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Posts by Martha Carr, Psy.D., LMFT

Wordless Grief — The Body Remembers

By Martha Carr, Psy.D., LMFT

It’s 11:38 pm and I am jolted awake by an earthquake. It’s so rough it feels like I am thrown straight up in the air, taking me out of slumber instantly. My brain scrambles to figure out what is happening and, while I am still moving, my right arm instinctively and spontaneously reaches out, grabbing for Richard. For 42 years he slept to the right of me. The bed is empty of course. It’s been empty for four years. It takes me a few seconds to reconcile the two realities – the one in which he is still there and the one in which he is gone. My heart breaks a little again as consciousness brings me into the actuality of my life.

Grieving Alone

After the death of her daughter, Martha Whitmore Hickman wrote a wonderful book, Healing After Loss — daily meditations for working through grief. Many members of the HOPE community have talked about this powerful resource during group sessions. Hickman structures each meditation the same, with a quote, followed by her insight about it, ending with a simple summary. Today’s is especially timely. All…

Expectations, Gratitude and Grief

By Don Phillipson

If you are in or have been through a HOPE Connection spousal loss support group, were you surprised by the depth and strength of the bonds you formed with other group members? It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise. Sharing intimate memories, the profound experience of realizing you’re not alone, insights about grief gained by listening intently — how could bonds not form through this process?

“The Times They Are A Changin”

By Evelyn Pechter, Psy.D.

Bob Dylan was right — there are all kinds of changes that come. Layers upon layers of change.  Among those layers are welcome changes: for example, a new baby in the family, a new son or daughter-in-law. These changes can allow for a smile and fond memories. Then there are changes that are not so welcome. The ones that cause great pain and grief — the primary losses: the death of a spouse, or a parent or anyone, near or far. Then there are secondary losses: the lack of physically getting together with friends and family, the change of everyday routines, such as going to the market, and feeling fearful if someone gets closer than six feet, and a list that grows. 

Pandemic

By Lynn Ungar, Unitarian Minister What if you thought of itas the Jews consider the Sabbath—the most sacred of times?Cease from travel.Cease from buying and selling.Give up, just for now, on trying to make the worlddifferent than it is. Sing. Pray. Touch only thoseto whom you commit your life.Center down. And when your body has become still,reach out with your heart.Know that we are…

The Grief Fog

By Sheila Newton, Ph.D., LMFT

Like a thick veil slowly descending, blanketing itself over you and obscuring your vision, you can’t help but give in to the weight of its powerful effect. These are times when you cannot think, cannot feel, cannot see or eat or speak. The death of a spouse, child or anyone that you love dearly can leave you in this experience. No one wants to be in this place, especially not you.

Community In Spirit

By Jo Christner, Psy.D.

Having had a loved one recently die, every HOPE group member is keenly aware that life can take an unexpected and devastating turn in an instant. In the last couple of weeks, we have all had to deal with another unexpected development: isolation and the temporary cancellation of our weekly in-person support groups. That creates more grief upon grief.

The Power of Hope

We always hear feedback from our members and graduates of our programs about how positively Hope Connection has affected their lives. I offer, at this time, my own personal perspective of how Hope Connection has affected mine from a facilitator’s point of view.

Little Things Mean A Lot

“Raindrops on Roses and whiskers on kittens.
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.”

You probably recognize those song lyrics from Sound Of Music. It is easy to dismiss that song as a bit of tuneful fluff with charming images. Another way of viewing it is as a gem of musical wisdom on how to survive the tough times of life.