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

Healing

Stepping Behind The Waterfall

The many emotions we may experience under the umbrella of grief can feel incredibly heavy, intrusive, and uncontrollable. Imagine you are standing under a waterfall. The pressure of the water falling on your neck, shoulders, and back is intense, strong — even painful. All you can see, feel, hear, smell or taste is the waterfall. When the intensity of an emotion is like standing under a waterfall, start by taking a step behind the waterfall. 

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.

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.