“Grief and Healing”

9 05, 2018

Intentionally Commemorating Mother’s Day

By | 2018-05-09T18:56:21-07:00 May 9th, 2018|Ceremonies, General, Grief and Healing|0 Comments

Whether this is your first Mother's Day as a bereaved person or your 50th, Mother's Day brings all of us pause. As we take time to think about our own mothers or perhaps the children we are missing that made us mothers - it's important that we be present with the reality of those relationships. If you can be with your mom and your children are well - you should freely have the full joy of this day. Take pictures, speak from your heart, and try to make clear memories of the sweetness of health and family. If your relationships [...]

27 03, 2018

Making Sense of God and Death

By | 2018-03-27T23:42:09-07:00 March 27th, 2018|General, Grief and Healing|2 Comments

I have written and re-written this post so many ways. I don't know why it's so difficult to talk about God and Death - perhaps it's because so few people do. They are HUGE subjects for a small 600-word blog to tackle, but I think the real challenge I have in writing about them is that God and death don't lend themselves to tame, easy answers I can layout in bullet points. They are uncontrolled. So, what am I writing about? Well, for the first time in my life I heard a lecture that discussed God and death and, though [...]

22 02, 2017

The Bereavement Caregiver’s Self-Care Guidelines

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:48-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on The Bereavement Caregiver’s Self-Care Guidelines

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. The following self-care guidelines are not intended to be cure-alls, nor will they be appropriate for everyone. Pick and choose those tips that you believe will be of help to you in your efforts to stay physically and emotionally healthy. Remember, our attitudes about stress and fatigue in general sometimes make it difficult to make changes. However, one important point to remember is that with support and encouragement from others, most of us can learn to make positive changes in our attitudes and behaviors. You might find it helpful to [...]

22 02, 2017

Responding To Problems In The Support Group Setting

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:48-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on Responding To Problems In The Support Group Setting

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. Editor's note: The following article is excerpted from Dr. Wolfelt's book How to Start and Lead a Bereavement Support Group, available from Companion Press. Murphy's Law ensures that no bereavement support group will run smoothly 100 percent of the time. Problems will arise, typically due to one of three reasons: 1) Lack of leader preparation. "Where are we supposed to meet?" "How long was this meeting supposed to last?" "I thought you were going to bring the name tags!" If admini strative details aren't properly taken care of, group members [...]

22 02, 2017

Growing Through Grief:

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:48-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on Growing Through Grief:

The Role Of Support Groups by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. We need not walk alone... We reach out to each other with love and understanding and with hope... We come together from all walks of life, from many different circumstances... We need not walk alone Credo, The Compassionate Friends Editor's note: The following article is excerpted from Dr. Wolfelt's book How to Start and Lead a Bereavement Support Group, available from Companion Press. There is a growing realization among those who care for the bereaved that support groups are an appropriate and effective way to [...]

22 02, 2017

Companioning vs. Treating:

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:49-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on Companioning vs. Treating:

Beyond The Medical Model of Bereavement Caregiving by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. Editor's note: Alan Wolfelt's keynote at the Association of Death Education and Counseling conference in Chicago aroused a great deal of interest. For those of you who did not have the opportunity to hear him speak, we are printing here the transcript of his presentation. Sam Leveson once noted that when his father came over here from the old country, he discovered three things: 1. The streets weren't paved with gold, 2. Most of the streets weren't paved, and 3. He had the [...]

22 02, 2017

The Child’s Bereavement Caregiver as Gardener:

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:49-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on The Child’s Bereavement Caregiver as Gardener:

A Parable by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. One spring morning a gardener noticed an unfamiliar seedling poking through the ground near the rocky, untended edge of his garden. He knelt to examine its first fragile leaves. Though he had cared for many others during his long life, the gardener was unsure what this new seedling was to become. Still, it looked forlorn and in need of his encouragement, so the gardener removed the largest stones near the seedling's tender stalk and bathed it in rainwater from his worn tin watering can. In the coming days [...]

22 02, 2017

The Awesome Power of “Telling The Story”

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:49-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on The Awesome Power of “Telling The Story”

Why I'm Proud to be a Grief Counselor by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. As my father lay in his hospital bed recovering from cancer surgery recently, it was my privilege to honor his life story. My wonderful father recognized in his head and heart that his days on this earth were limited. Rest did not come easy, but his need to "story" did. His love of family flowed out of stories from his childhood. He told me how his mother inspired his love for baseball. He told me how his father wasn't very emotionally or [...]

22 02, 2017

Tenet 2: Companioning Principle

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:49-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on Tenet 2: Companioning Principle

Companioning is about going to the wilderness of the soul with another human being; it is not about thinking you are responsible for finding the way out. by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. When someone we love dies and we feel suffering, it does not mean that something is wrong. Going into the wilderness of the soul with another human being is anchored in walking with them through spiritual distress without thinking we have to have them attain "resolution" or "recovery." Being in the wilderness relates to being in a liminal space. "Limina" is the Latin [...]

22 02, 2017

Tenet 1: Companioning Principle

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:50-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on Tenet 1: Companioning Principle

Companioning is about being present to another person's pain; it is not about taking away the pain. by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. Editor's note: The following article is excerpted from Dr. Wolfelt's book Companioning the Bereaved: A Soulful Guide for Caregivers, which presents a model for grief counseling based on his "companioning" principles. Companioning is not about assessing, analyzing, fixing or resolving another's grief. Instead, it is about being totally present to the mourner, even being a temporary guardian of his soul. To be bereaved literally means to be "torn apart." When someone is torn [...]