The Power of Silence and Healing
"Children seem to know better than adults the power of silence. In a world filled with bugles and noise, we sometimes forget the power of silence. The simplicity of merely being with another is in itself a source of comfort. As May Sarton writes, "Sometimes silence is the greatest sign of understanding and respect. It is far more consoling than words of false comfort. Grief genuinely shared is an important means of healing"
On this page, you will find stories submitted and shared by our website visitors and other grief angels on the type of Grief Attacks they faced or are still facing, and what coping strategies they used themselves to try to cope with them.
We all grieve differently, and we are all at different stages of our own grief journey, so please keep in mind that these are just shared personal strategies, and are provided here simply as a resource to learn how others are coping with their own grief and their very painful grief attacks.
Grief is different for each one of us, and so are grief attacks and their intensity, so some of these shared strategies you might relate to and some you won't, but we felt it was important to allow space for all of us grieving to share our stories and enable others to know that they are not alone in facing these painful grief attacks.
http://www.seattletimes.com/life/wellness/how-to-support-someone-suffering-from-traumatic-grief/ How to support someone suffering from traumatic grief. Experiencing numerous deaths of close family or friends or the death of a child — no matter the age or cause — leads many people into a state of traumatic grief. Traumatic grief can be felt in the body, such as an increase in sensitivity to sight, sound and touch, as well as a decrease in appetite and sleep changes — inability to sleep and nightmares.
Emotionally, those grieving may experience an increase in aggression or irritation in addition to deep feelings of sadness, guilt or self-blame. An individual experiencing traumatic grief may become isolated because talking to people is too difficult."
At the end of this page, you will also find a list of member-suggested FreeMobile apps that some of us have found helpful in our own grief journeys.
It is very important you are clearly aware that we are a proximity-based social network and community of people grieving or who have grieved, but we are not mental health or grief counselors.
IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING ANY FORM OF SEVERE MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS, COMPLICATED GRIEF, or any other type of MEDICAL EMERGENCY, please close this site or App immediately, and dial 911 or your local mental health and/or grief counselors immediately.
There is no shame at all in seeking help,
and it only takes a call,
so if you feel you need help - please get help.
Personal Grief Attacks Stories and Coping Strategies shared by website visitors grieving or who have grieved
Coping with loss - Coping with Grief
Paul said: March 21 - Easter Dress. I would always buy her a beautiful dress for Easter Sunday, and as Easter approaches, every time I pass store windows with dresses being displayed, I still get severe grief attacks. It has been a few years now, but there is something about the smile on her face when I would give her the Easter dress that still brings chills of joy and sadness at the same time. In the last few years, I 've dealt with these by doing what she would have wanted me to do, I buy a dress for someone less fortunate than us, and thru their smile, I can still see her smile.
Marla said: March 28 - "I miss my son so much my chest hurts and I cry when I am alone everyday. On March 29 it will be the first full year I have gone without him. My world has changed so much since. I still cannot have pictures up or talk without crying. Most of the time I chime back the tears because I feel I shouldn't cry In front of people. Sometimes it us just the question "how many children do you have".. I choke up, my head instantly hurts, my heart and my body freezes for a moment and tears well up in my eyes, my breathing stops. Then I think back to him and all we did together and start to cry ( like flashbacks).. then I see his last 5 minutes of his life. Laying in the hospital bed, oxygen and all life sustaining equipment gone, no IV no breathing tubes, no feeding tubes, and his oxygen rate down to 32% they tell me. And they also tell me it won't be long. As the nurse and I make him look more comfortable by propping his bed up and I tucked him in for the last time. The last 5 minutes where his breathing started to stop. One breath then his second when he opens his eyes for the 1st time in 6 weeks and looked directly at me as I stood holding his hand, then he slowly closed his eyes and took one breath, his final breath. My heart stops and that is what I see and feel when asked "how many boy/kids/babies do/ did u have. So this is coming up on his 1st Angelversary and I am looking for a special (manly) Angelversary graphic so I can post it on his page and put it in a book I have for him. No birthday stuff. No flowers. No cakes. Sorry if it sounds picky. I just really want something nice with a poem and his picture. If someone can do it, I would really greatly appreciate it." If anyone would like to and can send the free Angelversary graphic to Marla for her son's page and her book of him, you can send it thru this site to f@MyGriefAngels.org and we will forward to her.
WH said: April 3 - Every so often I get to a place where I think the day my mom past away I saw her take her last breath and I just freeze up. My mind starts racing and my heart beats so fast and I'll have to remind my self to breathe. My dad past away 6 month later. Witch through me for a loop. My attacks get so bad I'll throw up and I won't eat someday and it's been 5 years and it still comes on so bad I'll go to the hospital they have to give me strong meds to relax me. I pray and I cry and I know Gods able but sometimes it hurts so bad I just cry out to God some days asking him to take it away. Lately I've been just drain from the crying and not eating and not being motivated. I have to push my self everyday and no matter what try and tell my self to relax. What helps and takes my attention when I deal with that heaviness is listening to the Bible app read the word of God. I'll try and focus on the story that's being told so I can for get about it. I just want to be normal again be completely me again. Having family issues doesn't make it better. But I just do the best i can being the baby of my family.
Debbie said: March 16 - My father died February 9th 2017. He was 77 and we where very close. He had a stroke and then died of sepsis at the hospice House. I have Complicated Grief. I am currently in a Mental Health Day Program for the next few weeks.
