the stars and the wonders of our world. 

We witness the duo’s blissful explorations until, one day, we realize that the father is gone — the little girl finds herself facing the empty chair.

With exquisite subtlety and economy of words, Jeffers — whose mastery of the interplay between darkness and light extends as much to the paintbrush as it does to the psyche — silently uncorks the outpour of hollowing emotions engendered by loss".