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Grief Support Groups Serving West Los Angeles, Encino and Agoura Hills

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 Visitor Who Demands Attention

When someone’s spouse or partner dies, people naturally reach out with unbridled sympathy. When someone’s parent dies, though, people can inadvertently couch their sympathy in ways that may not be helpful. Your mom died? That’s life!

There is one common denominator, though, to losing a spouse or a parent: your grief demands attention, now or later — your choice.

Stepping Behind The Waterfall

The many emotions we may experience under the umbrella of grief can feel incredibly heavy, intrusive, and uncontrollable. Imagine you are standing under a waterfall. The pressure of the water falling on your neck, shoulders, and back is intense, strong — even painful. All you can see, feel, hear, smell or taste is the waterfall. When the intensity of an emotion is like standing under a waterfall, start by taking a step behind the waterfall. 

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.

An Unexpected Source Of Grief Therapy

The power of Rossmore’s strength came from the articulation of emotions in the silence. For many days and nights, he sat by Tracy’s side as his best friend sobbed over the death of his beloved wife, Lila. No stranger to grief, Rossmore was weeping from the inside over Lila, whom he loved dearly. He was conditioned to live in the here and now as a way of life and it had served him well. Focused 100 percent with undivided attention, he was here for Tracy at the worst time of his friend’s life.

United In Grief

This month we witnessed a poignant reminder that grief forms a common bond among all people, no matter their background or circumstance. Anyone who has lost a spouse could instantly identify with the image of Queen Elizabeth sitting alone at the funeral of her husband of 73 years.

Strengthening Your Resilience, Elevating Your Life

Have you ever had an oven with a pilot light? You would not always see the light but you knew it was there, a small flicker that could ignite a bigger flame. Sometimes our resilience seems tiny and weak. It is not in sight and we wonder if it is there at all even though we have weathered many crises over the years. In these Pandemic times, the word “resilience” is often used to describe big flames, acts of heroism, courage under great odds. Even the dictionary states that resilience is about bouncing back, moving on. It can be daunting to be in constant contact with such a limited view of our inner strength with the bar set very high.