loss

EXPLORING GRIEF AND LOSS LITERACY: SUPPORTING AND EMPOWERING SCHOOL COMMUNITIES

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Am thrilled to be offering a full-day of training on Feb. 1st for the Halton District School Board on “EXPLORING GRIEF AND LOSS LITERACY: SUPPORTING AND EMPOWERING SCHOOL COMMUNITIES”

Will be honoured to be present with so many professionals as we spend the day exploring: 

- Grief and Loss Literacy (related to dying, death and non-death losses)

- Stigma Related to Illness, Dying, Grief

- The Dialogue of Loss

- Support Across School Communities

- Promoting Capacity & Engagement

- Opportunities for Self-Care

Looking forward to sharing some brilliant resources!

Free Family Event Celebrating Life, Death and Meaningful Connections

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Grief and Loss impacts Everyone.

Am honoured to co-host and co-facilitate this free public event. In support of Children's Grief Awareness Day and National Bereavement Day, "The 100% Certainty Project – Death: Something to Talk About" is hosting a FREE public event for parents and children at the Hamilton Public Library. Please join us for:

- a reading of the children’s book The Funeral by Matt James, award-winning Author

- a creative family activity exploring grief, loss and meaningful connections

- grief and bereavement resources from Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association & Canadian Virtual Hospice

CBC Books on The Funeral: "This sensitive and life-affirming story will lead young readers to ask their own questions about life, death and how we remember those who have gone before us"

Please note, this is not a counselling session or grief support group.

While this is a free event, registration is REQUIRED via:  https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/free-public-event-for-parents-and-children-on-grief-and-bereavement-tickets-50531981517

Exploring the Language of Loss: Caring, Supporting and Empowering

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Honoured to offer "Exploring the Language of Loss: Caring, Supporting and Empowering" as the Opening Keynote for the PalCare Network 2018 Fall Symposium.

This workshop will explore the language of loss while also examining tools and resources to support individuals, families, and ourselves. 

Objectives:
1. Examine the impact of loss in person and family-centred care
2. Encourage the caregiver to engage in the dialogue of loss
3. Explore self-care as an essential element of professional practice 

For more information about the PalCare 2018 Fall Symposium, or to register, please visit: http://www.palcarenetwork.org/

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

How to Speak to Someone About an Unspeakable Loss

"Today, as I recall the loss of my own infant son, I think about the one person who did truly comfort me. She arrived at my house with a bottle of fine brandy and said, “This is everyone’s worst nightmare. I am so, so sorry this has happened.”

Then we sat on the lawn and she poured me a drink as she listened to every horrible detail.

As I look back now, I still feel how much her gesture helped me cope through those early days of pain. She didn’t try to fix me or try to make sense of what happened. She didn’t even try to comfort me. The comfort she gave came through her being in it with me.

You can’t fix what happened, but you can sit with someone, side by side, so they don’t feel quite so alone. That requires only intention, a willingness to feel awkward, and an open, listening heart. It’s the one gift that can make a difference."

If You’re Grieving, You’re Not Alone. Here Are 15 Stories That May Help.

“There is no schedule for when you should feel certain emotions, or be over others. Choose to stand up for you and the rest of your life, and choose to move on. You don’t have to figure out how you’re going to get through the rest of your life. Just focus on staying in the game and moving forward now. It is normal to cry and be depressed, but you need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.” 

The Quiet Blessing of Grief That Never Ends

“If you’re feeling sorry for me, please, don’t. During the hours I was tossed by this unanticipated wave of sorrow, I knew I could tolerate my sadness. Time has taught me that these waves come — and then go.

Perhaps more surprising, even as I lay curled in a soggy heap, I felt grateful for this wallop of forever-after grief. It provided reassurance that my sister hasn’t faded to a beloved, but distant, memory. Instead, for those hours, Pooz was once again a vivid presence in my mind and heart. There was pain, yes, but there was also the solace of knowing that she is still very much with me.

I count that as a blessing. Amen.”

How To Support A Young Person Through Grief

“This early interaction with death is overwhelming, but a pivotal point for learning. This grief acts as a blueprint for not just how these young people process death, but their approach to the many challenges they will face in life.

If you are struggling to help a teenager with their grief, know that your concern is evidence of your care. There is nothing that can make this not awful, so don't make your aim to stop the tears, but rather to support them in what they need. Respecting their needs shows them that you believe in their ability to know what's best for themselves. You're doing good.”

Wonderful #Books that #Help #Children #Grieve and Make Sense of #Death @brainpickings #hpm

“From Japanese pop-up magic to Scandinavian storytelling to Maurice Sendak, a gentle primer on the messiness of mourning and the many faces and phases of grief.”

#Grieving When You’re an #Introvert

"The process of mourning and grieving is hard for everyone, but there are elements of the losing a loved one than can feel especially difficult when you’re an introvert.

As an introvert myself, when I was mourning the death of my parents, so many of the traditional parts of the mourning process felt very invasive to me. For instance, people coming over to my house after the funeral. I had just been taking care of ailing parents and planning a funeral and now I have to have people over? I know that everyone meant well, but having people in my home, some of them I barely knew, felt very unsettling. And then came the inevitable questions, are you going to sell the house, are going to move and what are going to do now?"

#Canadian Virtual #Hospice. Information and #Support on #Palliative and #End-of-Life #Care, #Loss and #Grief. @VirtualHospice

"The Canadian Virtual Hospice provides support and personalized information about palliative and end-of-life care to patients, family members, health care providers, researchers and educators."

#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."

The Unexpected #Grief Of The Unknowing

"Through all my self-doubt, and the grief I still experience, I am comforted knowing my mom knew my heart. She understood (more than I could have at the time) how typical, though ill-timed, my behavior was. Nothing changes a mother’s love."

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.”

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."

They Brought Cookies: For A New Widow, Empathy Eases Death's Pain

"So I'll tell you the positive effect and you know it already: empathy is pain's best antidote. It is, says Robert Burton in his astonishing Anatomy of Melancholy, 'as fire in Winter, shade in Summer, as sleep on the grass to them that are weary, meat and drink to him that is hungry or athirst.'

The pain doesn't go away; but somehow or other, empathy gives the pain meaning, and pain-with-meaning is bearable. I don't actually know how to say what the effect of empathy is, I can only say what it's like. Like magic".

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.”

"Before You Know It Something's Over". The #Death of a #Parent.

"I want to talk to you about how it feels to spend your whole life grieving, to have your ghosts precede your actuality, to feel that nobody you know will ever truly know you because they never knew him. To recycle fourteen years of material like a song that never gets old, because you’re just so frustrated that there’ll never be a new album, even though everybody else is probably sick of the song and likes your new songs so much better. I want to talk to you about how I got free".

The Geography Of #Sorrow. Francis Weller On #Navigating Our #Losses

"In his book Weller invites us to view grief as a visitor to be welcomed, not shunned. He reminds us that, in addition to feeling pain over the loss of loved ones, we harbor sorrows stemming from the state of the world, the cultural maladies we inherit, and the misunderstood parts of ourselves. He says grief comes in many forms, and when it is not expressed, it tends to harden the once-vibrant parts of us".

"How Long Have I Got Left?" ~Dr. Paul Kalanithi

"I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed both nothing and everything. Before my cancer was diagnosed, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. After the diagnosis, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. But now I knew it acutely. The problem wasn’t really a scientific one. The fact of death is unsettling. Yet there is no other way to live".