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Grief Shared

May 15th, 2015 by judytalks

In the immediate aftermath of grief, friends and family may surround you with comfort and support. Everyone calls, many visit, and you walk the necessary steps through this awfulness that has happened. Cards and phone calls are sent to notify people, services are planned, legal issues are addressed for follow-up, and financial settlements have been discussed. A few weeks have gone by, and now is when most of those people begin to withdraw. There doesn’t seem to be much more for anyone to do, except to stay in touch and wish you well.

It’s at this point that grievers may wonder if sharing their grief with others in mourning would help ease the pain. Everyone’s heard about grief groups. Whereas years ago, they were few and far between, today they abound. They may be held in community centers, churches, offices, or even homes. Some are basically open-ended with a general plan and a facilitator, while others use a printed program that focuses on one specific issue each week. These issues may include emotions, such as fear, sadness, or anger, or they may include practical problems, such as handling the money, finding legal counsel, or getting your car fixed. The question is, “How will this really help me?”.

Looking for an appropriate group can be daunting. At a time when your emotions are unpredictable and you often feel fatigued, checking out numerous groups may seem overwhelming. Here’s where asking for help comes in. People who have been in a group can give you insight as to the format and also the benefits they derived. Plus any drawbacks. The funeral director, clergy, and community centers will probably also have pertinent information about several groups for you to consider.

If you wish to find a group, take a minute to jot down what you hope to gain from your relationship with others who gather regularly to express their loss. Decide what kind of openness and comfort would be acceptable, and what you would not like to experience. Then call the leader and ask questions. The leader should be non-intrusive and should maintain a non-judgmental atmosphere. Ground rules are discussed and agreed upon. Leaders may be psychologists, therapists, facilitators, or grief counselors. Some groups are led by non-professionals and can be very beneficial, but it’s important that confidentiality be enforced and trust understood.

What can you expect in the way of benefits from a grief group?

1.   First of all, you can say anything (within reason) without alarming anyone. Sometimes you can’t do this with friends and family.

2.  You will have a place to go and a specific time to meet on a regular basis. Looking forward to certain things helps to regulate your life.

3. The leader will be a resource person for you if you need to address other issues.

4. You will probably connect with 1 or 2 other people, maybe more, and have friends you can count on after your group work is finished.

5.  A person who has suffered a loss can go to a group anytime. It doesn’t have to be immediate. People have been known to seek a group months or years after losing someone.

It’s said that shared grief helps ease the pain and anguish of losing a loved one. For each person, their grief is unique and is borne individually. You may derive great comfort, learn something beneficial, or simply enjoy not being alone all the time. Give yourself every opportunity to explore the options available.

I wish you well,

Judy

Men and Grief

April 3rd, 2014 by judytalks

Grief has many faces, each one presenting unique problems to those mourning a loss. Though there are common threads that affect survivors, it’s the specific differences that clarify how best to deal with your loss.

In my article, Men and Grief, just posted on Kindle, I’ve addressed some of the particular issues that men face when suffering a major loss. The responsibilities are enormous-managing pain, handling legal and financial issues, and running a household. Altogether, it takes its toll on an already overwhelmed survivor. How do we help such a person?

Men are less likely to ask for help, to join a grief group, or to talk about their loss to friends and family members. Someone providing comfort and practical help needs to understand the basic attitudes, and how to give genuine support.

It’s likely that everyone will face loss-their own or others-throughout their lives. Death education is an ongoing learning process. The more you know going in, the better the help and the outcome.

The Kindle article may be found on Amazon .com,  Kindle e-book and put Judy Strong in the search bar.

Kindest regards,

Judy

Tips for Connecting with Kids

June 15th, 2013 by judytalks

Kids love to connect with adults. Adults sometimes have no idea how to connect with kids, even though they once were a kid. Whether this child is your own, a member of the extended family, or is in your life in some other capacity, connecting isn’t rocket science.

Tell the child something about yourself. Kids really want to get to know you.Then ask a question. And listen to the child’s response carefully. How they answer often says more than what they say. Is there enthusiasm in their voice, do they sound persuasive, are you being asked for an opinion?

Getting to know how a child expresses him/herself reaps rewards down the road. If this child should encounter a problem, or suffer a loss, you’ll be more in tune with the child’s emotions, and better able to give support. Children can’t always articulate what they feel, but they show it in their tone of voice and their physical demeanor.

If you want to remain in this child’s life – and reap all the benefits of being their friend – just spend time and listen. They’ll tell you everything about themselves eventually, and being a child’s friend is a special privilege.

Take a child on a nature walk and collect some bugs. It’s great fun!

Judy

Announcing a Free Tips Booklet

November 26th, 2012 by judytalks

A Tips Booklet is a handy reference guide that gives short bits of information on a subject. Recently, I had the pleasure of contributing a page to a valuable Tips Booklet titled SeniorCare Tips to Ease the Journey. This booklet helps you to deal with the wide range of issues involved with SeniorCare.

Important topics include hospital stays, downsizing, moving, family issues, grief, and Medicare to name just a few. Fourteen authors who are experts in their fields have contributed tips and contact information. It is a must for individuals, caregivers, families, and organizations for making important decisions about change and quality of life.

I am offering a free PDF copy of this informative booklet from now, November 26, 2012 through December 31, 2012. Please contact me at jstrongwrites@yahoo.com on the Contact page and put SeniorCare PDF in the subject line. Leave your email address and I will send the booklet. It is 498 KB. Do not use my email address that is listed for presentations.

Please browse my website for other products and offers. See the Books page for signed copies of my books and multiple copies at discount.

Caring for others can be difficult. Help is available for you and your loved ones.

Thank you for visiting my website. I wish you well.

