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6 years ago



Health & Wellness (tags: humans, death, Body-Mind-Spirit )

- 18 hours ago -
GRIEF LOSS RECOVERY Hope and Health Through Creative Grieving

This post was modified from its original form on 28 Jun, 7:04
elisabeth kübler-ross - five stages of grief kubler-ross model for death and bereavement counselling
6 years ago

elisabeth kübler-ross - five stages of grief kubler-ross model for death and bereavement counselling, personal change and trauma

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (which is the correct spelling; Elizabeth Kubler Ross is a common incorrect form and used above for search-engine visibility). Incidentally, 'counselling' is UK English and 'counseling' is US English.

Dr Elisabeth Kübler-Ross pioneered methods in the support and counselling of personal trauma, grief and grieving, associated with death and dying. She also dramatically improved the understanding and practices in relation to bereavement and hospice care.

Her ideas, notably the five stages of grief model (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), are also transferable to personal change and emotional upset resulting from factors other than death and dying.

We can clearly observe similar reactions to those explained by Kübler-Ross's grief model in people confronted with far less serious traumas than death and bereavement, such as by work redundancy, enforced relocation, crime and punishment, disability and injury, relationship break-up, financial despair and bankruptcy, etc.

This makes the model worthy of study and reference far outside of death and bereavement. The 'grief cycle' is actually a 'change model' for helping to understand and deal with (and counsel) personal reaction to trauma. It's not just for death and dying.

This is because trauma and emotional shock are relative in terms of effect on people. While death and dying are for many people the ultimate trauma, people can experience similar emotional upsets when dealing with many of life's challenges, especially if confronting something difficult for the first time, and/or if the challenge happens to threaten an area of psychological weakness, which we all possess in different ways. One person's despair (a job-change, or exposure to risk or phobia, etc) is to another person not threatening at all. Some people love snakes and climbing mountains, whereas to others these are intensely scary things. Emotional response, and trauma, must be seen in relative not absolute terms. The model helps remind us that the other person's perspective is different to our own, whether we are the one in shock, or the one helping another to deal with their upset.

The study of death and dying is actually known as thanatology (from the Greek word 'thanatos' meaning death). Elisabeth Kübler-Ross is accordingly sometimes referred to as a thanatologist, and she is considered to have contributed significantly to the creation of the genre of thanatology itself.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's seminal book was On Death & Dying, published in 1969, in which she explained her now classically regarded 'five stages of grief'. The book and its ideas were quite revolutionary at the time, reflecting Kübler-Ross's outspoken and bold approach, which is paradoxical given the sensitivity and compassion of her concepts.

Kübler-Ross was a catalyst. She opened up and challenged previously conservative (sweep it under the carpet, don't discuss it, etc) theories and practices relating to death and bereavement, and received an enormously favourable response among carers, the dying and the bereaved, which perhaps indicates the level of denial and suppression that had earlier characterised conventional views about the subject - particularly in the western world, where death is more of a taboo than in certain other cultures.

As stated, and important to emphasise, Kübler-Ross's five stages of grief model was developed initially as a model for helping dying patients to cope with death and bereavement, however the concept also provides insight and guidance for coming to terms with personal trauma and change, and for helping others with emotional adjustment and coping, whatever the cause. This has probably helped her ideas to spread and to enter 'mainstream' thinking.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and her ideas have now become synonymous with emotional response to trauma, and to grief support and counselling, much like Maslow is fundamentally associated with motivational theory; Kolb with learning styles, and Gardner with multiple intelligence.

As with much other brilliant pioneering work, the Kübler-Ross model is elegantly simple. The five stages of grief model is summarised and interpreted below.

The Kübler-Ross five stages and terminology are featured here with permission from the Elisabeth Kübler Ross Foundation, which is gratefully acknowledged. Please look at the website, which enables and sustains Dr Kübler-Ross's values and mission, and extends help to those who need it. (Separate reference was made here previously to the website, which sometime after 2008 now re-directs to the EKR Foundation website.)

6 years ago

Please be aware that the interpretation and contextual material on this webpage represents my own thoughts on the subject. I would encourage you to develop your own ideas too - this is a deeply significant area and one that can be interpreted in many ways. My interpretation and associations are not an attempt to reproduce Kübler-Ross's thinking, they seek to provide a modern context, and to relate the basic model to the philosophies of this website.

Use of and reference to the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross five stages for commercial purposes, and publication of EKR quotations, require permission from the EKR Foundation. You can use freely the other aspects of this page subject to the normal terms for using this website, briefly summarised at the foot of this page.

