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Posts by Jo Christner, Psy.D.

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.

When Will “Closure” Come?

One person may say — “Closure? Will there ever be an end to this horrible pain of grief? When will I get the closure that I hear about? I’m done. I’m not going to grieve anymore!” And another person may say — “I don’t want closure. I never want to let go. How can I possibly say goodbye forever to my loved one? I’m so confused. Am…

A Celebration Of Life

In Hebrew, the number 18 is “chai,” which means “Life.” So it is only appropriate that today – January 18, 2018 – is the official launch of HOPE Connection’s “A Celebration of Life” Bowl-a-thon. This event is being sponsored by our longtime supporter, Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary, and will take place at Pinz Bowl, 12655 Ventura Blvd., Studio City 91604, on…

Meditation: A Doorway To Healing The Chemistry Of Grief

Martin Hamer, a native of The Netherlands, has been a yogi and has practiced Transcendental Meditation since 1977, and the advanced techniques called TM-Sidhis since 1980. Now retired, he worked for American Express and a local chiropractor for many years, while also working for (mostly American) translation agencies as a trained English-Dutch translator and vice versa. In 1984 he co-authored the first book on chiropractic in…

Living With Grief: What’s The DIF?

Evelyn Pechter is a HOPE therapist and Licensed Psychologist. Dr. Pechter has private practice offices in West Los Angeles and Woodland Hills, where she specializes in adult life changes including grief/loss.

“Wherever you are right now on your journey — whether your loved one died two weeks ago, two years ago, or even 20 years ago, it helps to understand the process from beginning to the not-so-clear end. As Glenda the Good Witch of the North told Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz before she set out for Emerald City, “It’s always best to start at the beginning.” So it is with most things; so it is with grief.”

— Ashley Davis Bush: Transcending Loss

It is best to start at the beginning, but what often happens is that people want to avoid the painful aspects of grief; it’s too terrifying. So, they rush right ahead, telling others — and themselves — that “Everything’s just fine. I’m okay. I’m adjusting just fine.” They attempt to skip to the end before they’ve gone through the process.