Self-Healing Expressions
grieving, grief counseling, online support groups, grief support, mourning, sadness, depression, despair
Bringing the self to healing, one lesson at a time.
  grieving, grief counseling, online support groups, grief support, mourning, sadness, depression, despair

Grieving ~ Grief Support

The First Year of Grief: Help for the Journey
The First Year of Grief: Help for the Journey

Understand the nature of grief and loss and their potential impact on all aspects of your life: physical, financial, emotional, social and spiritual. Learn how to move through grief actively and make the process of mourning a healing one. Find support and guidance in dealing with the many facets of grief.

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Tools for Healing ~ Coming to Terms with Grief

© By Marty Tousley, Bereavement Counselor

Grieving is hard work. Below find grief support suggestions to nurture and comfort your mind, body and spirit as you go through the mourning process. If you've discovered a special "remedy" that helped or is helping you through your sadness, despair and the difficult experience of grieving, please share it with us so we can add to this list. It might be just the form of grief support and comfort another could use right now.

Establish a Sacred Space

Choose a place in your home for your grief work. Consider creating an altar to hold candles, photographs of your loved one and meaningful objects. Coming to this place consistently helps to create a sanctuary of peace, healing and connection with your loved one within your home.

Plant a Tree or Plant in Memory of Your Loved One

Planting a tree or plant on your property and dedicating it to your loved one (individually or with a small family ceremony of remembrance) provides you with an outdoor sanctuary. This can be especially comforting when a loved one is cremated and a cemetery is not used for burial.

Include Your Loved One in Family Celebrations

Even if you wish to pretend otherwise, the person who died will be on your mind -- and on the minds of others -- on special days such as holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. Far better to create a time, a ritual or a ceremony that recognizes your loss and allows the expression of grief. Whether it's with a prayer or a toast, lighting a candle or sharing fond memories, take time in the midst of the special day to acknowledge your loss and remember and celebrate the legacy of your loved one. This can be done alone or with others, and can be especially meaningful for children. (For example, you can use or adapt the lovely candle-lighting service as described in Holiday Help: A Guide for Hope and Healing.)

Light A Candle for Your Loved One

Light a candle in your home or place of worship for your loved one -- or light one online. Visit Light A Candle Online, where you can light a virtual candle on-line and leave a message in honor of your loved one.

Let Grief Healing Support Groups Help You

Contact your local hospice, mortuary, church, synagogue or mosque and ask what bereavement support groups and grief counseling may be offered in your community. (For help in finding a hospice in your area, see How to Find a Local Hospice .)

Let Online Support Groups Help You

Grief Healing web sites with Message Boards allow you to connect with others (24/7) who are also in mourning. Sharing your experiences with others on a message board can reassure you that, although the loss of your loved one is absolutely devastating, you are not alone in your pain, despair and sadness. Reading the accounts of other survivors offers hope that, if they've found a way to manage their grief, then you can find your own way, too.

My own grief-healing email course offers ongoing support for the first year of grief via email lessons.

Try Yoga to Rebalance the Body, Mind and Spirit

A good Yoga practice takes one through a series of asanas (postures) in preparation for shava (deep relaxation and meditation) at the end of the practice. Yoga can be deeply healing for the mind, body and spirit when practiced over time.

Heal Using Breath-work

Prana is Sanskrit for life force. Breath is life force. Think of life force as the light that finds the darkness deep within the soul and heals it. Pranic healing can be effective in dissolving many of the disabling effects of grief. Learn more.

Bach Flower Essences

Flower essences are designed to rebalance one emotionally without adverse side effects. Try Rescues Remedy flower essence (four drops under the tongue four times daily). You can get these at your local health food store, or for more details, click here.

Herbal Teas

Chamomile and peppermint teas help can calm nerves and digestive tract; valerian tea may be helpful for anxiety and sleeplessness.

Let Friends and Family Help

If there has ever been a time to ask for what you "need," this is one of them. Find time with others to talk, to touch, and to receive support. Be honest with others about what you're feeling. Don't expect others to guess what you need. When you want to be touched, held, hugged, listened to or pampered, say so. If all you want from others is help with simple errands, tasks and repairs, say that.

Let Holistic Practitioners Help You

There are many alternative and spiritual healing options available in many communities these days. Consider chiropractic care, massage, Reiki, rebirthing, yoga or flower essence. Find what calls to you and make an appointment. See the resources listed here: Alternative Healing

Pray for Healing and Inner Peace

Divine guidance is always there for the asking.

Let Tears do their work

Crying is a universal expression of sorrow. Welcome your tears as a natural and helpful form of release. See Shedding Tears, Healing Waters

Watch a Movie and Cry

Movies and video/DVD rentals that dramatize others coming to terms with their pain may serve as a valuable tool to help you and your family members move through the grieving process. Healthy grieving requires that we acknowledge, experience and express the pain of our loss. For many of us, this is the hardest part of grief work, and we may prefer to put it off or avoid it all together. Sometimes we need help to get started, both in getting in touch with the pain and in finding the relief that comes from having a good cry. Watching a sad movie can be a simple but very effective way to put us in touch with our feelings and help release the pent-up emotions of grief. Find a list of movie suggestions here.

Marty Tousley, CNS-BC, FT, DCC
Bereavement Counselor

Marty Tousley is the creator and instructor of these popular online grief courses. Click link to learn more about Marty and her online grief class.
The First Year of Grief: Help for the Journey
A Different Grief: Coping with Pet Loss
A Different Grief: Helping You and Your Children with Pet Loss

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Copyright © Marty Tousley, CNS-BC, FT, DCC. All rights reserved.

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Course Length: 24 lessons

Recommended Course Pace: bi-weekly receipt of lessons

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