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

Healing

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.

Is That Your Heart You’ve Been Ignoring?

Have you heard the phrase “Driven to distraction?” It’s a common reality for many. Grief brings worries, fears, anxiety, plus the pain of being alone. Being alone is one of the most difficult aspects of loss of a loved one. Now with the pandemic and physically needing to social distance, there is more alone time. With that is a craving of distractions to keep the mind busy. And understandably so. No one wants to feel the pain of grief and being alone.

The Wonder Of Everlasting Love

Soon January will flow into February, another month with short colder days, often dreary. It is also the month with the sweetest, most passionate holiday — Valentine’s Day. When you have lost your life partner, whether recently or years ago, whether you are on your own or in a new relationship, Valentine’s Day can be an arrow to the heart. Our losses and grief can be deeper, more painful, when it seems as though the world is celebrating connection to the one special person.      

To Where You Are

Josh Groban, singing “To Where You Are”

In addition to the ways to connect with our loved ones that we discussed in The Wonder Of Everlasting Love, music is another especially powerful way to connect. Many partners have songs that are special to them. Whenever you hear any song that was part of your relationship, you have probably felt strong emotion, bringing back cherished memories.

Holidays and Holding Two Feelings — Grief and Gratitude

“There are moments which mark your life. Moments when you realize nothing will ever be the same and time is divided into two parts, before this, and after this.” — N. Kazan There are indeed events that divide your life into “before and after.” And holidays often make you realize the significance of the event you’ve experienced. If you’re grieving, holidays —…

Self Compassion

By Andy Smallman

Andy Smallman is a long-time educator, advocate for healthy human development and founding director of the Puget Sound Community School.

People who have experienced the death of a loved one understand what it means to feel as if one’s walls are closing in. The more recent the death, the more significant this feeling often is, although emotional reminders of the loved one sometimes surprise us years later by how powerful the feelings are.

Me, Myself and… Who Am I?

Take a moment and ask yourself an important heartfelt question: What is my purpose?

There may even be many parts to that question. What links me to community? Who am I now? Where do I belong? What is important to me?

These are all very important questions, and perhaps until now you’ve been someone who knew yourself, or at least thought you did. Now your grief, the loss of your loved one, has zapped your confidence. As you begin the next step on your unexpected journey, you may not be sure who you are, nor what your purpose is or what that purpose could be. It’s not easy to see your evolving identity and purpose through the grief, yet creating or re-creating purpose is a worthy goal. If you are asking yourself questions about what your purpose is, perhaps you are also saying you want to find meaning in your life now.

Living Life In The Improv Zone

Skim through any adult education bulletin and you will see every kind of subject imaginable with a couple exceptions. It is next to impossible to find a listing for a course in Improvisation. This is not a big surprise. Unless you are an actor, you probably would flee from a class where you are in the spotlight without a clue of what will be happening or how you are supposed to respond.

“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.