Monthly Archives: January 2014

Top 10 Websites for Grief and Loss

Best of 2012: GoodTherapy.org’s

Top 10 Websites for Grief and Loss

January 4, 2013  • A GoodTherapy.org Announcement

 

 

GoodTherapyorg-Grief-and-Loss-Blogs

My understanding of the value of websites for persons in grief first came from a neighbor who suffered many miscarriages.  As Vice President in a major corporation, she didn’t feel comfortable sharing the personal trauma that was marking the days in her mid-thirties when she suffered multiple miscarriages, intervention surgeries, and deepening discouragement.  “Work wasn’t the place to talk,” said Meredith, “but I found a genuine network of other mothers online struggling with the same questions my husband and I faced.  I liked the anonymity.”
She isn’t alone.  The National Institute for Mental Health reports that only 10% of grieving people will ever seek professional help.  These resources add another possibility of community during difficult days.
But as we all know, one has to filter information on websites carefully, so I appreciated seeing GoodTherapy.org’s efforts to evaluate quality online resources for grief and loss.  Several of these, like the MISS Foundation mentioned in my recent blog, are exceptionally informative and comprehensive.  Here’s their list and descriptions:

GoodTherapy’s Top Ten Websites for Grief and Loss

 

While GoodTherapy.org is at its core a directory of therapists committed to treating issues such as grief and loss, it is also a comprehensive resource for people seeking mental health treatment and information. It is with that in mind that we selected the 10 best resources on the Internet in 2012—GoodTherapy.org excluded—for people experiencing grief and loss. Among the criteria we used to select our top 10 websites are quality and depth of content, presentation, and functionality.

 

  • The Compassionate Friends: A nationwide nonprofit organization, The Compassionate Friends is designed to support and give resources to families who are coping with the death of a child. In addition to its wealth of information about healing grief, TCF holds national and regional conferences, facilitates online and in-person support groups for grieving families, and broadcasts a weekly web-radio series.
  • Grieving.com: Grieving.com is a forum resource for people to connect with others and share stories of loss and healing. The forum has more than 45,000 active members and features topics ranging from terminal illness and sudden death to the loss of a pet.
  • MISS Foundation: The MISS Foundation is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization that supports people of all ages through the process of grieving the death of a child. Among the offerings are discussion forums, educational resources, biannual conferences, and local support groups, and grieving visitors can connect with a HOPE (Helping Other Parents Endure) mentor for individualized support.
  • Recover From Grief: Recover From Grief provides valuable information about the grieving process as well as coping strategies. Site visitors can view a comprehensive “grief guidebook” and participate in a seven-part grief work e-course. Recover From Grief also provides a space to create memorials for loved ones or tell personal stories, and offers a “grief relief” audio program.
  • The Grief Toolbox: The Grief Toolbox is a comprehensive resource for people experiencing grief. Articles, other resources, and an online art gallery help support individuals in the grieving process. The Grief Toolbox also provides a support group locator.
  • National Alliance for Grieving Children: The National Alliance for Grieving Children is a nationwide platform that connects professionals, consumers, and volunteers whose mission is to support children and teens through the grieving process. NAGC offers online education, a searchable support group database, and hosts an annual symposium about child grief.
  • Navigating Grief: Navigating Grief is an online community established by Joan Hitchens, author of Storybooks for Healing and A Caregiver’s Blog. Hitchens is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) and National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHCPO). Navigating Grief provides educational tools and insight into the grieving process from Hitchens’ personal experiences as a hospice volunteer, widow, and caregiver. Site visitors can also find teleseminars, webinars, and blog posts by professionals to support grieving individuals.
  • Bereaved Parents of the USA: Bereaved Parents of the USA connects grieving parents with other bereaved parents, grandparents, and siblings for one-on-one support. The site offers a newsletter, articles and poems, and many resources and links for grieving families to guide them through the grieving process. It also hosts an annual gathering where bereaved parents can share their stories with others and participate in grief workshops.
  • Losing Your Parents: Losing Your Parents is a personal blog by Lisa A. Snyder, who lost both of her parents by the age of 27. Snyder connects grieving children through blog posts, a free e-book titled The Last Words Ever Spoken, and many other online resources. Losing Your Parents also accepts guest posts for others to share stories of grief and healing.
  • FriendGrief: FriendGrief is a personal blog, operated by author Victoria Noe, specifically designed to support people who have lost friends. Noe writes extensively about the differences between losing a friend and a family member, and provides space for guest bloggers to share their experiences of mourning the loss of a friend.

