“Grief and Healing”

22 02, 2017

Companioning the Bereaved:

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

An Introduction 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 order this book or for more information, visit www.centerforloss.com. At the very heart of grief lies an irreducible mystery. I have come to discover that grief is [...]

22 02, 2017

Why Is the Funeral Ritual Important?

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:50-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on Why Is the Funeral Ritual Important?

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. "When words are inadequate, have a ritual." Anonymous Rituals are symbolic activities that help us, together with our families and friends, express our deepest thoughts and feelings about life's most important events. Baptism celebrates the birth of a child and that child's acceptance into the church family. Birthday parties honor the passing of another year in the life of someone we love. Weddings publicly affirm the private love shared by two people. The funeral ritual, too, is a public, traditional and symbolic means of expressing our beliefs, thoughts and feelings [...]

22 02, 2017

Ten Freedoms for Creating a Meaningful Funeral

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:50-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on Ten Freedoms for Creating a Meaningful Funeral

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. Meaningful funerals do not just happen. They are well-thought-out rituals that, at least for a day or two, demand your focus and your time. But the planning may feel less burdensome if you keep in mind that the energy you expend now to create a personalized, inclusive ceremony will help you, your family and other mourners embark on healthy, healing grief journeys. The following list is intended to empower you to create a funeral that will be meaningful to you and your family and friends. 1. You have the right [...]

22 02, 2017

Helping Create a Meaningful Eulogy

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:50-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on Helping Create a Meaningful Eulogy

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. Planning a meaningful, personalized funeral is one of the most important tasks you will ever undertake. Think of the funeral as a gift to the person who died. It is your chance to think about and express the value of the life that was lived. When personalized, the eulogy (pronounced EWE-luh-jee) is perhaps the most memorable and healing element of the funeral ceremony. This article will help you choose the right person to give the eulogy as well as offer tips for writing and presenting the eulogy. What is the [...]

22 02, 2017

Helping Your Family Personalize the Funeral

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:51-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on Helping Your Family Personalize the Funeral

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. If you are in the midst of planning a funeral, you may be feeling overwhelmed right now. Many details must be attended to. Many people must be contacted. Many decisions must be made. Your natural and necessary feelings of grief make these tasks even more difficult. Still, I encourage you to slow down, take a deep breath and focus on what is really important-what is essential-about the funeral you are planning. What is essential is the life that was lived and the impact that life had on family and friends. [...]

22 02, 2017

Helping Bereaved Siblings Heal

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:51-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on Helping Bereaved Siblings Heal

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. Next to the death of a parent, the death of a sibling can be the most traumatic event in a child's life. Why? Because not only has a family member died, but a family member for whom the child probably had very strong and ambivalent feelings. As those of us who have brothers and sisters know, sibling relationships are characterized by anger, jealousy and a fierce closeness and love-a highly complex melange of emotion. This complexity colors the surviving child's grief experience. A Caring Adult's Role How adults respond when [...]

22 02, 2017

Helping Grieving Children at School

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:51-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on Helping Grieving Children at School

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. A Student is Grieving As a teacher or school counselor, you know how profoundly a student's home life affects her school life. The two are inextricably intertwined. When someone in the child's family dies, then, the death colors every moment of every day for the child. The child cannot "put her grief aside" while she learns and plays alongside the other students. Instead, she must learn to integrate her grief into all aspects of her life, including school. You can help. By following the guidelines in this article, you will [...]

22 02, 2017

Helping a Child Who Is Dying

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:51-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on Helping a Child Who Is Dying

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. A child you care about is dying. You want to offer your love and care, but you are not sure how to go about it. Whether you are a parent, friend or caregiver, this article will guide you in ways to turn your cares and concerns into actions. When a Child is Dying Children aren't supposed to die. We all believe this in our hearts, yet unfortunately children do die. Confronting this difficult reality for yourself is the first step you can take to help the dying child. You will [...]

22 02, 2017

Helping a Child Who Has a Serious Illness

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:51-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on Helping a Child Who Has a Serious Illness

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. A child you care about has a serious illness. You want to help, but you are not sure how to go about it. Whether you are a parent, friend or caregiver, this article will guide you in ways to turn your cares and concerns into actions. The New Face of Serious Childhood Illnesses As few as thirty years ago, children with a life-threatening illness and their families were gently told to prepare for a certain death. Fortunately, medical advances have increased chances of survival for children with many types of [...]

22 02, 2017

Helping Children Understand Cremation

By | 2018-02-28T08:44:52-08:00 February 22nd, 2017|Grief and Healing|Comments Off on Helping Children Understand Cremation

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. The Adult as Role Model and Helper A child you care about is grieving the loss of someone loved. If you, too, loved the person who died, you are now faced with the difficult but critical task of helping both yourself and the child heal. Throughout the coming months you will be both a role model and a helper to the bereaved child in your care. One of the first opportunities for you and the child to express your grief is the funeral. But sometimes the funeral can seem strange [...]