Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
If you do choose to journal.....please come back and visit every Wednesday. Each Wednesday I will have a new grief related writing prompt(s). Today's Writing Wednesday prompts.
I hope to.............................................
Sometimes grief feels like.............................
Wishing you Comfort, Peace and Hope.
Monday, August 3, 2009
I would like to "introduce" you to a new set of affirmation cards I have written with the bereaved in mind. This little set of healing reminder cards can be helpful to carry around in your pocket, to set out on your nightstand, or anywhere that will be helpful for you notice them through the day. Every so often I will post an affirmation from the set....I hope the affirmations are helpful for you.
*You can pick a random card to use for meditation.
*You can use the cards to initiate writing a journal entry.
*You can use the cards for visualization techniques.
*You can use the cards for a "quiet moment" and as a reminder that you can heal.
*You can use the cards for deep breathing techniques.
*You can pick a card to carry in your pocket for the day...and pause throughout the day to focus
on the hopeful affirmation.
*You can keep them on your nightstand...and pick one out for the morning...to help you through
As always...wishing you comfort, peace and A RETURN to HOPE.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
The survivors of suicide often experience a shroud of shame. This shame can be the result of many different things. For example...many survivors blame themselves for not preventing the suicide, some survivors feel like they failed the person somehow, some people's religious beliefs may contribute to a sense of shame, etc. Unfortunately, feelings of shame prevent many suicide survivors from seeking help. But, if you are a suicide survivor KNOW that there are healthy coping strategies available after a loss.
Unfortunately, many survivors of Suicide have a bumpy road to healing. Suffering the loss of a loved one is difficult...add suicide..and it usually makes the grieving process more complicated. Just know that you CAN heal and please seek professional support and/or support groups for suicide survivors. Healing is always a little easier when you know that you are not alone...and people before you have survived the loss of a loved one to suicide.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Since it is Wednesday...that means a new journal prompt. This weeks journal prompt is as follows....
What is your loved one's Legacy? What and how do you want them to be remembered? What are the special things/deeds they accomplished that has made you proud? What were their positive influences? Please feel free to leave comments about the Legacy of your loved ones.
I feel everyone has left a Legacy....whether is was a newborn baby/miscarriage/stillborn......or an elderly adult. Their Legacy allows us connections...and a way to honor their life.
Wishing you Peace, Comfort and HOPE.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Put together a journal bag or basket for your journaling supplies. This bag/basket should include a journal and pens. If you want to draw or add color to your journal, add pencils, markers, crayons, etc. to your bag/basket. Keep this journaling basket near a comfortable chair...or in a bag so you can grab and go out into nature under a big tree or in a park.
Set aside a time to journal. Give yourself about 15 minutes. If the material you are writing/expressing is traumatic, you want to limit your time and not overwhelm yourself.
When writing, don't focus on grammar. You don't need full sentences. Just let your thoughts pour out onto the pages of your journal.
Journaling is for your eyes only. Unless, you want to share an entry with someone. So, keep your journal bag/basket in a safe private place.
In closing, I would like to mention that some people use journaling to stay "connected" to their loved ones. For example, you can write letters to your loved one in your journal...and let him/her know what is going on in your life. You can also use a journal to write down things about your loved one that inspires you. Or, you can use your journal to write down the "Sacred Signs" you have received from your loved ones. Journaling quiets my mind and is a prayerful and meditative experience for me. I hope you will try journaling and see what it can do for you. May you gain insight, comfort and calmness in your life. Wishing you hope and peace.
Writing Wednesday Prompt
What does HOPE look like and feel like to you?
Monday, July 20, 2009
"Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love - time is eternity."
Saturday, July 11, 2009
As a grief and bereavement educator/therapist, I have learned that losing a child is one of life's greatest tragedies. It is an unfair and unfortunate event. This booklet is dedicated to all of the families that touched my heart and lit my soul with inspiration, even in the midst of their own tragedy......the death and loss of their child. They somehow found a way to return to a sense of HOPE. And I wish the same for you during your time of loss.
This little booklet is perfect to carry in your purse or in your pocket. Each booklet is carefully bound with a hand painted butterfly on the cover. It can easily be tucked into an envelope and mailed as a sympathy card.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Sympathy/Memorial Seed Boxes
Sympathy/Memorial Seed Boxes
express my deepest sympathy.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Most importantly, please know...it is possible to return to HOPE. It may feel like a slow journey...or even like it will never happen, but you have to trust in knowing that you can return to HOPE. This is not a grief you will "get over". However, this is a grief that you can learn to integrate into your life. Your life has been forever changed and it will never go back to what it was.....but, there can be enjoyable moments again. If you have suffered this type of loss, please find support. This is not a journey to walk alone. Seek support from mental health professionals, understanding friends, support groups, church/synagogue members, chaplains, etc.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Wikipedia defines grief as the following: Grief is a multi-faceted response to loss. It includes the emotion numbness, disbelief, separation, anxiety, despair, sadness, and loneliness that accompany the loss of someone or something loved........Losses can range from loss of employment, pets, status, a sense of safety, order, or possessions, to the loss of loved ones. Therefore, we can even experience grief when we get divorced, have to move, lose our home from fire, disaster or financial reasons, etc.
Many things can cause us to experience grief. Chances are that you have experienced a form of grief over your life time. Some grief experiences are more difficult than others. Some grief experiences may even be "fixed" when the situation changes. For example, a person may quit grieving the loss of their former job/income when they find a new job. Conversely, some grief experiences will not be "fixed" so easily. For example, when a loved one dies the grief will probably take more time to process and to integrate the loss into our lives.
