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Online Grief Support, Help for Coping with Loss | Beyond Indigo Forums
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jasonellis

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About jasonellis

  • Rank
    Newbie

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://www.transformgrief.com

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    New York
  • Interests
    Writing, Coaching, Learning, Gardening
  • Loss Type
    The loss of a close family friend.

Converted

  • Occupation
    Engineer
  • Interests
    Helping others
  • Last Name
    Ellis
  • First Name
    Jason
  • About Me
    I've been fascinated with helping people overcome their grief for a long time now. I'm hoping this forum will allow me to learn and further show people how to reach acceptance and peace.
  1. I wish you a great deal of strength in guiding this person through their greatest challenge in life - the challenge of facing one's own mortality. It's important to keep yourself grounded with a fundamental law as you go through this experience - the law of gratitude. Remember to find gratitude in your own life and your own fortunate circumstance. As you help this client along, your own life is juxtaposed with that of someone less fortunate. Remember to appreciate every moment you have in your healthy body because, ultimately, we are borrowers from this world. Nothing is ours, it is only leased to us from the universe for a period of time. Be grateful for your life and enjoy your body and mind in memory of those who no longer can. This is where your strength will be renewed. Best of luck and thank you for the service you provide.
  2. Lost my cousin to lymphoma

    I can completely relate to your hint of Hypochondria at the end of your post. Losing a loved one at such a young age is a reminder of how fragile we truly are. I'm so sorry for your loss and the anger you must feel at the injustice of the whole thing (a life taken so young) is understandable. "Why" is a question that can only be answered by the person suffering from the specific grief scenario. We must all find our own meaning in circumstances of loss. The question of "why" must be countered by our own interpretation of life and reality. This a big part of finding acceptance in a loss and it is the reason that grief is unique to the individual and situation. I want to offer comfort by saying that life has purpose - because we give it purpose with out own perspective. In the end, our perspective forms the reality of everything around us. If you can hold tight towards a positive outlook on life and find your own positive meaning in the life of your cousin, you create your own solace. The power is within you to feel good again - strength comes with time. I wish you a blessed recovery. My condolences to you and the family.
  3. nervous all the time

    They said the loss of a parent is the stark reminder of our own mortality. Your nervousness (or anxiety) is completely normal in the context of your grief. It's a common thread that will follow you through the stages of grief - into your ultimate acceptance. Have you considered therapy as another alternative outlet to your current anguish? It may help to vocalize some of these nervous thoughts to a qualified professional who can rationalize your concerns. I'm sorry for your loss.
  4. Below you will find many memorial and remembrance ideas that you can use to keep the memory of your loved one alive. After the funeral, memorial service or life celebration many people wish to have something permanent as a reminder of the person that they loved and lost. It may help to think about what was important to the person you lost. What did they value?What made them smile? Perhaps by beginning there, the appropriate memorial will present itself. Here are 10 ideas that may help to guide you. 1. You can plant a tree in their memory. You can find tree seedlings on the internet. You could also buy a tree at a local nursery. 2. Have your love one’s photo placed on a stamp. This also would be ideal for the thank you notes you will be sending for the flowers, donations and the help you will be receiving. On the anniversary of their death or on their birthday, consider sending a card or a memorial gift to close friends and relatives. 3. Donate a memorial bench If they loved golf, their favorite golf course may welcome the donation of a memorial bench. You may also consider purchasing a plaque or a brick in their name to help fund a community project. 4. Have a star in the sky named after your loved one. 5. Plant a section in the garden each year with their favorite flowers, you also may want to add a stepping stone or rock with their name on it in their special section of the garden. Consider each year sharing flowers from that section of the garden with the family and friends of your loved one. 6. Start a college scholarship in their name. 7. Create a video or DVD from photos and video or movie clips. This video can be played at family gatherings and on the person’s birthday or anniversary of their death. You can also easily make copies to share with close friends and relatives. 8. Create a book of memories for the deceased’s family. Have friends and family write on note cards and include the note cards with photos in the book. You may also want to include newspaper articles about the deceased, the obituary etc. 9. Create a memorial on the web – there are several websites that allow loved ones to memorialize the deceased through video, pictures, and voice recordings. 10. Keep a journal of your memories, your thoughts and what you learned from your loved one. Dealing with a loss of a loved one is so difficult. It’s important to do what brings you peace-of-mind. Focusing on a memorial may help you through the grief process and allow you to focus on the unique and positive aspects of your loved ones life and how that life can be remembered and celebrated for years to come.
  5. Coping with Grief and Loss

