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


New Year’s Eve — No Pressure

Ah, New Year’s Eve is coming soon. For anyone who has lost a spouse recently that simple thought may be simply dreadful. Reactions to any holiday may range from I hate this to Boy I’ll be glad when this is over. Holidays — especially the first ones you’re experiencing alone — can be nerve wracking, beginning with the decision to even attend any celebrations.

The Subtle Power Of Tradition

Have you ever heard something that speaks to you so deeply that you’re compelled to stop and think about it over and over? That was how I felt recently after listening to Rabbi Naomi Levy’s sermon at a Nashuva service online.

She spoke of her childhood, how she was the youngest of four siblings and the youngest of nine grandchildren. Her family lived on the ground floor. The family of an aunt and uncle lived above them and another aunt and uncle’s family lived next door. The grandparents lived next door to them. In 2nd grade, she was given a dress to wear for class photos. She went next door and saw a picture laying on the table of one of her cousins wearing the dress. She exclaimed, “Cindy is in my dress!” Her Aunt Leah said, “No, actually Cindy is wearing a dress that came from her sister Mimi and now from Cindy to you.”

Sharing Hard-Earned Wisdom

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is the friend who cares…” — Henri Nouwen, from Out of Solitude

If your spouse has died recently or, perhaps, years ago, you are in the process of gaining or have gained some hard-earned wisdom. You know that the pain immediately following the death can feel overwhelming, unbearable or intolerable. The pain is perhaps unfamiliar, is definitely uncomfortable and can come at unexpected times. But you’ve learned that patience and compassion with yourself and others help give you permission to have your own authentic process.

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.