Liz said: November 13
Worst grief attack - I usually get hit when I start thinking of the last pictures my father wanted me to share with him. I was mad at him, I was traveling. I thought I would send them once back home...and he died before that. I usually start talking to him...that's what calms me down. I have a real conversation, I talk about the pictures, about what I think he did wrong, what he did right. That helps me...and I start breathing again. But I never really "cope" with it. I just relax. My family and friends were/are of absolutely no help. It's like nobody stopped to think about me or my siblings. I was left to sleep the morning his wife went to chose where he would be set to rest, I was handed papers to sign in a language I barely understand when I am not dying inside, and I had no privacy with him when I went to say goodbye. Many of his things were sold in "garage sales" knowing that we all lived oceans away from his last place of residence. His children were never consulted. So much anxiety comes back when I think of the circus that was his death. My husband was of great support. Somebody who understands and lets you talk about how you feel without judging or interupting you is the best way to exteriorise what you keep to yourself.
Gail said: August 14th 10:09 am Going back to school reminders everywhere bring big grief attacks for me. I know they shouldn't, but they still do. It's been a while now, but this was one our happiest times together. I try to work through them by first accepting them, keeping very active during this time of the year and volunteering with local groups that help families cope with all the many going back to school expenses.
Tony said: May 2nd, 2015 4:46 pm
If I see another Mothers day commercial, I am going to give away our television. This is one of the hardest holidays for us,but we deal with it head on by planning a fun outdoor activity that the kids will like and that we know she would have enjoyed. One year we also spent some time handing out food bags at our local food pantry. it is never going to be an easy day but we continue to work on using it as a family time to celebrate her in our own way.
Manuel said: October 29th 9:36 am
I lost her a few years ago but I get all sorts of grief attacks when Halloween comes around every year. Halloween was always one of her favorite days of the year. She loved the parties and always made us the coolest costumes. Now every time I see a costume that looks like one of the many that we wore over the years, I loose it. It hurts. I get through it by doing what I know she would want me to do. I make sure I have a party to go to and a creative costume to wear.
Maria said: September 17th 12:01 pm
Some of my worst grief attacks and there have been a few, are when my children are grieving their dad and I try to be strong but it is very hard. I do not know if there is a right way of going through these or not. One of my coping responses has been music and specially music with lyrics that in some way deals with and might help with mine and my children's grief. When I am going through these with my family, I put on and try to get everyone to sing the words of songs like our favorite from Ingrid Michaelson's " BE OK" and It helps. Helps quite a bit, so maybe, we will be OK. http://archive.ingridmichaelson.com/music/songs-lyrics/be-ok "Be OK" Written by Ingrid Michaelson i just want to be ok, be ok, be ok i just want to be ok today i just want to be ok, be ok, be ok i just want to be ok today i just want to feel today, feel today, feel today i just want to feel something today i just want to feel today, feel today, feel today i just want to feel something today open me up and you will see i'm a gallery of broken hearts i'm beyond repair, let me be and give me back my broken parts i just want to know today, know today, know today i just want to know something today i just want to know today, know today, know today know that maybe i will be ok open me up and you will see i'm a gallery of broken hearts i'm beyond repair, let me be and give me back my broken parts just give me back my pieces just give them back to me please just give me back my pieces and let me hold my broken parts i just want to be ok, be ok, be ok i just want to be ok today i just want to be ok, be ok, be ok i just want to be ok today i just want to feel today, feel today, feel today i just want to feel something today i just want to know today, know today, know today know that maybe i will be ok know that maybe i will be ok know that maybe i will be ok
mary said: June 20th 12:43 pm
I used to look forward to summer vacation with the kids so much. It was a time where the whole family came together at my parents. The kids love being spoiled by the grandparents and I just loved spending time with them. Sometimes just doing nothing. Since dad's passing and mom's worsening dementia, I have lost my excitement for summer vacation. I know I have to do it for the kids but nothing gets me excited. The grief attack comes on when I have to start thinking about where we will take them. The way I have tried to deal with this is by choosing places where we will also get a chance to see friends or family. Knowing that we will see them during the trip lessens my grief attacks over remembering our summer with mom and dad.
PC said: June 19th 3:56 pm
Birthdays that's when I still get the worst grief attack. No matter how many years pass, her birthday is the hardest for me. Just trying to write this is painful. I have gone through the grief support services at my church and everything. But the grief attack still shows up. A lot of people will offer you their advice on how to cope with these. That's nice but we are all different and we all find different ways that work for us. I tried to cope with it by making sure I am very busy that day and try to do something new in the evening. May not work for others but it helps me get through that day.
Tony said: June 2nd 5:12 pm
Father's day is one of the hardest days of the year for me. the grief attacks start as soon as the advertising for fathers gifts start. I always gave him tickets to a Yankees game.over three years since we lost dad but I still get these. now I deal with it by making plans to go to some type of sports event with friends that day.