    Recommendations and Tips for Dealing with Grief and starting the Healing Process.
  6. Grief is a complicated and very powerful emotion. Unfortunately, it is very likely that at some point of your life you will go through it. In any case, the stages are nearly exactly the same for each person. Some people go from one stage to another quickly, or skip some of them. Others get stuck and need help to go on. Knowing the stages of grief, knowing what to expect, can help you to deal with your emotions. Once you are faced with your own personal loss and grief, it helps enormously to know what is going on. It does not matter if what you experience is slightly different than the theory. It will also give you a sense that you are not alone with your pain. Others have gone through it and survived it. So will you. Knowing the stages of grief also helps when you are trying to help a person you care for to deal with his or her grief. Each stage of grief has a meaning. When going through them, your goal is to process each stage with all its issues and move on to the next. Until you are able to accept your loss and can move on with your life. These are the 5 classic stages that affect everyone who encounters a loss of some kind. They are just guidelines, not strict rules. I hope that they will help you to go through the pain of your loss. I also hope that what you learn and what you experience will make you stronger. One day you will need that knowledge and that strength to help with someone else’s grief. 1. Shock and Denial The first reaction of most people when hearing the news of a devastating loss is shock. Frozen disbelief and denial follow. If someone brings the news to you that someone very close to you has passed, it is very likely that you will react with shaken “no, no, no.” Your mind is simply not able to process such horror and is protecting you by completely denying the reality. You might decide to believe that someone is making a practical joke. Or you might even laugh when hearing the news, the way children laugh in the dark to dispel fear. The numbness follows. It is the nature’s way of letting you deal only with emotions you are capable of handling. Denial is a very helpful stage of grief. But, at some point, you will be ready to face the reality. Reality means a range of very painful emotions that will follow. There is no rule how long should you be in denial. There is no rule that everyone has to go through the denial stage. You might be able to jump straight into highly emotional stages such as anger or guilt. If you persist in denying the reality of your loss, you need help. It can be a close friend or a relative who knows you. Sometimes the help of a trained therapist or a grief counselor might be necessary. You need to accept that the loss is part of life and that the pain that comes with loss will slowly pass. The love you feel will remain. You will always have the memories. You need to let yourself continue to grieve, in order to reach the acceptance. Only then the life can go on. 2. Pain and Guilt Once you get out of the denial and face the reality, the pain will hit you will full blast. It might feel overwhelming at times. It is very tempting during this stage to try to dull the pain with drugs or alcohol. But, the pain can be healing. Like the pain of birth, it results in the new reality, the reality of your new life. The feeling of guilt is very common during this stage. It may come from unresolved issues. It can be the guilt of surviving, especially if the loss you experienced is the loss of someone younger. You might feel guilty for not showing your love while you could, or showing proper appreciation. The excruciating pain experienced during this stage may lead to anxiety, especially with more emotional people. While the feeling of guilt will pass once you are able to think rationally, the pain will remain. It will be part of your life throughout the grieving process, and beyond. But, slowly, you will be able to function and live with your pain and the reality of your loss, and move on. 3. Anger and Bargaining Your overwhelming pain takes many forms. It is very common that people feel powerful feeling of anger. Anger against doctors who could not do more, against relatives who did not give more time, against God or destiny. Why me? How could this happen to such a nice person? Anger is healthy after the destructive feeling of guilt in the previous stage of grieving. Pain leaves you without anchor. You feel totally out of control of your life. Anger puts you back in control – we are trained to control anger from very early age. Anger gives practical outlet to your devastating pain. It is very important not to vent your anger to those closest to you. They are also grieving. You need them. You do not want to lose them. You have lost enough already. The stages of grief do not follow each other in the same order for each person. Anger can easily combine with guilt and turn on yourself. Even when you lash at others, deep down you might feel that you failed your loved one in some way. If someone you love is terminally ill, you might try bargaining. You might try to bargain with God, or with destiny. You might promise to be a better person, or to stop smoking or to be more generous, if only… Bargaining is particularly powerful stage of grieving for people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Bargaining for your own life can offer hope, or a channel for pain that gives more control. As with other stages of grief, anger and bargaining can last a short time, weeks, months, or you might skip them altogether. It is important to look for signs of uncontrolled anger which can irreparably damage your relationships with those closest and dearest to you. 4. Depression and Loneliness All the powerful emotions that follow denial are exhausting, but they represent hope. Strong emotions are one way your pain shows its ugly face. But, at some point, the hope fades and you face the reality. The reality is devastating. The loved one is really gone. There is no way to change that fact. The life will never be the same. You are left alone. You might feel that the life makes no sense any more. The depression sets in. Feeling depressed is normal reaction to a devastating loss. In a way, if you do not get depressed, you are not really facing your loss. Those around you might have difficult time seeing you so low. “Snap out of it’ you will hear a lot. You will be offered anti-depressants and phone numbers of therapists. Your priest will offer counseling. Your friends will offer numerous casseroles. Everyone wants you out of the blues. At some point, you will start noticing that life goes on. The depression will slowly start to lift. The pain will remain, but with less intensity and with less hopelessness. Sometimes the depression continues to deepen and you might refuse to fight the hopelessness. Thoughts of suicide start intruding. That is the time when help is necessary. People who suffer from deep clinical depression they cannot shake are not able to look for help. The help has to come to them. Family members and friends need to be on the lookout for the depression that keeps getting worse instead of better and look for professional help. There is no rule how long should you allow depression to wash over your soul. Days, weeks, it depends on your personality, the enormity of your loss and the support you have from those that love you. Alone or together, you need to rejoin the life with all its pain and memories. Don’t forget, it will get better in time. 5. Acceptance Accepting your loss does not come in a moment of epiphany. It is a slow and painful process. It is the result of all the stages your grief went through. It is the new form your pain takes, the form that will be part of your new life. Accepting your loss does not mean that you are through with it. It just means that you accept that death is part of life. You accept that you are starting with the new life. One enriched by the person who was part of your previous life. The life that you will build on the ashes on the previous one. The life that will celebrate the loved one you lost and not mourn. There will be times months and even years after your loss when you will revert to one of the stages of grief, for a moment or two, or even longer. There will be painful reminders which will drag you back into the depths of your despair. But, they will be rare and you will be strong enough to deal with them. Holidays will be for ever painful for you, because they will remind you how they looked like when you celebrated them with the person you lost. You can prepare for them and deal with them in your own way.
  7. Working with Children in Grief