6 years ago
elisabeth kübler-ross - five stages of grief

Also known as the 'grief cycle', it is important to bear in mind that Kübler-Ross did not intend this to be a rigid series of sequential or uniformly timed steps. It's not a process as such, it's a model or a framework. There is a subtle difference: a process implies something quite fixed and consistent; a model is less specific - more of a shape or guide. By way of example, people do not always experience all of the five 'grief cycle' stages. Some stages might be revisited. Some stages might not be experienced at all. Transition between stages can be more of an ebb and flow, rather than a progression. The five stages are not linear; neither are they equal in their experience. People's grief, and other reactions to emotional trauma, are as individual as a fingerprint.

In this sense you might wonder what the purpose of the model is if it can vary so much from person to person. An answer is that the model acknowledges there to be an individual pattern of reactive emotional responses which people feel when coming to terms with death, bereavement, and great loss or trauma, etc. The model recognises that people have to pass through their own individual journey of coming to terms with death and bereavement, etc., after which there is generally an acceptance of reality, which then enables the person to cope.

The model is perhaps a way of explaining how and why 'time heals', or how 'life goes on'. And as with any aspect of our own or other people's emotions, when we know more about what is happening, then dealing with it is usually made a little easier.

Again, while Kübler-Ross's focus was on death and bereavement, the grief cycle model is a useful perspective for understanding our own and other people's emotional reaction to personal trauma and change, irrespective of cause.

6 years ago

five stages of grief - elisabeth kübler ross EKR stage Interpretation 1 - Denial Denial is a conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, reality, etc., relating to the situation concerned. It's a defence mechanism and perfectly natural. Some people can become locked in this stage when dealing with a traumatic change that can be ignored. Death of course is not particularly easy to avoid or evade indefinitely.

2 - Anger

Anger can manifest in different ways. People dealing with emotional upset can be angry with themselves, and/or with others, especially those close to them. Knowing this helps keep detached and non-judgemental when experiencing the anger of someone who is very upset.

3 - Bargaining

Traditionally the bargaining stage for people facing death can involve attempting to bargain with whatever God the person believes in. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek to negotiate a compromise. For example "Can we still be friends?.." when facing a break-up. Bargaining rarely provides a sustainable solution, especially if it's a matter of life or death.

4 - Depression

Also referred to as preparatory grieving. In a way it's the dress rehearsal or the practice run for the 'aftermath' although this stage means different things depending on whom it involves. It's a sort of acceptance with emotional attachment. It's natural to feel sadness and regret, fear, uncertainty, etc. It shows that the person has at least begun to accept the reality. 5 - Acceptance Again this stage definitely varies according to the person's situation, although broadly it is an indication that there is some emotional detachment and objectivity. People dying can enter this stage a long time before the people they leave behind, who must necessarily pass through their own individual stages of dealing with the grief.

(Based on the Grief Cycle model first published in On Death & Dying, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, 1969. Interpretation by Alan Chapman 2006-2009.)


6 years ago

It is very important to remember that every one is differant,each person may go through all stages,some stages,may even go through the same stage over and over,and very few people go through the stages in the order shown above.I know this because when I went through nursing school,this was one of the subjects we had to do for 6 weeks.

Will find some more info on this today Eco,hope this helps and so sorry it was late,have been so so busy pasr few days.

6 years ago

Hope and Health Through Creative Grieving  

beautiful dove in flight


"If you're going through   
    hell, keep going".

   --- Sir Winston Churchill
6 years ago

Grief loss...

So the unthinkable has happened to you! A special loved one has been torn from your life by tragedy, and you are heartbroken. I am so very sorry for your loss, and wish to extend our deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Welcome, my friend, to our grief loss recovery website. You have come to the right place for straight answers, practical advice... and hope.

You are in the midst of one of the most painful and trying experiences that a human can possibly endure. No one can know the depths of your pain, and we know that you will never forget this terrible tragedy. Memories of your departed loved one will never leave you, nor should they.

Hope for the future...

I think it may help you to know that grief is a process, a long journey of acceptance and healing. And you can get through it, and come back in time to a happy and productive life. I know it is hard for you to believe right now, but you must hold onto hope, and keep in the back of your mind that things will eventually get better.

You are not alone in this. You probably feel quite overwhelmed and bewildered right now, sort of like you were picked up and placed on a different planet! This grief thing is a surreal new world of uncharted territory for you, and no one gave you a roadmap, did they?

                                        grieving woman looking out to stormy sea

About our website...

My name is Jennie, and I am the editor and webmaster for "Recover From Grief". I am a Registered Nurse with many years practice as an  ICU nurse. I have helped and comforted many traumatized families as they began their grief loss experiences.

This website evolved as a result of my interest in and advanced study of grief theory and interventions, with eventual certification as a grief counselor. I too have seen my own share of personal tragedy, and I looked for easier ways to cope with my own grief. Thus was born our site concept of "healing through creative grieving".

