About three years ago, I sat at the piano and started to play a melody I’d been hearing in my head. The only lyric that came to mind as I was playing it was “fulfilled.” I remember sitting there thinking about my father-in-law who had […]
Tag: #olivianewtonjohn #healinggrief #livonmusic #livon #ichoose2livon
The LIV ON project was conceived out of the desire to transform my grief into healing. My sister, Rona had just died of glioblastoma and I was suffering greatly from her sudden death. I’ve always turned to music to process my emotions and help heal […]
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!
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 […]
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
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.
Vice President, Communications
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
The LIV ON project was conceived out of the desire to transform my grief into healing. My sister, Rona had just died of glioblastoma and I was suffering greatly from her sudden death. I’ve always turned to music to process my emotions and help heal my heart. So to help […]