    As difficult as the loss of a loved one is on adults, it can be truly devastating to children. If a child is not attended to during the first days of their horrible loss, they may carry scars of trauma for the rest of their lives. So a key note is – early intervention. Adults are often so numb with grief after a loved one dies, they fail to realize that a child in the family is left to cope on his or her own. When a child loses a loved one, especially a parent or a sibling, their world falls apart. They are full of questions, plagued with confusion and guilt. They need your help. For small children, death is not real. If Bugs Bunny gets up every time Wiley Coyote kills him, will grandma get up too? She went to heaven? When is she coming back? Be there for your child and let them ask all the questions that are filling their mind. Be honest in your answers. Death is a real part of life and children eventually need to come to terms with it. Children go through a variation of the same stages of grief as adults. But, some of the stages can last a very long time. If children are not helped to go through stages like denial or guilt, they it have profound effect on their future. Most children believe that it is somehow their fault that their father or mother or grandpa died. If only they were better, or did their homework, or did not make so much noise… It is imperative that adults ensure children that it is in no way their fault that the loved one died. Children grieve in spurts. One moment they are sad and crying, other they are running around, laughing and playing. It is normal. Don’t be fooled into believing that he or she is out of it. Just like for you, it takes time. Give a child some outlets for their grief. Give them some paper and crayons or play dough. Older children might prefer to make a scrapbook of the departed loved one. They also might want to make some kind of memorial. These are all healthy ways for child to express their feelings, and might offer you a way of seeing more of how they feel than the child is able to express in words. Many children regress to their early childhood when they lose a loved one, especially a parent. They start talking like babies, have temper tantrums, wet the bed or demand constant cuddling and carrying. It is OK for a short time. If they do not snap out of it, you will need to seek help. It is very difficult to find the fine line between what is a normal way for children to grieve and when to look for help. The best sign that their grief is overwhelming is the prolonged lack of appetite and lack of energy. If a child refuses to see his or her friends or refuses to go to school for more than a few days, it may be time to consult with a child grief therapist. Sometimes it is enough just to ask for guidance and advice. At times, it is important to bring a child in for a talk with a qualified professional. Most children are resilient and will bounce back if they continue to have good, loving support system despite of losing a loved family member. It might mean that you need to put your grief aside to be there for the child. But, you might find that the questions children ask and the way they talk about the person both of you lost might be very healing for you too.
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