There is no "right way" or "wrong way" to grieve... but there are ways to make the whole ordeal more bearable and find successful closure. Grief loss recovery is a long and painful process, but there will be brighter days ahead for you, I promise. Let us help you find them.

6 years ago


Grief loss...

Mental health care professionals agree that one of the most helpful ways to work through mourning is to express your grief, and not hold it in. And your most effective and creative expressions of grief may differ from the next persons.

We present in our website a variety of creative mourning techniques; talking, writing, creating art, music or poetry, or memorializing are all good ways to express your bereavement. Explore our site to find the expressive techniques that feel "just right" for you.   

  man painting pottery for therapeutic artwork



  man playing the blues on his guitar creative grieving


  woman working on laptop in bed


Grief loss...

Most of the grief websites out there today are one of two types: either a "memorial" website, to post a tribute to your beloved (which we will also provide), or "informational", which provide  good material, but in "textbook" or "article" format. Neither of these sites gives you a clear, practical plan for dealing with the stresses and uncertainty of grief loss.

We strive to fill that void with this website. is all about you... your pain and your grief and sorrow. It is designed as a stand-alone workshop. You can pick and choose topics to explore, or progress through the site in the order of the navigation bars on the left. Subjects have been organized in a logical manner, building upon the pages before it. 

We are a young website, but already provide all of these great resources:

  •     Information about the grief process, and stages of griefand sorrow
  •     Signs and symptomsof bereavement; what's "normal",
        weird happenings, and when to seek outside help
  •     "Yourspace", your own personal "grief page" where you can tell your story
  •     Practical and proven grief coping strategies
  •     A unique and comprehensive "grief guidebook"
        (*Update: the guide is now available in "hard copy")  
  •     An effective and innovative audio program for grief
        coping and relaxation,  Grief Relief 
  •     Stressed out? Find practical help in our excellent
        (and free)  Stress Management E-course 
  •     Understanding pet loss grief, in yourself or grieving friends 
  •     Projects for healing artwork, comforting music and poetry
  •     Ideas for comfort items to ease you through the hard times
  •     Creative
6 years ago
  • Creative living memorials, and special memorial services 
  •     Create "Theirspace";  a beautiful memorial page to your lost loved one
  •     Friends and family can learn  how to help, and how to express sympathy
  •     Unique sympathy gifts  and memorable sympathy card collection 
  •     A seven-part griefwork e-course 
  •     Help the kids... because children grieve too
  •                                         mom comforting sad girl

    My hope is that you will come to our website often, and tell other grieving friends and family members about it. And our biggest wish is that you get to the point where you don't need us anymore. Then "pay it forward" by recommending "" to someone else who needs it more.

    Curious about this website? Read more About Us here.

    6 years ago, is not meant to be a "quick fix" or shortcut through grief and sorrow. That is not advisable or healthy. It's a place for you to come when you feel the need. Here you will find many comforting ideas and creative techniques to help you cope and recover from grief loss.

    --- Visit often... see what others have added to your grief or memorial pages.
    --- Read the stories of grief and sorrow posted by other mourners, so you
         won't feel so all alone.
    --- Find out if an alarming new symptom you are experiencing is "normal".
    --- Pick out a unique and special way to memorialize your lost beloved.
    --- Find a strong book or comfort item to help you through the dark times.

    As long as you are moving, changing, creating, expressing, doing something; your grief and sorrow will proceed in a healthy manner.

    ***By the way, we chose the dove as our site logo because it is the universal symbol for peace... and that's what we hope to help you eventually find.

    Once again, our profound sympathy to you in your loss. Ready to begin?
    We suggest you start with "YOUR PAIN".

         "The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step"
                    - Chinese Proverb

    6 years ago

    Eco was just thinking about you and hope you are doing well.


    don't let yesterday use up too much of today

    Understanding Grief and Loss
    6 years ago

    Grief is a natural response to loss. It is a process that occurs over time and involves a range of feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and physical sensations. Although grief often refers to an emotional response to the death of a loved one, people with cancer and their families also grieve other possible cancer-related losses, such as the loss of a breast, the loss of fertility, or the loss of independence.

    The terms grief, mourning, and bereavement are often used interchangeably; however, they have slightly different meanings. Grief is a person’s response to and experience of loss. Mourning is the outward expression of that grief, which may include cultural and religious customs and rituals surrounding death. Mourning is also defined as the process of adapting to loss and adjusting to the death of a significant person. Bereavement refers to the state of having suffered a loss and the experiences that follow the death of a loved one.

