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Posts by Jo Christner, Psy.D.

Healing Grief… Moment by Moment: A HOPE Connection Podcast – Ignoring The Grief Police

“Healing Grief… Moment by Moment” is a podcast created and produced by HOPE Connection. In each short episode Dr. Jo Christner or another HOPE Connection therapist offers a meditative exploration of a different aspect of grief and the healing process. As you listen, we wish you love, light and comfort.

This episode: “Grief Police” (October 2021) – Dr. Jo Christner

Toxic Positivity and the Effect on Grief

“Toxic Positivity.” What in the world does that mean? Many of us from the time we are little are told to Think positiveLook on the bright side. Turn that rainy day into a sunny day. For goodness sake, don’t cry. Change those sad thoughts into happy thoughts. There is even a song called “Don’t Worry. Be Happy.”

Healing Grief… Moment By Moment: A HOPE Connection Podcast – Is It Heaven Or Is It Hell?

“Healing Grief… Moment by Moment” is a podcast created and produced by HOPE Connection. In each short episode Dr. Jo Christner or another HOPE Connection therapist offers a meditative exploration of a different aspect of grief and the healing process. As you listen, we wish you love, light and comfort.

This episode: “Is It Heaven Or Is It Hell?” (August 2021) – Dr. Jo Christner

Reflection Of Life

By Marti Jo Christner

I was sitting alone in the garden this morning watching this butterfly happily flitting from flower to flower.

I felt compelled to take a picture of her beauty.

When I got closer, I noticed that she was faded and a bit broken.

And yet, there she was so happily pollinating each little pink flower.

Such a Reflection of Life. Carry on, beautiful, broken butterfly, carry on.

The World In-Between

When your spouse dies, you will most likely embark upon a difficult and lonely journey of grieving. Somewhere on that journey of grieving and healing, you will move through the “world in-between.” You might be thinking, “What is this world in-between?”

The King’s Diamond – A Parable

There is so much pain and sorrow in our world and lives. Finding some thread of hope and inspiration often seems unreachable. It’s so important that we reach out to each other and create that thread… see each other through. From the beginning of time, hurting souls would sit around fires, tell stories and create connection and hope. We’ve strayed from those rituals and too often feel alone. We need those stories, those parables and metaphors to hold onto, a touchstone to hope.

So, we offer you a “touchstone” to hold onto… the story of The King’s Diamond, an old Jewish folk story. This version is included in the Introduction of Living Through Mourning: Finding Comfort and Hope When a Loved One Has Died, by Harriet Sarnoff Schiff. May it bring you a sense of connection to all of us and your deceased loved one.

A Different Grief – A Man’s Grief

Everyone goes through a natural grieving process when a death occurs. We each behave and express feelings according to the way we’ve been taught and as modeled by our society, our culture, our family, our peers and other influences. A belief system is created that affects the way that we perceive life, death and grief.

Who Am I Now?

Having a loved one die has so very many layers of grief and loss.

It’s so individual to you, who you are, how you think, what you believe, how and where you live, your network of support and so on. Grieving is a natural occurrence in our bodies and emotions. It’s also a complicated one that really requires that we give it our attention and allow it to heal. If you ignore it, it can sneak up on you when least expect it and feel like it knocks you down. “Why do I suddenly feel awful? What’s wrong with me.” The answer: nothing is wrong. It’s grief and all of its layers unfolding, whether you pay attention or not.

Being… Alone

Being alone without another person’s physical presence is an interesting circumstance.

Isn’t it already painful enough that your spouse died and you’ve been thrust into a solitary life that you didn’t ask for and don’t want? Circumstances like a pandemic make the reality even more challenging. You’re being told to stay at home (often totally alone) and to social distance. Social distancing when we’re social beings is such a contradiction to what we’ve always been taught and encouraged. Even if it’s for the good of all, it still causes a conflict —  cognitive dissonance, inside. It’s not what we believe to be true. We want and yearn human contact and connection.