Lily said: April 7th 12:08 pm
Emergency room cardiac arrest resuscitation scenes in television shows and films still to this day trigger a grief attack. When I see the doctors trying to save a life, it brings back all the images of when they were trying to save him. At the movie theater are the worst ones because you cannot change the channel or turn it off. I tried breathing slowly and other strategies but the only that works for me is just to look away and stare directly at the red exit lights in the theater next to the screen.
ab said: April 4th 5:34 am
Years have passed since the loss of my Mother and now months since the loss of my Dad. I feel a complete loss. I was a daughter, and with that title came many wonderful memories. I took pride and pleasure in making their lives special. Indulging their whims, from planning fun adventures to taking care of them till their last breath.. I have a house to empty and I have tried so hard to deal with it, but just can't. How do I sell the last things they had. The memories of birthdays and Christmas's. Her closet still has her clothes that smell of her favorite perfume, if I give them away how will I remember. Grief stops me at the door. Each step forward is excruciatingly painful. I pray for strength and still I have not overcome the grief that freezes me in my tracks. I will continue one day at a time one step at a time. There will be a resolution.
PD said: April 1st 4:47 pm
After Dad's unexpected death, Mom went from being a healthy fit senior into a fast decline mentally & physically. My grief attacks went from my grief over loosing dad to my grief over loosing our mother while she is still living. There is not a day that goes by that I do not experience a grief attack about how dad's death is taking away our mom. Aside from my faith, the only thing that helps me get through these is exercise. When I feel a strong one coming on, I go for a run, I go to the gym, I go walking, I go shoot some basketballs by the garage door, I just get going. I don't know if this is a healthy response, but it works for me and that is all I ask for.
Nancy said: March 27th 1:54 pm
Spring Break. We always planned the spring break vacation together. It was our special family time. It has been several years since we lost her and I still get grief attacks when I start to make vacation plans. Not sure if I am coping with them the right way, but I do it by planning these family breaks to new places. Places we did not go to with her. Places that enable us to make new memories while still never forgetting her. A friend who had lost her mother a while back told me something that made a lot of sense, "We all grief differently and we get thru it and survive in whatever ways it works for each of us. There is no right or wrong"
AA said: March 26th 10:57 am
Old Photos still bring on major grief attacks. No matter how much time goes by, I still get grief attacks when I look at old photos of the birthdays, the holidays, the barbecues, the graduations, and all the many happy family gatherings. I try to get thru them by looking at them only when I am with other family members, and that has helped. Specially telling the stories of those memories to the younger members of our family.
Frank said: March 24th 4:33 pm
My worst grief attacks come when I have to plan where our family will go for the holidays. Holidays like Easter. There was never a question before, we always spent the holidays with Mom. The grief attack leaves me numb and what used to be a very easy task is now impossible. I get thru it by having my wife and kids vote on what they want to do. I let them help me through these type of grief attacks by making the decision for us.
Denah said: February 10th 9:38 am
I had to move out of the apartment I shared with my boyfriend who died of an overdose in our apartment on 12/30/2013. The heaviest grief attacks have happened each time I re-entered the apartment and saw the blood stain on the carpet. I would often sit where I found him and talk to him, sing to him, yell at him. I just don't understand why he couldn't see what I could see - that we had so much to live for together; that there is still so much left to enjoy, even with the mistakes we've made along the way; that happiness is in the relationships we have, not in the stuff we have. I'm also struck when I trip over little items of his amongst my belongings and when I see places he liked to eat and hear songs we both enjoyed over the last 25 years. My daughter is amazing. She wasn't bonded to him and her grief is not as deep. She processed through tears and writing. So, I let her know upfront about my grief attacks and her response is always amazing and very in the moment. Sometimes she lays a hand on me gently, sometimes she just waits and sometimes, when she senses it'll help, she'll lightly, sarcastically, humorously tell me to get over it and she'll turn my tears into giggles. She never shoulders it, she's just there ... waiting. I like to believe we're raising more and more youth who will be able to sit comfortably with grief, not thinking it's something they have to "fix". I miss Steven. He was a gentle, magical man and he's gone because doctors, pharmaceutical companies and the FDA didn't admit soon enough that opiates are deadly, even for very-alive people.
Liz said: October 20th 2:24 pm
Holidays are bad. It does not matter what holiday. There is no way around it. Halloween was one of his favorites. He was just a big kid who loved candy so Halloween was his time to play with the grandkids and be a kid himself. Every time is see the Halloween displays for the first time the grief attack comes on. I stop I breathe and I start doing what he would have been doing. Putting my mind to work on deciding which candy to buy that will be best for the kids helps with the grief attack.
Joe said: October 20th 2:17 pm
Sneaker Grief Attack. It has been close a year since mom passed and I am mostly ok but sometimes out of nowhere these grief attacks pounce on me. Yesterday I got my sneakers full of mud hiking and had to throw them in the washing machine. That is when all ___ broke loose. She used to force me to wash my sneakers and the last time these were washed it was because of her. I lost it in dorm's laundry room. just lost it. The only way out of this one was to go walking outside in the pouring rain. I walked and walked. The rain was refreshing and it helped to wash away my tears. Walking is one of my ways of getting thru these. The stronger they are the faster I walk.