    Common grief reactions

    Reactions to loss, called grief reactions, vary widely from person to person and vary in the same person over time. Not every person has the same set of reactions, but there are some common ones. Grief reactions include difficult feelings, thoughts, physical sensations, and behaviors.

    Feelings. People who have experienced loss may experience a range of feelings, including shock, numbness, sadness, despair, anxiety, anger, guilt, loneliness, helplessness, relief, and yearning. A grieving person may start crying after hearing a song or comment that makes them think of the person who has died. Sometimes, though, someone who is grieving may suddenly start crying for no reason.

    Thoughts. Common thought patterns include disbelief, confusion, disorientation, difficulty concentrating, preoccupation, and hallucinations (briefly thinking that you see or hear the deceased person).

    Physical sensations. It is common for grief to cause physical sensations, such as tightness or heaviness in the chest or throat, nausea or an upset stomach, dizziness, headaches, physical numbness, muscle weakness or tension, and fatigue. It may also cause vulnerability to illness.

    Behaviors. When a person is grieving, it may be difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, and he or she may lose energy for enjoyable activities or lose interest in eating or interacting socially. A grieving person may also become more irritable or aggressive. Other common behaviors include restlessness, hyperactivity, and listlessness (lack of interest, energy, or spirit).

    Religion and spirituality

    Grief may also have religious and spiritual effects on a person’s life. Loss may cause a person to question his or her faith or view of the world, or it may strengthen the person’s faith by providing a new understanding of the meaning of life.

    Stages of grief

    Grief is often felt in waves or cycles, with periods of intense and painful feelings that come and go. People who are grieving may feel they are making progress but then suddenly face renewed, overwhelming grief. These renewed periods of grief may occur at significant dates, such as holidays or birthdays, or they may occur without reason. Over time, these periods of intense grieving typically become less frequent and less intense as the person adjusts to his or her loss.

    Immediately after a loss, a person may experience shock, feelings of numbness, and disbelief or denial that the loss has occurred. The grieving person may feel disconnected from the world around them while going through mourning rituals, such as wakes or funerals. These initial grief reactions may last up to six weeks or more and may help to distance the person who is grieving from the pain of loss and protect him or her from feeling overwhelmed.

    Another common reaction that comes after the initial feelings of numbness and disbelief fade is called confrontation. This reaction can be intensely painful as the grieving person comes to accept the reality of the loss. This reaction can last months or longer and is characterized by waves of distress, despair, and emotional upheaval with conflicting and difficult feelings. The person who is grieving may feel angry with the person who has died or feel guilty for still being alive. The grieving person may cry often, feel disorganized, have difficulty sleeping or getting up in the morning, and have trouble concentrating.

    During the acceptance phase of grieving, the grieving person adapts to a new life without his or her loved one. Acceptance of the loss of a close person often occurs slowly over the course of a year or more. Life does not return to normal, but the grieving person may be able to create a new life with new goals and identity, often including unfamiliar roles. For example, a remaining spouse or partner may start taking care of the car for the first time or learn how to cook.

    Grief reactions often do not occur in order, and a person may react with the same set of feelings more than once. Reactions may overlap and people may find that their feelings go back and forth. However, understanding the basic grief process can help people know what to expect and help reassure them that their experiences are normal and that the intense pain of grief likely will not last forever.

    6 years ago

    Tasks of mourning

    Researchers have also described the grief process as a series of tasks that the grieving person may work through to resolve the grief. One model describes four tasks of mourning:

    Task one: Accept the reality of the loss

    Task two: Experience the pain of grief

    Task three: Adjust to an environment in which the deceased individual is missing

    Task four: Withdraw emotional energy and reinvest in other activities

    Factors affecting grief

    Throughout the stages of grief, the nature and intensity of grief reactions and the length of time a person grieves are affected by a variety of factors:

    • The nature of the person’s relationship with the deceased (The intensity of grieving over the death of a spouse or parent may be different than the intensity of grieving over the death of a neighbor or coworker.)
    • The cause of death (The grieving process may differ depending on whether the person died suddenly or was ill for an extended time.)
    • The age and gender of the person who is grieving
    • The life history of the person who is grieving, including previous experiences with loss
    • The personality and coping style of the person who is grieving
    • The support available from friends and family, in addition to the family's customs and beliefs surrounding death
    • The religious and spiritual beliefs of the person who is grieving

    Grieving is often more difficult and complicated when there are unresolved feelings or conflicts with the person who has died. Sometimes people who are struggling with complicated grief can get help by talking with a counselor, such as a clinical social worker, psychologist, or spiritual counselor. People who feel complete and good about their relationship with the person who has died may find that, although they are sad, their grieving experience is quite different than it would be if their relationship with the person had been strained.

