"Music that inspires gratitude, hope & healing." Amy Sky, Olivia Newton-John & Beth Nielsen Chapman

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What I Learned about Love from Patients and Their Families by Patti Maloney, George Mark Children’s House

What I Learned about Love from Patients and Their Families by Patti Maloney, George Mark Children’s House

I witness love every day in my job as a social worker at George Mark Children’s House. George Mark is a place of support and caring for children who have life-limiting illnesses and their families. A large part of what makes George Mark special is […]

My Journey to Self-Love by Hunter Schleicher

My Journey to Self-Love by Hunter Schleicher

Though this is a blog about grief and the journey, it’s also a blog about LIFE and I want to share my story with that in mind. Today, I am more confident than I have ever been. Not because of the way I look but because […]

Actively Moving Forward: College Students Helping Each Other, Helping Themselves by Fran Solomon

Actively Moving Forward: College Students Helping Each Other, Helping Themselves by Fran Solomon

Empowered Through Grief!

Until now, HealGrief has been an online social support network for people who are grieving, bereaved or for those just wanting to support them. With an average of 2 people dying every second, potentially we serve the millions of those left behind.

I use the words “until now” because we recently acquired a program called AMF, short for Actively Moving Forward. This program connects and empowers grieving college students to support one another and participate in community service in memory of their loved one.  By doing so, they raise awareness about the needs of grieving young adults.  This program is currently, “ActivelyMovingForward” on over 50 campuses, coast-to-coast, nationwide.

College students are particularly vulnerable when stricken with grief. Chances are, most students have never experienced the death of a loved one. Now, they are away from home or leaving home, often for the first time and are away from their usual support systems. Their peers don’t understand grief and therefore, these students don’t receive the empathy or support they need. With many college campuses having limited grief support resources available, these students are at high risk to a host of issues; a feeling of isolation; an inability to focus; a lack of energy; and depression.

Our AMFer’s, as our students are affectionately called, are brought together because of this “thing called grief.” Together, united in grief, they bring a voice to a neglected group, themselves.

Some of the chapters go beyond supporting one another. Penn State’s, Actively Moving Forward chapter worked with administration to craft bereavement policies after they recognized that the lack of clear communication, on these policies, was an issue that needed to be resolved.

AMFer’s have learned that grief is not something “to get over” nor do they need to “forget” their loved one. Rather, they’ve learned that their journey with grief can lead to a healthy grief recovery. They have learned to embrace the memories of their loved one they hold so deeply within their heart and mind, as they “Actively Move Forward” through life.

We can never cure death, but together, we can “Actively Move Forward” with our grief!

 

LIV ON in Concert: Our UK Tour!

LIV ON in Concert: Our UK Tour!

It’s a powerful time of change in the world, regardless where you live as families struggle, loss occurs and concerns for health, finance and matters of the heart set in. So where to go for hope and some fun? With us: Amy Sky, Olivia Newton-John & Beth […]

A New Year’s Resolution for the Grieving? Live On.

A New Year’s Resolution for the Grieving? Live On.

Here we are, the first official work week of 2017 and for many, it’s an exciting time filled with hope and anticipation for a new and better year. However, millions facing end of life or grief say “not so fast” about making resolutions and plans […]

On the Deaths of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher: Love Well, Live Now

On the Deaths of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher: Love Well, Live Now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loss can divide us, but it can also unite us, as we are seeing in the case of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. Collectively we are trying to make sense of a large public loss that has affected many individually. Why? Because we invite film and the experience of it into our homes.
With that said, I believe Carrie was waiting for her mother on the other side of the very thin veil that separates the human form from the soul/spirit.

I think it is important to note however, that just because one parent dies soon after his/her child dies, does not mean that the parent loved his/her child more than any other parent who loses a child. I will write more on broken heart syndrome soon.

In the meantime, let’s all flood each other with kindness and understanding without platitudes or judgement. And yes, let’s be aware that the physical manifestation of grief can be traumatic stress on a body that is already undergoing stress due to age/health issues or other issues that we, the general public, may be unaware of.

Most important? Live now. Tell the people you love that you do indeed, love them. Park the phone and look these special souls in the eye — and say to him/her “Love you madly” or “So glad you’re in my life.” Plus, for gosh sakes resolve conflict with those important to you. Finish your unfinished business.

 

Why? Because as Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher just proved, you never, ever know when you will take your last breath. The body may die, but love lasts.

Sending love to all of you,

Dianne Gray / @diannebgray (Twitter)

Grief / Communications, LIV ON

There’s Still My Joy: A personal message to you, from the LIV ON Team

There’s Still My Joy: A personal message to you, from the LIV ON Team

Over the past years, we’ve seen many friends come and go from our lives and while the holidays can be a time of immense joy, they can also be a source of sorrow for many, as we reflect back on those who are no longer […]

Healing Grief Through Grace / Rev. Sue Wintz, Healthcare Chaplaincy Network

Healing Grief Through Grace / Rev. Sue Wintz, Healthcare Chaplaincy Network

The thought of describing one’s journey of grief as “grace” seems unsettling, if not impossible. Grace, after all, is typically defined as elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion or action – or in many religious traditions as mercy, clemency or pardon. How in the […]

Feelings of Grief May Be Magnified During The Holidays / Jon Radulovic, National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization

Feelings of Grief May Be Magnified During The Holidays / Jon Radulovic, National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization

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The holidays are often thought of as a joyful time of the year, filled with sights and sounds of seasonal cheer. Yet for people struggling with the death of a family member or other loved one, the holidays can be a difficult time.

The season may be full of reminders of the loss in our lives. And it is not just recent losses. During the holidays, feelings of grief can seem fresh, even if a loved one died years ago.

“We need to recognize that feelings of grief may be intensified during this time of year,” commented J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO. “We need to be kind to ourselves and loved ones, and find support to help when things seem overwhelming. Hospices help people cope with loss every day and are great resources.”

A suggestion for coping with grief during the holidays is to allow yourself permission to do what feels right for you. At a time of year when many people feel compelled to follow holiday traditions, letting yourself do something different can be helpful. Some people find it comforting to be with family and friends, emphasizing the familiar. Others may wish to avoid old traditions and try something new.

Hospice professionals help families cope with loss throughout the year. National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization offers additional suggestions for coping with grief during the holidays:

  • Plan for the approaching holidays. Recognize that the holidays might be a difficult time for you. The stress may affect you emotionally, mentally, and physically. This is a normal reaction. Be prepared and gentle with yourself.
  • Recognize that the holidays won’t be the same. Expecting everything to seem the same might lead to disappointment. Doing things a bit differently acknowledges the change in your life but still offers continuity with the past.
  • Be careful not to isolate yourself. It’s important to take quiet, reflective time for yourself but also allow yourself the support offered from friends and family.
  • The holidays may affect other family members. Talk over your plans and share your feelings. Respect other’s choices and needs.
  • Avoid additional stress. Decide what you really want to do over the holiday season and give yourself permission to avoid things you don’t want to do.

Your local community hospice can be a source of information to help you or a loved one cope with grief and loss. To find a hospice in your area, visit the Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice website at www.momentsoflife.org.

Jon Radulovic
Vice President, Communications
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

I Don’t Know What To Say, I Don’t Know What To Do; My Story   Dianne Gray

I Don’t Know What To Say, I Don’t Know What To Do; My Story Dianne Gray

  Monday is usually my favorite day because it holds so much promise! Yes, it’s true. I LOVE Mondays and am always curious what magical thing might unfold in the days between the beginning and the end of the week!   However, this particular Monday, […]