sandra said: October 12th 9:09 am
Leaving home after visiting with mom is when I get the worst grief attacks. The visits are good but on the trip home I realize how alone she must feel and start our father. I try to get over them by trying to focus on each breath I take. Listening to each breath. Feeling each breath. My husband also knows that the trip home is when I feel these so he will call me several times along the way to check in on me. These help me get to get thru the grief attack and get back home
Augusto said: October 12th 9:04 am
Numbing Grief Attack. Last night I found out a good friend and neighbor has aggressive cancer of the liver. Since mom's unexpected passing this past January, nothing has stopped me in my tracks as the grief attack I experienced last night after going to visit our neighbor and getting the news. Keeping focus on my friend and being there for her, I kept focus on her words, and kept the grief attack away until I got on the car. Then, I became numb. This is the first time I have had a grief attack that left me with no feelings, just numb. I was no longer hungry, thirsty, just numb. My neighbor is a divorced single mom in her 60s who is eternally in love with the hills and nature of the small village we live in. She is tough, independent, and still gets on the roof to clean her ice. At the same time, she has been a force of strength for others; including her family, myself and others. She has not told her family nor her son yet. She does not want them to worry about having to come and visit her from the city. She says they all work and it would not be easy for them, so she has decided to tell them at the right time. Totally numb but trying to be supportive to my good friend, I listened. After leaving her house, I coped with this new type of numbing grief attack by driving and going grocery shopping at 10pm. Just focusing on basic food needs slowly got me out of the numbness, and back to focusing on what I could do for my friend.
aaf said: October 2nd 1:53 pm
The toughest grief attacks for me are on my drive home to see our grieving father. When mom was alive, these drives home were filled with joy and anticipation of seeing the folks, and coming home to my favorite home cooked dishes. Even with 2am arrivals at their home, I could count on them being up and waiting with food and hugs. Now, my drive home to see dad is filled with very painful grief attacks. Grief attacks about memories and about him being alone without mom in our childhood home. While it does not always work, I try to cope with these by visualizing how happy dad will be to see us coming. Even after many attempts to get him to move near one of us, he is firm on wanting to stay in his home and with all the memories of mom - untouched. We are each trying to abide by his wishes, but the next grief attack after the drive comes when I step into a home that is kept exactly same as when mom was there. I know mom would more then anything want us to be here for dad, and that singular thought is what gets me thru the door and these very tough home-coming grief attacks.
jonathan said: September 18th 1:51 pm
The last posting hit close to home for me. Our neighbor of many years had a health emergency and had to be taken to the hospital about a year after dad's death. Listening to his experience at the hospital brought on a very painful grief attack. I started to remember all the tests and operations that Dad had to go thru, and my grief attack was not just about missing dad but also about the fear of loosing our good neighbor. I got thru it knowing that dad would have wanted me to stay strong for Tom.
jessie said: September 15th 6:36 pm
This weekend I had one of my worst grief attacks since dad passed away. I was on a train and sitting across from me was a nurse. She must have been a supervisor on her floor because she got a call from work, and she started to give the other nurse instructions on what to do. The problem was that she was telling the other nurse all the things I remembered they were doing to dad at the hospital. Even the medicine they were applying. I could not stop her from doing her job but every instruction she gave the other nurse on the phone was a bullet thru my heart, and I could do nothing at all because I had to stay on the train to get home. My way of getting thru this grief attack was to think of all the great nurses that helped dad during his time at the hospital. They were great nurses, like this one in front of me, so I concentrated on the nurses, and the great work they did. They made it easier for us.
john said: September 10th 8:15 am
He was in and out of the hospital for over a year. We knew that long drive inside out, and now that he is gone, every time I come close to that route, I get major grief attacks. It has been over a year, but cannot get over the loss of my son, not sure I ever will. I get thru these by avoiding that route if at all possible, and by thinking about how else we might be able to help other families doing those trips to the hospitals like we did for so long. We have brought coffee and pastries to some of those families. It is not much, but anything is appreciated when you are going thru what we went thru. I think more than the food, it is just being there for them that is the most helpful.
roy said: September 6th 10:36 am
The holidays are still a few months away but like last year I start getting these grief attacks months before. I cannot stop them. The attacks are just about all the memories the grandkids will never have with him. Sometimes I can get thru them by focusing on daily routine.Kids to school. Work commute. I just focused on whatever is happening at that instance wherever I get these. It helps me to get thru.
P said: September 6th 10:32 am
Chocolate and Street Vendor Hot dogs are some of my worst grief attacks. She loved them and every time I come across the hot dog vendors or chocolate store, these grief attacks hit me like a very heavy rock. I try to get thru them by thinking how many times I made it a point of buying her chocolates and hot dogs, and I know she is now enjoying them up above. The attacks are still very painful but I am getting better at responding to them with positive thinking about the memory.
st said: August 12th 2:59 pm
My sister was my life and career coach. It has been over a year now and I know I should be done with these grief attacks, but I am not. Out of nowhere they come. Whenever I encountered problems at the office, she was the person I would seek advice from. Now, bad grief attacks come on strong when I realize that I cannot go to her for her counsel. It is hard but often I am at work or driving on the way home so I cannot let the grief attack take over. I just call my oldest brother or my best friend from high school. Just need to talk to someone when these attacks come on. Even if it is just to check in.
Jason said: August 11th 4:37 pm
At the movies I get some of my worst grief attacks. A few days ago, I saw a movie with her favorite actor and I lost it. Good thing it was dark at the theater. Grown man crying during an action film is not a good scene. We used to talk about movies all the time. I cope by listening to every word of the movie. Like in slow motion. I concentrate in each word. Slower and slower. Not easy in action films but it has been working.
anne said: August 11th 4:34 pm
I always get grief attacks when I hear people talk about their mother's age and when that age is more than what mom's age was when she passed. Today I was at a picnic when the woman next to me was telling the other about the death of a famous actress, and she replied "wow, she was my mom's age, 85 years old". Then the grief attack takes hold when I keep asking why did we loose her at 70? She was so young and all her family had lived much more and the grief attack get worse. Coping is not easy but I try to focus on her age at her death. 70 is better than 60 or 50, and how lucky we were to have her for all those years.