    Grief in different cultures

    While each person's grief is unique, the experience is shaped by his or her society and culture. Each culture has its own set of rituals and beliefs surrounding death and bereavement that affect the ways one experiences and expresses grief. Funerals and memorial services help people who are grieving connect with their community and share their grief. However, the way a person expresses or experiences grief may be at odds with cultural expectations for bereavement. Someone who is feeling numbness or disbelief may not cry as might be expected at a funeral. Another person may experience a level of despair that feels out of step with cultural values or beliefs. It is important to allow people to grieve in ways that feel right to them. Learn more about grief among cultures.

    More Information

    Coping With Change After a Loss

    How to Cope With Losing a Sibling to Cancer

    How to Find a Counselor

    Additional Resources

    National Cancer Institute: Loss, Grief, and Bereavement

    LIVESTRONG: Grief and Loss

    6 years ago

    Grief and cultural sensitivity

    There is no correct way to grieve or mourn. Customs, behaviors, and feelings that may be considered strange or inappropriate in one culture may be considered usual or appropriate ways of grieving in another culture. Given the differences in mourning rituals and customs, it may be difficult to know how to be sensitive to a grieving person from a different cultural background. Consider the following questions as you support a person from a different cultural background who is grieving:

    • What emotions and behaviors are considered normal grief responses?
    • What are the bereaved family's beliefs surrounding death?
    • Who is expected to attend mourning ceremonies, and how are attendees expected to dress and act?
    • Are gifts, flowers, or other offerings expected?
    • What special days or dates will be significant for the bereaved family?
    • What types of verbal or written condolence are considered appropriate?

    To find out more about the customs and mourning practices of a person from another culture, consider talking to someone who shares that cultural background, looking for books at your local library, or searching for information on the Internet.

    More Information

    Grief and Bereavement

    6 years ago
    From Pain to Peace: Ending Your Pets Life With Love - National Animal Rescue | Examiner.Com

    Animals  (tags: pets, ending their live peacefully, news, ethics, death, family, Body-Mind-Spirit, animals, death, dogs, cats, pets, humans, ethics )
    Dianne Ly - 2 minutes ago -

    A companion animal's quality of life cannot just be measured on a scale, however. I strongly believe that a pet in his or her final months of life should be catered to as much as possible. There is a twofold reason for this.
    6 years ago


    Pet Loss - National Wheaten Terrier | Examiner.Com
    Animals  (tags: grieving, pet loss, dogs, cats, animals, humans, sadness )
    Dianne Ly - 13 days ago -
    If you have not lost a pet, the very first time (and even the very last time) will not be a very pleasant experience. Many people do not realize that grief is a natural reaction; volunteers hearing time and time again, "But it was only a dog (or a cat).
    6 years ago

    A few months ago I came across a very moving article by Bonnie Ware, author of the book 'The Top Five Regrets of the Dying'.

    Bonnie worked in palliative care for many years, and got to see patients in the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

    From her interactions with her patients, she found that in the twilight of their lives they shared five common regrets.

    As you read this, think to yourself what could you do differently right now, with your life, so that you live a life of joy, happiness, and meaning, and not experience these regrets?

    "When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

    1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

    This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled.

    Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

    It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

    2. I wish I didn't work so hard.

    This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners.

    All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

    By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

    3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

    Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

    We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level.

    Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

    4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

    Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

    It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love.

    Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end.

    That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

    5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

    This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice.

    They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

    When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

    Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness."

    Article Source:

    MARK ANASTASI is an Internet entrepreneur and founder of the Inspired Marketing Group. Organizing events such as The Traffic Generation Summit, The Millionaire Bootcamp for Women, and The Passive Income Summit, he has trained over 12,000 entrepreneurs around the world since 2005. Want more? Grab my free reports and videos on

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    5 years ago

    Losing someone to suicide is devastating and often leaves survivors struggling to understand what happened and why. The grieving process can be long and complicated. If you have lost someone to suicide, LegacyConnect has experts who can help.

    From the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

    Why Did This Happen?

    What Do I Do Now?

    When You Fear Someone May Take Their Life

    By Michelle Linn-Gust, President of the American Association of Suicidology

    • Suicide: Finding Hope A New Website

    The Grief of Sibling Survivors

    • Military Suicide Loss

    Running Through the Pain

     The Road We Don't Choose

     Loving Someone Under a Black Cloud

    By Sarah York, author and minister

    Planning a Memorial Service After a Suicide

    By Robbie Miller Kaplan, author

    Supporting the Bereaved After a Suicide

     What Not to Say After a Suicide


    By Susan Soper, author

    Suicide and Obituaries

    By Florence Isaacs, author

    Youth Suicide: How to Help the Survivors


    By Ellen Gerst, author and suicide survivor

    Embrace Your Grief to Release It

    Listening to What a Bereaved Child Needs


    By Dr. Therese Rando, psychologist and author

    Sudden Death

    5 years ago

    Grief Poetry: Poems of Death and Mourning
    2 days ago

    When someone you love dies, the grief you feel can be overwhelming. Some find writing poetry or keeping a journal to be a helpful way to express emotions while grieving. Sometimes, just reading a beautiful poem or elegy can bring comfort. Here are a few poems on death, dying and the grief that follows that may provide inspiration, comfort or catharsis as you mourn. Please feel free to share your own original poems of grief, loss, death, dying in the comments section below.

