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

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.

Healing Grief… Moment by Moment: A HOPE Connection Podcast – Resilience

“Healing Grief… Moment by Moment” is a podcast created and produced by HOPE Connection. In each short episode Dr. Jo Christner or another HOPE Connection therapist offers a meditative exploration of a different aspect of grief and the healing process. As you listen, we wish you love, light and comfort. This episode: “Resilience” (April 2021) – Dr. Jo Christner This is a moment of…

Almost Five Months – Where Are The Tears?

We often hear a lament in the grief groups: “I can’t cry. I want to but I can’t. What’s wrong with me?”

It’s normal to feel numb when you’re grieving. It does not mean that something is wrong with you. Emotional numbness can occur when your body goes through the shock of loss. It’s the body’s natural anesthetic to help you through the transition from the reality of the suddenness of death to a new reality. It’s difficult to feel… and difficult to accept the lack of feelings. But feelings will return in time. Some people cry on the inside. Others can’t stop crying for a while. Grieving is a strikingly individual experience.

The following poem aptly describes the despair and confusion of having no tears.

Healing Grief… Moment by Moment: A HOPE Connection Podcast – Grief

“Healing Grief… Moment by Moment” is a podcast created and produced by HOPE Connection. In each short episode Dr. Jo Christner or another HOPE Connection therapist offers a meditative exploration of a different aspect of grief and the healing process. As you listen, we wish you love, light and comfort. This episode: “Grief” (March 2021) — Dr. Jo Christner This is a…

Grieving Is Healing

When a loved one dies, we are faced with the stark reality that life is indelibly changed.  It is a hard reality to accept, and it launches us into the grieving process. We mostly think of grief as a journey through sadness, fraught with a myriad of struggles along the way – with feelings of helplessness, exhaustion, stress, anxiety or loneliness as our travel companions. We wonder how long it will take until the pain subsides and if we can ever get on with our lives.  It is helpful to remember that grieving is a healthy process, one we are wired to go through after a profound loss. Sometimes people think of grieving only as something to get over. But, unlike an illness, we don’t get over it — we go through it, resolving our feelings about the loss gradually.

My Parent Has Died! What Now?

Loss!  We have all experienced losing a loved one but losing a parent is a unique loss and one that is often discounted.  Anyone who has had a parent die knows that feeling of profound sadness, the feeling of being overwhelmed, the thoughts of,  “Oh No! What now?”

There is a prevailing attitude in our cultural messages that the death of a parent is a natural course of events and we need to “just get over it!”

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.

A Tribute To HOPE Connection From Rabbi Ed Feinstein

Nearly a year has passed since we celebrated HOPE Connection’s 40th anniversary. Rabbi Ed Feinstein had a message for the HOPE community on that day. It was a simple but profound message about an experience that virtually every group member can relate to: the realization that after the initial support of family and friends, you’re left alone with your grief.