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

Humor – A Tool For Coping With Grief

When dealing with grief, many of us experience three of the four basic human emotions: madness, sadness and fear. The fourth one, “joy,” is not very popular during mourning because it’s deemed inappropriate, in bad taste and unacceptable in the midst of grieving. Wanting to be culturally sensitive and socially correct, we tread lightly because oftentimes we don’t know what to say, and most of all, we don’t want to offend.

Just Another Day

The morning comes and you look for a reason to get out of bed. 
You want to linger for hours but force yourself to rise and take a mini step to join the day.
That is courage.

The toothbrush you hold feels like a heavy hammer but you manage to brush your teeth, wash your face, fix your hair.
That is determination.

Finding Your Voice Again

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh

Grief has a way of sapping confidence. With sapped confidence, you may not feel willing to speak what’s on your mind and in your heart. It’s too painful to speak.

Perhaps you are thinking you don’t want to burden anyone? Or that they won’t understand anyway so what’s the use. Then, without even realizing, little by little you give your voice to someone else. You let them speak for you and the way you feel. The confidence you once had seems so distant now.

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.

My Parent Died – What Do I Do Now?

A few questions and answers

I didn’t have a good relationship with my mother. Now that she’s died, I’m confused — why do I feel the grief and guilt that I feel?

Relationships are often complicated, especially when there has been conflict. When a relationship is complicated, volatile, even abusive, there is a grief process that needs attention. Your grief is a way of expressing feelings that perhaps did not get that attention while your parent was alive. Perhaps the guilt you feel is a way of acknowledging that you would have liked a different relationship. In difficult relationships with parents, there is often a lot that was unsaid. In a grief group, you have the opportunity to process those unsaid words in a safe environment. You may find that you are not alone and more importantly you and your feelings find support.

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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…

One Thing You Need To Do Today

Author and former monk Jay Shetty has a message for those living alone during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently leading a 20-day, live meditation series on Instagram, he says we should strive to do one thing each day that brings us joy — and that despite social distancing, we can still nurture essential human connections. In this short PBS video, Shetty offers his…

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.