    1914, V. the Soldier

    The Angel of Patience

    April Rain Song

    The bustle in the house

    The Christian's Goodnight


    Crossing the Bar

    The Day is Done

    Dulce et Decorum Est



    The House of Life: 73. The Choice, III

    The Little White Hearse


    The Old Familiar Faces

    Only a Dad

    Rain on a Grave

    A Reminiscence

    The Sailor's Grave at Cloo-ose, V.I.

    There Will Come Soft Rains

    The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls

    Vigil Strange I Kept on a Field One Night

    Warm Summer Sun

    5 years ago

    Italian Cat Brings Gifts to His Late Master's Tomb

    Animals  (tags: humans, death, sadness, pets )
    EcoWorrie - 10 hours ago -

    A stray cat rests amongst the ancient Area Sacra ruins in Rome on October 30, 2012. The story of a cat who visits his master's tomb and brings him little presents on an almost daily basis a year after the man's death has moved the inhabitants of a village

    5 years ago

    Top 5 Regrets of the Dying

    Health & Wellness  (tags: death, news, society )
    Ravens - 9 hours ago -

    When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced. Here are the most common five:

    when grief becomes depression
    5 years ago

    Grief is a normal, healthy response to a significant loss, such as the death of a loved one or a divorce, but sometimes it may actually be depression.

    The American Academy of Family Physicians lists these warning signs that what you're feeling may be depression instead of grief:

    • Your feelings of grief and sadness interfere with your daily life.
    • The sadness that you experience persists, instead of improving with time.
    • You begin to think about hurting yourself, or harming others.

    Talk to your doctor if you notice any of these signs, or find that your feelings of grief are not improving.

    5 years ago

    Bereavement is the period of grief and mourning after a death. When you grieve, it's part of the normal process of reacting to a loss. You may experience grief as a mental, physical, social or emotional reaction. Mental reactions can include anger, guilt, anxiety, sadness and despair. Physical reactions can include sleeping problems, changes in appetite, physical problems or illness.

    How long bereavement lasts can depend on how close you were to the person who died, if the person's death was expected and other factors. Friends, family and faith may be sources of support. Grief counseling or grief therapy is also helpful to some people.

    5 years ago

    Marc Silver

    National Geographic News

    Published March 5, 2013

    Our writer follows up on his First Person essay about losing a pet.

    I am truly overwhelmed by the responses to my story about our cat, Rosie, and the decision that it was time to end her life.

    People have written to say they were moved to tears. They told their own stories about saying goodbye to a beloved pet, and their stories made me cry.

    Of course, I was also called an "indulgent man child first discovering that other beings have worth" and—on—a "douche." (Although nine out of ten commenters said I wasn't a douche, so I take that as a ringing endorsement of my non-douchiness.)

    Why such a response? Why the criticisms? And how is life without our cat Rosie?

    Here are my thoughts.

    The outpouring of comments, I think, is because we don't really talk about what it's like to end a pet's life. Even the euphemisms we use are detached: "put to sleep," "put down." Yet euthanasia is not something you do with detachment.

    I kept thinking, "All our cat wants from us is love, full bowls of food and water, and a cozy place to curl up. And now I'm making a decision that goes way beyond that pact. I'm taking the pet's life, and I can't communicate that to her, I can't discuss it with her, I just have to do it."

    But I didn't want to do it. I wanted to believe in the power of magical thinking: "Maybe she'll start using the litter box properly again. Or maybe fate will intervene and she'll expire of 'natural causes.'"

    (As an aside, I will also tell you that one of the things we don't talk about is how much euthanasia can cost. Our wonderful vet in Montgomery County, Maryland, would have charged over $500. When he said we could certainly look for other, less expensive options, I found some animal-welfare groups that would euthanize a pet for around $100, but they were all too far away. I even looked up "do-it-yourself pet euthanasia" on the Internet. [Don't judge me: I'm a reporter, and I was curious.] Every site I found advised against it.)