P said: August 11th 4:27 pm
Bad grief attacks come to me when I am taking pictures or video of the kids. I should be happy taking these picture of the kids enjoying themselves but I get this pain in my stomach when I think about how excited I always was about sharing that day's pictures with her. The grief attack makes me stop and breathe. I don't want to continue taking pictures after that, but I know I need to do it for the kids and their kids. I cope by turning the camera on and taking as many pictures as I can take on the memory card. Pictures of everything around me and them. It helps me to continue and only takes some deleting later. Besides sometimes you get some good shots when you least expected.
MC said: July 31st 11:18 am
Mom's fifth year anniversary is coming up. People have always told us that it gets better with time, but the truth is that that hole in our hearts will always be there, but with time - We just get better at handling our grief attacks. We get better at accepting the "new normal". For me the best coping strategy for grief attacks has been knowing that without a doubt - our Mom would not want us to be in pain and sad. That was not who she was, and that was not what she would want us to feel. So I get thru my grief attacks by honoring Mom and listening to her now more than ever - To keep moving forward and embracing our new normal without forgetting our past.
Joe said: July 29th 1:46 pm
Movies that have the death of a loved one in the plot are hard for me. I don't know if it is being in the dark or something else, but some of my worst grief attacks have been in the movie theater. Just saw the new wolverine movie and he talks to his dead girlfriend all the time thru many dream sequences. They even have a scene at the end when they include what looked like the tunnel of light many say they see at the end. That movie was a major problem for me and being in the center of the row in an IMAX theater, I could not leave, so had to stay. Got thru it by focusing mentally on the fact that they were actors, kept saying to myself in my mind that "this was acting, acting, acting" and I got thru it. all in all, it was a good movie, and now I know that I can see it again.
maria said: July 18th 4:52 pm
He has been gone for a year and I still have daily grief attacks. They are not going away but I have learned to cope with them. I have to accept that I will see Dad again on the other side and that the time I have here with my daughters is very limited so I cannot spend it grieving and sad but need to spend it helping and enjoying them. I know I will see him again and I know this is what he wants from me now so my grief attacks are not so painful any more.
Leroy said: July 18th 4:44 pm
She was my life coach. My hardest grief attacks come when I go to pick up phone to call her for her opinion on something I am facing at work and realize she is gone. It stops me on my tracks. Very painful. My only way out is to immediately call my aunt or my sister and ask them for their advice.
cm said: July 11th 8:23 am
They keep telling me that this will get better after a while but it has been 3 years since she passed and I am still breaking down when I get one of these grief attacks. Last week I was washing dishes and when I saw the dish towel she had given me, I broke down crying. I can't keep doing this in front my girls. I want them to be strong, but I cannot help it when these come on. I get out of them by getting busy with something else asap and calling out my daughters and focusing on our activities for that day or weekend.
V said: July 11th 8:14 am
Those repeating TV advertisements for a website to research our ancestors are one of my worst grief attacks. Every time one of those ads comes on I loose it. It is a shock treatment to my mind letting me know she is gone. Thank god for the muting and last channel buttons on my remote, I hit those at the speed of lightning & that gets me thru.
SC said: July 11th 8:07 am
4th of July was a bad grief attack. This was his favorite holiday and this is the first one without him. We decided to something new instead of our usual but that did not help once the fireworks started. Every blast was like a knife full of memories and I had no way out. Could not leave the gathering. Then I hear my son calling out the colors of each firework in the sky. I took a clue from him and started calling each color with him. That helped me get thru it. Sometimes we need to let others around us help us find a way out of these painful attacks.
Paul said: June 10th 7:49 am
Music brings on my worst grief attacks. Music is tied to so many memories of her that I cannot help it when a song comes on the radio. The attacks are painful and I cannot stop them. I try to put on and keep classical music on to avoid these moments.
frank said: May 21st 7:44 am
Don't know what the trigger is for my grief attacks and I thought that by now they would be less but they keep coming. Sunday was a bad one and my usual strategy of keeping super busy worked at times during the day but not by bedtime. Had to go for a long walk before I could finally fall sleep.
JP said: May 15th 2:22 pm
Every time I come across one of his favorite foods, I loose it, and loose my appetite. At the grocery store or at the restaurant. Great for the diet but very hard for the soul. It has been a while now since he passed but still getting these. I run the aisle to avoid some of the products at the supermarket and I order immediately at the restaurant to try to get thru it. sometimes I wonder how long will this last or if it will ever go away.
Tony said: May 11th 11:45 am
Whenever I see the advertisements for the medicine she took for so many years I get major grief attacks. I turn around immediately or change the television channel if it is on tv. I don't know why this affects me like this but cannot help it. the advertisements are always going to be there but getting better at coping.
PF said: May 4th 8:17 am
Last night it happened again. We were at a graduating class event and when they put on the slide and video shows with their baby and family pictures that's when I loose it. It has been a couple of years since our daughter died but these attacks triggered by seeing the pictures of other kids growing up do not get easier. My heart stops and have trouble breathing but cannot leave room so my solution has been to clap harder and harder for these kids and celebrate them and their achievements. If the pictures continue, I look at the chair in front of me and keep clapping harder and harder for every kid and their families.Truth is I am also clapping for her and hoping she hears me.