The death of a child, spouse, friend, parent, grandparent, aunt/uncle, other family member or pet can be devastating. Sometimes a death is "expected" due to a terminal diagnosis. Other times the death is sudden and unexpected. Either way, the final outcome is death and usually brings about a degree of grief.
Unfortunately, our culture shies away from discussing and educating people about grief and the natural responses to grief. Thankfully, some of this is slowly shifting. Many things are playing a role in this trend. I think the shift is coming about largely because of the presences of Hospice organizations and how we are beginning to broadly define grief. I am in hopes that this trend will continue and our culture will become more tolerant and understanding of a grieving person.
Wishing you Peace, Comfort and Hope.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Thankfully, many mental health care professionals realize the importance of maintaining a "bond" with the deceased and finding ways to continue the connectedness. Not too long ago, this was highly frowned on. However, many therapists realize this can be a normal response for some grieving people. I encourage you to find ways to nurture the bond and keep the love flowing. So, whether nurturing your love through a sacred space, memory garden or Expressive Art activities, attempting to try one of these methods may give you insight and offer some comfort and peace.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Wearing dark, sombre clothes is one practice followed in many countries, though other forms of dress are also seen. Those most affected by the loss of a loved one often observe a period of grieving, marked by withdrawal from social events and quiet, respectful behavior. People may also follow certain religious traditions for such occasions.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
I do believe there are different stages in the grief process. There are many different professionals that will give you many different grief stages and definitions to stages. The stages that appeal to me the most are those set forth by legendary Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.
I have always admired the work of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. She first introduced her model in her book "On Death and Dying" back in 1969. Kubler-Ross was a medical doctor that worked with terminally diagnosed and dying patients. She determined that there are 5 stages of grief. Those stages being: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.
Originally the Kubler-Ross Model/Stages were used with the terminally diagnosed and dying patient. However, many believe that these same 5 stages can be applied to anyone suffering a loss and/or catastrophic event. I personally believe the 5 stages can offer a simple explanation to a grieving person. With that being said, I would also like to point out that the stages do not necessarily come in a specific order. It is also important to note that some people may not experience every stage. I view the stages as a circular model that can be changed, rearranged and revisited. Therefore, don't expect to graduate a stage and head on to the next stage.
Unfortunately, there isn't a model of stages of grief that fits everyone. But, I have found the stages set forth by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross can offer an uncomplicated explanation of grief to most people.
So, how long does each stage last? Well, that is a great question. But, it doesn't have a set answer. Each person will experience the stages in different ways and in their own time. The stages of grief will last however long it takes. Every person has a unique history and set of circumstances that they bring with them into the grieving process. Therefore, each person must realize their situation and grief process will vary from person to person. You will find similarities among grievers, yet each person's journey will be unique.
The most important thing to recognize during the grieving process is to be able to discern whether or not you need professional support for your grieving process. Some people are able to walk the journey alone. While others benefit from seeking support from friends, support groups, and/or mental health professionals. You do not have to walk this journey alone. Seeking help/support does not mean you are weak. In my opinion it shows you are being active in finding helpful ways to heal. Remember, you have a broken heart...not necessarily a broken mind.
Lastly, if you find the 5 stages of grief by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross interesting, I encourage you to do further research. I only listed the stages. She wrote many books on the stages with great detail of each stage. So, check with your local libray, bookstore or web for more information. If you have any questions about this article, please feel free to post a question and/or leave a comment.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I had an amazing supervisor and mentor at Hospice, Carolyn Amaral, LCSW. She took me under her wing and taught me the ropes of anticipatory grief (before the death occurs) and bereavement counseling. I gained so much great experience working with the Hospice families. They taught me more than any classroom or textbook could ever provide. I am forever grateful to the Hospice patients and families. The patients and families were always appreciative of the in-home Expressive Art sessions mixed with counseling. I soon learned that Expressive Arts was an amazing tool to have as a therapist. I was able to witness everyday how that creativity allows the person to let down their boundaries and talk freely about their concerns, fears, worries, etc. I had finally discovered my passion in life..........HELPING PEOPLE HEAL THEIR BROKEN HEARTS. How can life get better when you are able to witness the broken hearted return to a sense of hope after a major loss or life transition???? I found my niche and my life work. I am devoted to grief/loss/bereavement work. I am passionate about helping people through these major life transitions.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Welcome to Grief Sanctuary. This blog is dedicated to grief/loss/bereavement topics. This is a place dedicated to provide information and education about grief. Most importantly this is a place where mourning is considered a natural response to loss.
We all experience loss in our lives. Unfortunately loss is not recognized or talked about much in our culture. Most often death or loss is considered a taboo topic. I am on a mission to change those deep rooted beliefs. I grew up in the hills of eastern Kentucky. Death was common and not hidden from children. My family taught us that death was a natural part of life and grieving was a normal process. I suppose a lot of that had to do with both my Mother and Father losing a parent at a young age. They were seasoned grievers during my upbringing. Thankfully, they taught me and my brother that grieving a loss is a way of life and you can seek ways to adjust.
A bit about myself......My name is Misti Hall and I grew up in Virgie, Kentucky. I currently reside in Florida and Kentucky. I attended Univeristy of Florida's Arts in Medicine program and earned a Master's degree from Nova Southeastern University in Marriage and Family Therapy. My passion is helping the broken hearted heal. It is my wish for everyone to experience "A Return to Hope" after their loss. It is possible.