    The criticisms of my story typically focused on my statement that I didn't expect pet euthanasia to be so hard. I really, truly didn't think I would lose control and begin sobbing. I didn't expect to see my pet's life pass before my eyes: Searching for a tiny orange kitten all over the house and finding her hidden under a dresser ... with a little cat poo by her side. Our daughters standing outside on a stormy night and calling her in: "Rosie, Rosierosierosie!"—and of course she wouldn't come, and I'd think, "She's a goner," and then she'd show up in the morning, perhaps having used up one of her nine lives but looking none the worse for a night outside. Even trying to sneak a pill into her mouth when she had an infection (oy, don't ask!).

    As I wrote, I assumed it would be a simple decision to say, "Time for her to go"—and in fact it was a difficult decision that I just couldn't make. I'd say, "Nobody else would clean up as much cat urine as we have!" Then I'd say, "What a whiner I am. So it's a little cat urine—how can I take her life away because of that?" I kept calling our daughters, who now live in Colorado, to say, "Well, I think it's time," and they'd say, "Dad, we understand. Do what you have to do." And I couldn't bring myself to do it.

    Like many caregivers, I was focused on the here and now: We have to attend to an aging cat that has trouble making it to the litter box. I lost sight of the fact that over 20 years, our mostly silent cat (Rosie rarely meowed, or even purred) had so deeply insinuated herself into our family's life.

    So how is life without our cat? A week after saying goodbye to Rosie, I still expect to see her around the house. At night, when I sprawl on the sofa to watch TV, I keep thinking she'll be there, trying to figure out if, at age 20, she has the get-up-and-go to jump on the couch. Some nights she did. Some nights I'd give her an assist. And while my wife frequently mocks my taste in TV, Rosie always let me pick the show—and never complained.

    Rosierosierosie, I really do miss you!

    5 years ago

    Losing one of your furry kitty companions is one of the hardest things that you will ever go through. After all, they are a member of the family. And, without question, you have a strong heart connection with each one of your cats. Sometimes, your relationship with your cat is much closer than any you have with a human in your life. They rely on you to provide for them, and they are often your closest companion. In return, they provide you with unconditional love.

    I have dealt with my fair share of loss, both from the cats and humans in my life. With each, the healing and grief process is very intense. Both hurt equally and both require time for the pain and sorrow to dissipate. There are no rules when it comes to the length of time you should grieve over your loss. It takes as long as it takes, and don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise.

    Sad cat with green eyes by Shutterstock.

    I have had two of my feline friends pass over the past year. Both Pumpkin and Angelica had a special place in my life and my heart. Though some time has passed, I still think of them often. 

    Through the years I’ve found various methods that have helped me heal after the loss of a furry friend. Here are some of my favorites:

    1. Write about them

    It doesn’t matter if you write professionally or for pleasure. It’s important to get your thoughts and memories about your cats who have passed down on paper. It provides you an outlet to remember, share, and honor them. You can also have each family member write a letter about what they loved best about the cat.

    2. Create a scrapbook and photo album

    Cat with woman and book by Shutterstock.

    You can place your favorite memories and photos inside the books or albums. You can label them and display them in an honorary spot in your house.

    3. Make a shadow box

    A shadow box will allow you to place their favorite toys, portions of their blanket, lockets of fur, and other items that remind you of them inside the box. You can then place the shadow box on a table or shelf in a special area or where your cat liked to spend time.

    4. Post pictures

    Place your favorite pictures near the television, your reading areas, and on the refrigerator. Because you visit these areas often, you will have a happy reminder of your cats and what they were doing when the picture was taken. You can change the pictures or move them around to keep another memory alive. If you like using the slideshow feature on your computer, you can have your favorite photos of your cat display randomly on the screen.

    5. Talk to others

    It’s important to have a family member or friend with whom you can openly talk about your loss. Share your happy stories with them and learn what they’ve done or are currently doing to assist in their own healing process. There are also support groups available. The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement offers the ability for you to search for a grief and loss counselor in your area. Another option is the Pet Loss Support Hotline offered through Tufts University.

    6. Read about pet loss

    Man reading on the beach by Shutterstock.

    I recommend three books to anyone trying to heal from the loss of their beloved animal companion. Each book offers a different perspective on pet loss and proved useful to me when I needed additional insight in order to heal. The first is Saying Goodbye to Your Angel Animals: Finding Comfort after Losing Your Pet by Allen and Linda Anderson. The second is Animals in Spirit: Our Faithful Companions' Transition to the Afterlife by Penelope Smith. Lastly, there’s There is Eternal Life for Animals by Niki Behrikis Shanahan.

    Please remember that it’s healthy to talk about your loss and shed those tears. In the end, we all need to deal with loss on our own schedule and in our own way. Your kitties will feel honored that you’ll always carry them in your hearts. They also want you to remember the happy times, and for you to know that all is well.