W said: May 3rd 11:51 am
Dad is retired military. Two days ago, we were told he has weeks to live. He, in his usual military training, tells us there will be "no crying or making a fuzz over this..Death is part of life". I said ok in tears. Married to mom for over 59 years. Mom is old traditional south and trying to honor his wishes but also in tears. Have been there for many going thru death and grieving before, but today I am lost and cannot feel reality. Going to the dentist,trying to keep moving forward.
Tom said: May 3rd 11:02 am
Very much like Veronica's posting on the "Do not mail Mother's day or Father's Day Advertisements List". Gladly would pay for a service that would do that and prevent me from going thru anguish. Have lost both parents. Both Mothers and Fathers day are nightmare times of the year for me.Grief attacks are heavy during this time and what I do is call other friends, family, and neighbors I know are going thru hard grieving times of their own and just check in on them. I try to use this nonstop pain to try to help others going thru same. Calms me down.
Veronica said: April 30th 9:43 pm
Mom died about 2 years ago and Mother's day is still one of my biggest grief attacks of the year. How insensitive of all these advertisers to not think about the many people like myself who have lost their mothers? I get specially pissed off when I get emails from these advertisers about mother's day gifts. I used to cry. Now I have come up with my own strategy for getting thru the day and these ridiculous advertisers who email me. First, I block any and all with mother's day on subject line forever, and then I write a very bad review on sites like Yelp and others for their lack of sensitivity. They need to use all the data they have to target us and use it to make sure they don't send emails to folks who are grieving their mother, like me. Two girlfriends and I are trying to start a "DO NOT CALL OR EMAIL ME MOTHERS DAY ADVERTISEMENTS LIST". Join us.
David said: April 29th 11:02 pm
I know this is stupid but for me the worst grief attacks are when I think of things I wanted to do for her that I never got a chance to because she died so young. Today I saw an advertisement on TV for a trip she always wanted to take but we never got to do because I could not take time off from work to do it with her. The pain and guilt I felt when this ad came on was overwhelming. Changed the channel immediately and still had to go outside for a walk. I know they say that these will go away with time or that I will think of happier times but today I cannot imagine how.
mari said: April 29th 2:53 pm
Grief attacks would take ahold of me at the most unexpected times and for no apparent reason. whatever. And I would go dive into deep brooding. Then my brother started calling me to tell me about minor things that had triggered his memories -- and I noticed that he was always remembering happy, funny, bonding things. And it made me start realizing that I could carry my Dad in me at all times and miss him and love him and hold him dear without dragging myself into the depths of despair. Now my brother and I regularly call each other to tell each other funny, happy, crazy stories about Dad, and feel good, not grief-stricken....
dan said: April 27th 4:09 pm
One of the biggest triggers for my grief attacks are when co-workers and friends tell me I need to "get back to my routine to normal". Are they crazy? I have to control my attacks every time because it makes me so angry I feel like punching them so hard so they can wake up and stop this ridiculous advice. Nothing is normal. Nothing is the same routine as before. She is gone. I am and will never be the same. I know I need to move on for the sake of my kids but I need to move on with a new routine and a new normal. I don't know what that will be but it is absolutely not the same routine or normal as before.
george said: April 23rd 3:38 pm
it was hard enough to loose dad unexpectedly but now the slow dying of mom's mind thru Alzheimer is a daily flow of grief attack about all the memories we are loosing. Nothing helps with these grief attacks. Nothing we can do.
Joan said: April 22nd 2:47 pm
Worst grief attacks are in the morning and they are always on memories of her hospital stay. It has been almost a year since her death. Have exhausted my friends. Cannot call them every morning, so, turn on the news channels on the tele or radio and it helps me to concentrate on something else. it helps to bring down these attacks a notch so I can function.
L said: April 13th 7:43 am
Just got the first email offering Mother's day gifts and if it is anything like last year it will be the first of thousands that will keep reminding me of her passing. No, the pain of receiving these and reminding us of our loss does not go away. We just need to come up with a response that works for each of us because our consumer society lives around these holidays and I know there is nothing any of us missing a loved one can do to stop these unrequested reminders of special holidays we will never again have with them. Last year grief attacks came with each of these emails but my response now to every time I see these is indignation. I say to myself exactly what these are, junk, and how insensitive of these people to not think about the many who have lost their loved ones, like myself. I delete and blacklist the emails so I do not get anymore from them. Being ready with this response makes me feel better and I do it automatically now.
robert said: April 12th 4:07 pm
One of the biggest disappointments for me was with the friends and relatives that tell me I need to move on or that no longer answer my calls for help when I am grieving and hurting. They can help in the few days following the funeral but two weeks after that, well, I should be over my grieving by then so all bets are off. Clueless and ruthless. Not deserving of the type of friend I have been to most of them.