Judy

 

 

 

A Lightbulb moment

March 3rd, 2012 by judytalks

I’ve been writing books, articles, and my blog for several years now, and it occurred to me that I’ve acquired an abundance of information on grief, loss, and living alone. Much of the information came from my own experiences, but many great ideas have been passed along from others who are in the same boat – living alone and trying to solve everyday problems.

Believing that sharing what you know is the best way to connect and comfort one another, I decided to start a group in the community where I live called Flying Solo. This wealth of problem-solving ideas and experience was meant to be passed along to the many individuals who struggle daily with all kinds of problems, from making a budget, fixing the plumbing, or just coping with loneliness.

I see the ripples my work has produced in print and on the internet, and I am pleased and eager to make ideas and support available in person. All kinds of connections are equally important, and will help grow the seed I planted – to bring awareness to the need for healing and new life following loss.

Check my blog for progress on this endeavor, and please continue to read my articles on www.ezinearticles.com, www.scribd.com, and www.article-niche.com. You can also fine me on www.authorsden.com to purchase a signed book.

Thank you to the many readers who leave kind, insightful comments and seek information on my website, www.survive-strong.com.

I wish you well,
Judy

The Gathering

December 22nd, 2011 by judytalks

Home for the Holidays is a familiar tradition that brings family members together to celebrate the holidays they hold dear. My family gathering begins today, as a couple of my grown children and spouse arrive for a few days of reconnecting and sharing memories, and catching up on the news. It’s amazing that conversations seem to pick up where they left off, and everyone takes comfort in being welcomed and appreciated.

The best family tradition is that of being together and keeping the activities simple. It’s a time to relax, laugh, and exchange the gift of mutual appreciation.

I hope your family gathering is joyous and satisfying.

A very happy holiday to you all,

Judy

The Lessons of Loss

May 18th, 2011 by judytalks

The past few years have made loss a household word. The pain of losing homes, jobs, funds, along with our self esteem and sense of place in the world is grievous. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been a victim. When everyone is struggling just to maintain basic necessities, it’s hard to find anyone who can help.

The truth is, though, that when everyone is experiencing the same calamity, there is support that yields hope and a sense of connecting.

It’s pointless to ask who did this to us. The real question is, “What will rise out of the ashes?”

Within my own family, friends and neighbors I see despair, anger, sadness, but also a determined drive not to be defeated. A new set of values is emerging, a fresh look at the word “career”, and a relaxed attitude toward self concept and who decides what and where our place is in the world.

I have a renewed sense of confidence that younger people will reinvent this socioeconomic construct in which we live, and it will be inclusive, open ended, and fluid. Though I’m a grandmother, I have every intention of sticking around to see it happen, if it takes a hundred years.

As always,
Judy

The Year of Magical Planning

March 12th, 2011 by judytalks

A Child’s Grief was published in January, 2010. Even before the manuscript was edited, I began putting together a marketing plan that would inform and encourage grievers and those who help them to become educated about death, grief and loss.

To date, I have reached many, many people. Groups, organizations, in-person discussions, and online social networking has spread the notion that death education doesn’t have to come after the fact in our society. We can learn how to help ourselves and others.

I am gratified to see more openness on this subject, more willingness to talk and listen, more groups and centers that address all the aspects of recovery and healing.

My recent 1st place book award from Reader Views 2010 Book Award contest has given me pleasure and encouragement that I am living my passion. Keeping you informed about bereavement is my heart’s desire, motivated first because I am a survivor, then, as an educator and writer. My most recent endeavor, to become a grief facilitator for grieving children and families strengthens my resolve to forge ahead.

Please avail yourself of the resources on these personal and important subjects on my website, www.survive-strong.com. When trauma strikes, the more you know before hand, the better you will emerge from the awfulness that is mourning. I wish you well.

Judy

Opportunity to Connect

January 18th, 2011 by judytalks

I’m always looking for ways to connect with people of all and any ages to share grief experiences. A few months ago I discovered a wonderful opportunity to work with children who are mourning the death of a loved one.

New Song Center for Grieving Children offers a training program to become a grief facilitator, and I will begin training this Saturday. I am eagerly anticipating this new venture in my life. Working with young children has been a source of great joy for me, as a preschool teacher and as a volunteer in a variety of organizations. I am looking forward to this opportunity to again connect with youngsters.

The subject of grief is ongoing in our society. Though the immediate impact of the violence in Tucson has begun to subside, the pain, grief, and adjustment have just begun. No one is ever the same after such trauma. We can learn how to help one another, whether friend, family or stranger.

Listen, really listen when someone expresses feelings or ideas.
Comfort by acknowledging their situation.
Support by helping with simple, everyday things.

Follow my new venture with New Song. I’ll post often.

I wish you well.
Judy

The Season of Giving

December 9th, 2010 by judytalks

Holidays are a time to celebrate, to spread good cheer, prepare special dishes, and give gifts to those we love.
For the past week, I’ve been decorating the house, putting up the tree, and taking my holiday treasures out of their boxes. I have decorative things I made, that were given me, or some I simply bought because it appealed to me. Most of my things, though, are hand made. They get a little the worse for wear after many years, so they are wrapped in tissue or towels from holiday to holiday.
But no matter what general condition an item may be in, the real value lies in the memories it evokes. Where did it come from, how long ago, and what people and occasions are brought to mind?
Some things have sad memories attached to them, things received in a year of stress or the death of a loved one. There may be mourning during the holidays, no matter how festive your home or how special the holiday you’re celebrating.
For people newly bereaved, spreading joy may seem impossible. Let others do the honors, while you lovingly share poignant memories of happy times and past celebrations with your loved one. This may serve as a reminder to others, to cherish the time we have together and keep those treasures safe from too much wear and tear.

Happy Holidays,
Judy

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