    Have you dealt with a loss of a cat? What are some of the ways that helped you to he

    5 years ago

    New on the MedlinePlus Bereavement page:

    05/06/2013 11:54 AM EDT

    Source: American Cancer Society

    05/06/2013 11:54 AM EDT

    Source: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

    05/06/2013 11:54 AM EDT

    Source: American Cancer Society

    05/06/2013 11:54 AM EDT

    Source: Alzheimer's Association

    05/06/2013 11:54 AM EDT
    5 years ago

    11 Secrets to Handling Your Grief
    How can you deal with unbearable loss? Grieving is not enough. Theres so much more.

    Click To View!

    5 years ago


    Also called: Grief 

    Bereavement is the period of grief and mourning after a death. When you grieve, it's part of the normal process of reacting to a loss. You may experience grief as a mental, physical, social or emotional reaction. Mental reactions can include anger, guilt, anxiety, sadness and despair. Physical reactions can include sleeping problems, changes in appetite, physical problems or illness.

    How long bereavement lasts can depend on how close you were to the person who died, if the person's death was expected and other factors. Friends, family and faith may be sources of support. Grief counseling or grief therapy is also helpful to some people.

    NIH: National Cancer Institute

    5 years ago
    5 years ago
    Death of Partner Boosts Risk for Heart Attack, Stroke, Study Says
    4 years ago

    MONDAY, Feb. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- It's often said that the loss of a spouse or partner leaves "a broken heart." That notion might have some scientific validity, with new evidence suggesting the risk for a heart attack or stroke goes up during the first few weeks of bereavement.

    "Our study shows the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke doubles in the crucial 30-day period after a partner's death for those experiencing loss of a loved one," said study co-author Sunil Shah.

    Bereavement has long been known as a risk factor for death. Prior work has suggested that grief has a direct negative impact on blood clotting risk, blood pressure, stress hormone levels and heart rate control, said Shah, a senior lecturer in public health at St. George's University of London in England.

    But citing a lack of sufficient information on the specific impact of bereavement on heart disease, Shah and his colleagues examined thousands of heart health histories contained in a large British primary care database.

    The team focused on information concerning nearly 30,500 British men and women between 60 and 89 years old, all of whom had lost a partner between 2005 and 2012. They also looked at the histories of about 83,600 similarly aged men and women who had not lost a partner in that time frame.

    The researchers found that in the month following a partner's death, the incidence of fatal or non-fatal heart attack and stroke was roughly double among men and women in the bereavement group, compared with those in the non-bereavement group. The numbers were relatively small, however -- 50 heart attacks or strokes among the bereaved group, versus 67 for the non-bereaved group.

    The finding held up whether looking at the combined risk for heart attack and stroke, or at individual risk for just one or the other, the researchers said.

    "We think it is important that doctors, friends and family are aware of this increased risk of heart attacks and strokes so they can ensure care and support is as good as possible at a time of increased vulnerability before and after loss of a loved one," Shah added.

    However, the cardiovascular gap observed between the two groups started to narrow significantly after the first 30 days. When the study authors compared heart status at the 90-day mark and again one year out, the two groups were found to face more or less comparable risk.

    The study authors concluded that their findings reinforce the notion of a psychological-physiological dimension to cardiovascular risk.

    The findings appear in the Feb. 24 online issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

    A cardiovascular disease specialist not involved with the study suggested the findings are yet more proof of a "very powerful link" between mind and body.

    "Most people are somewhat aware that stress can have a physiological effect," said Dr. Martha Grogan, a consultant with the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "But what's important to realize is that there is a real impact on the body."

    Researchers aren't sure exactly what lies behind the link. "But we think it has something to do with how emotional factors cause arterial instability, by increasing the risk that the plaque we all have to some degree will start to block the arteries," Grogan said.

    For most people, the emotional toll of bereavement will eventually pass, she said. But while you're struggling with grief or experiencing long-term chronic stress from another source, she suggested looking for ways to relieve your burden.

    You might try exercising or reaching out for the emotional support of others, she said.

    "The way we handle our stress clearly can have an impact on our health," Grogan added.

    SOURCES: Sunil Shah, B.Sc., M.B.B.S., M.Sc., F.F.P.H., senior lecturer in public health, Population Health Research Institute, St. George's University of London, London, England; Martha Grogan, M.D., consultant in cardiovascular disease, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Feb. 24, 2014, online, JAMA Internal Medicine

    4 years ago

    New on the MedlinePlus Bereavement page:

    04/09/2014 02:06 AM EDT

    Source: Nemours Foundation
    04/09/2014 07:59 AM EDT

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