GC said: April 12th 3:57 pm
Just heard that a relative is having similar health symptoms to the ones dad had before we took him to the hospital. It threw me into a major grief attack. Reminded me of all the problems at the hospital and his passing. It also gets me very scared that we may be seeing a repeat situation. The only thing that helped some was getting on the phone with my relative right away and seeing how I can help.
vp said: April 10th 7:50 pm
Lightning outside always reminds me of our first real date. We grabbed pizza and ran to his place in the middle of a storm similar to the one going thru now. We and the pizza were soaked but we laughed it off as we open the bottle of wine and sat by the rear windows to watch the storm the wind and the lightning. That's when we first kissed and our lives together began. It has been almost 5 years since he died and these grief attacks are still here more often than I would like to admit. A glass of wine is not even helping with this one so I will need to get on the phone with family soon. It is just that after 5 years I wonder if they have grown tired of me still grieving him.
tobby said: April 10th 2:44 pm
It feels like beginning of summer today. It is hot and very sunny. This used to be one of my favorite days of the year. It was a day that reminded me of how much fun we would have in the next few months. baseball games, BBQ, road trips and just hanging out in the back. Not anymore. Today is my worst grief attack since dad passed on 5 months ago. Just buried myself into my work and did not go out for lunch. Will work late and by the time I leave work the sun should be coming down. Tomorrow will be another day.
Teresa said: April 10th 10:32 am
Today is his birthday and one never ending grief attack. He passed away three years ago and this is still the hardest day of the year for me. Yes even more painful than the holidays. This was his day and everything we did on this day was for him. Now everything I do on this day is just to try to get through it. Of course I will remember him on his day but I also need to keep moving and will plan activities on this day to see friends at breakfast, lunch and dinner. It doesn't take away this grief attack but it gets me through another birthday.
Augusto said: April 10th 8:15 am
Early morning running and working out are my strongest weapon against the grief attacks, but they were no match for Michael Blube this morning. After a great run and in the middle of my weight training, there it comes thru the loud speaker - Michael Blube, and I lost it. One of the happiest memories of her and dad were when we surprised them and took them to his concert in Vegas. This was very tough because I could not turn the music off the loudspeaker so had to go for another very long run to clear my head, my heart and my tears.
Sylvia said: April 8th 8:12 pm
I kept calling my aunt, mom's younger sister, whenever I got grief attacks. She was there always at any time of the day or night and there were many middle of the nights. Even three years later, I still get these attacks and always call my aunt. But one day I was calling her with my sister who was visiting me and I was so excited to call her that when she picked up the phone, I screamed out to her by the nickname we always called mom. I lost it. I knew I had been calling her to try to replace mom and I just lost it. But she calmed me down by telling me how many times she had called out my mom's name when talking about me to others. It was still very painful but I am very thankful to have my aunt in my life.
Carol said: April 8th 1:49 pm
This morning the television weather person said that today was going to be the hottest day since last October. That threw me into a major grief attack. My daughter was still alive last October and we were enjoying the sun in the park. Pain was severe. I changed the channel right away to some movie. That helped but the whole day I have been fighting the thought that this will be the first spring without her.
PW said: April 8th 8:26 am
It's grieving at the workplace that is the worst for me and specially Mondays. After nine months everyone thinks I should be over her death. I am not, but I don't feel I can bring up the subject at work any more. On Mondays we would plan out the rest of the week and now I just want the week to be over. I have reached out to my minister and he is a good listener when the pain gets bad. We are a large company and the HR department has no clue on how do deal with grief in the workplace or that it does not end after a week or two or maybe never. It seems to go on and they should know better.
Rafael said: April 7th 4:08 pm
It has been almost a year now and still getting these grief attacks. The nights and weekends are the worst. When I get these at nights it is like drinking a pitcher of pure caffeine. I cannot go back to sleep for hours. I started to leave the television on at a low volume where I could still hear the chatter in the background as I go to sleep. I leave the hallway light on so I get some light into the bedroom. Not sure why, but these have helped me to deal with these attacks at night and still get some sleep.
D said: April 7th 10:25 am
Even after 2 years, I still pick up the phone the phone to call her almost everyday, and then I cannot stop crying. I started calling my sister every time one of these appeared and she does the same thing. We were close but not as close when mom was alive. By helping each other thru these grief attacks, we have grown closer.
NA said: April 6th 3:27 pm
It must be our culture, but in the South, where I come from, we handle grief attacks differently. For us, when someone dies, we always say they "have passed on". They have passed on to the other side or dimension. They are not gone, but away until we meet again, and when we meet again, they will be with all the rest of the family that has passed on.
N said: April 6th 12:17 pm
Dad always loved a certain type of cologne. I would often joke with him about how many gallons of the cologne he had put on that day. After his death, the smell of the cologne would always bring grief attacks on. However, I decided to use that smell as a trigger of good memories of the time we spent together, and now, I even keep his cologne bottle in my my bathroom. It always makes me smile now. I know that transforming some of these memory-driven attacks to positive reactions are not easy, and not sure if this will work for others, but this one has worked for me.
V said: April 3rd 10:27 am
Mom passed away due to negligence at the hospital; even after insisting that they took care of her worsening condition. We took the hospital to court and after a year of an intense legal battle that kept mom's last hours and death very alive for all of us, we won. However, that day was probably the worst grief attack for me. The case had kept mom in my mind for that whole year but in a very positive way, I was still fighting for her. Once the case was over; even though we won - it all hit me at once. She was gone and that grief attack lasted quite a while. I think my way of dealing with it was to move closer to my relatives. So I packed up and moved back to the East coast to be near my family. It helped and is helping today.
