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

Grief

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.”

The Missing Peace: When You Can’t Say Goodbye

My husband was lost at sea. Sailing around the world was his lifelong dream. He bought the boat, retired, spent years preparing for the journey and set a date. I supported his dream but didn’t want to go with him. We both agreed that I would meet him at various ports, sharing in the experience that way. After six months cruising the Sea of Cortez (where I joined him several times) he took off solo for the South Pacific. He never completed his passage between Mexico and the Marquesas. Three weeks into his five-week crossing, he disappeared in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles from any landmass in one of the most remote places on earth for search and rescue. I never got to say goodbye.

The Phone Of The Wind

If you are grieving for a spouse or anyone else you loved who has died, you have probably found yourself talking to them at times. Late at night, holding a pillow next to you, perhaps, or alone as you walk along a trail. More than likely, you have found this comforting, to simply talk to your loved one… ask questions… reminisce… or tell them about all the things that are happening in your life.

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?”

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.