© Copyright 2013 by www.GoodTherapy.org – All Rights Reserved.

Travels Ahead

 

Jim and I will be traveling in Asia during the next couple of weeks, so I will be back in conversation with you on our return.  Thank you for your thoughtful responses and encouragement!

Are there any websites you have found valuable in your own pilgrimage?

Growing through the Narrow Spots

Ruth10C copy

The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.  These insightful words from Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl in the classic book Man’s Search for Meaning have meant a lot to me, originally when going through harsh cancer treatments and later when our daughter Krista died.

 

So I was moved to see how central they also were for Ruth Bachman (in picture above), author of Growing through the Narrow Spots.  All of us go through “narrow spots” that she describes as the “bumps, potholes and detours on the road of life that represent loss of one kind or another.”   For her, a seemingly healthy, active, left-handed wife, mother, and educator, her narrow spot came when diagnosed with an aggressive sarcoma on her left wrist.”  Her 35-year-old sister Kristin, a mother of two young children, had recently died of a malignant melanoma.  To Ruth, cancer was evil.  “I told  my friends I would do whatever treatment was necessary, but I would not, could not, lose my dominant hand.”

 

Change Happens

 

But when chemotherapy failed, this required amputation on the lower part of her left arm.  “I had a choice.  Say “yes” to such disfiguring, life-altering surgery, with no guarantees.  Or die.”

She describes having to “surrender safe territory” as she faced her fears.

 

The Hourglass

 

She found solace in the image of the hourglass.  “I imagined traveling down, through the tight spot, arriving at the bottom; the same sand, but now with a different arrangement. I had to completely change my perspective. Your sand is refined and redefined, sifting out interior resources of strength not previously noticed or called upon.”

 

A brief, but artistically elegant book encourages others to find similar  resources in the sand to face their own narrow spots, and navigate them with courage and intention. By saying “Yes” to embracing the passage, rather than continue kicking and screaming, she discovered cancer to be an extraordinarily powerful teacher that offered her profound transformation.   Now an inspirational speaker and cancer advocate living in Minnesota, she uses her story simply to encourage others to not just go through the narrow spots, but to grow, even thrive, through them.  She is convinced that, “Narrow spots are tools that provide us with life lessons that lead us to compassion and wisdom.” An advocate for integrative cancer care for patients and cancer research, you can learn more about The Hourglass Fund Project, see www.ruthbachman.com.

 

I have heard very similar stories of transformation from persons experiencing deep suffering from the loss of a loved one, clearly another narrow spot in our lives.

 

CMYK 2 inch cover image Growing Narrow copy

Post Traumatic Growth

Recently I’ve been fascinated with research along a similar vein called Post Traumatic Growth. Although we are all familiar with the reality of post-traumatic stress, especially for men and women enduring the ravages of war, this illustrates another phenomenon.  Can we actually find our lives transformed in positive ways after facing life traumas?  I’ll expand on this in a future blog.  In the meantime you might enjoy an introduction to this idea on the following link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posttraumatic_growth

 

Are there ways you have grown through loss?

 

 

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About Linda
For everyone, life sometimes brings shipwreck moments.

Ours happened when four friends woke us one beautiful May dawn to break the news that our 25-year-old married daughter Krista had died 7000 miles away while volunteering in Bolivia. Our hearts shattered, much like the shards of her bus that plunged over a mountain cliff.
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Pilgrimage through Loss can be purchased from your favorite independent bookstore OR
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Desperate. Determined. Unwaveringly confident. In 1896, a Norwegian immigrant named Helga Estby dares to cross 3500 miles of the American continent to win a $10,000 wager. On Foot. BOLD SPIRIT: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk across Victorian America introduces readers to this fascinating journey of an audacious act of courage and love of a mother trying to save a family farm.

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Support for Parents

+ Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors On-line forum and website www.allianceofhope.org

+ American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) (Formerly Candlelighters Childhood Cancer) www.acco.org

+ Compassionate Friends www.compassionatefriends.org

+ First Candle: www.firstcandle.org Support for Stillborn and SIDS deaths

+ Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) www.catholiccharities.net/loss

+ MISS Foundation (also in Spanish) www.missfoundation.org On-line support groups : Infant & toddler death and advocacy

+Parents of Murdered Children www.pomc.com

+ TAPS: Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors: www.taps.org 1-800-959 3277 for survivors of military deaths