Justin said: April 2nd 9:37 pm
That whole 5 stages of grief thing didn't work for me, or at least they are different lengths and the stages jump all over the place. Mom died when I was 14 and about 8 years after her death while helping to clean the barbecue after a family gathering, I looked down and saw the ashes all over my arms and for me, they were mom's ashes. That was one of my worst grief attacks ever and my only coping strategy was to cry, and I cried uncontrollably for hours as if it had just happened yesterday. I could not stop and my family could not help me. So don't worry if you don't fit any of these theories about grieving and grieving stages, we are all different but we still get thru our own grieving.
eric said: March 30th 7:24 pm
Having a major grief attack now. Traveling for the holidays and just got on the train. Every time I would board or arrive via train or a plane, I would call her and let her know where I was. I just went to pick up my cell when I realized that she was gone and my stomach sank. I keep doing this and cannot seem to avoid it. I travel so often and called so many times that it is engraved in my soul. I immediately called my brother to let him know I was getting on the train and to share the grief attack I was going thru. He said he goes thru the same thing in his daily commute in the afternoon when he would always call her, so we agreed to call each other every time we experience one of these.
AB said: March 30th 8:43 am
People say it is better with time but Easter is still a whole week of grief attacks for me. It was always a week of family time but now it is a week I fear. We all used to go church together. since her death we are all apart. Trying to deal with it by going to different churches than we used to. I also try to go to all the different services during this week and work hard at looking at Sunday as a new beginning
pf said: March 29th 9:24 am
Every time I see a story in the tv about people living longer, I get grief attacks. I think about why did we loose him so early, what else could we have done. Not easy to get out of these attacks, but I call my sister right away, and she will do the same. We get thru them. Make sure you have someone you can call when you get these.
josie said: March 27th 12:42 pm
Last night was a bad grief attack. Got a call that my cousin was in the hospital for the third time this month for the same thing, and this brought all the hospital memories of my sister to mind. Could not sleep so got up and walked the dog with no hat. I was hoping the cold night air would cool my head. It did. So when facing one of these, and if you can, walk.
Mary said: March 25th 8:42 am
Yesterday was one of my worst grief attacks. It was palm sunday. At the evening service, each palm I saw reminded me of many past easters, and I could not stop crying. She always made sure we brought her palms from this service. I did what I always do when these grief attacks come out of nowhere and make my heart stop. I got up from my bench and went to talk to the usher, it did not matter who, but I needed to talk to someone right away. I told him I was sorry, but I was having a grief attack on a memory of my mother and palms sundays. He listened, and just said I am sorry, I am very sorry. It calmed me down, and I was able to go back to the service. Sometimes grief angels are all around us. We just need to seek their help.
Peter said: March 22nd 4:40 pm
I went to my priest asking him why was I so weak in my faith and getting so many of these grief attacks. Why wasn't my faith helping me see that she was in a better place now? He told me that even Jesus had Grief Attacks, and shared the following: "Jesus is our best role model for combining faith and grief, as revealed in John 11:1-45. When He saw Mary and Martha in anguish over the death of their brother Lazarus, HE WEPT AND GROANED. ALTHOUGH JESUS KNEW HE WAS ABOUT TO RAISE LAZARUS FROM THE DEAD, He still allowed Himself to feel – and express – the DEPTHS OF HUMAN SORROW."
CB said: March 22nd 9:22 am
My grief attack was a constant fog. Sleepwalking through the day and staying up at night. Not wanting to close my eyes and see those last moments. Food consisted of peanut butter cups and diet coke. The basement and rainy days where my comfort zone where the outside surroundings mirrored the inside of my heart and mind: dark, sullen and cold. Friends and family tried to convince me that Dad was in a better place. I just couldn’t get past him being gone, and kept asking myself why and what could I have done better. Finally after several weeks, of being a walking Zombie, a friend took me outside and we walked during sunset. As the colors in the fall sky were changing, he told me to look at the sky, then asked me why I was grieving so much. “Was it for my Dad, or myself?” I fought back tears. “Your Dad lived a good life, loved you and your family, and was in pain at the end. Look at the sky, at the brilliance, that was his life. He is free of that pain now. You need to celebrate his life and pass his spirit on.” Then he told me a secret: Whenever you feel out of control; Free yourself. Go to “That Place” that helps you out with stress to fix your internal and external balance. Be it meditation or exercise; create in the kitchen, garden or journal. Whatever it is, just do it, and Breathe. Breathe deeply to let the good air (and thoughts) in, get the stale air (and thoughts) out. And think of the good times you shared together. Channel it and make new memories with others. He took his finger and poked it at my head and heart. “He was always in your Heart and Mind”. Pass on the legacy.”
EC said: March 19th 10:20 pm
My worst grief attack was when my elderly father found a pair of dark blue pants in the back of his car, and did not know who they belong to. He showed him to me, and it was over for me. They were mom's pants that she had us take to the hospital for when she would be coming home. I was trying to work and I remembered the worst headache I have ever felt coming on as I was trying to hold on the tears. I started to scream to dad to take them away, and my poor father did not know why I was reacting like this, but all I could do was just to tell him to take them away, take them away. Very painful and I was just alone with dad at their house which made it even more intense.
Mary said: March 18th 7:53 pm
When my father died I was supposed to be old enough to be able to deal with it. I could not. The grief attacks were often and strong. I decided to respond to them by thinking about him being on a long trip. He often traveled for work, so thinking of his loss as a departure on a very long trip helped. Not sure if this is the right way to handle grief but it worked for me.
Juan said: March 18th 7:36 pm
One the worst days for me was when I was on my wat to work and stuck in traffic. I started to clean up my voicemail messages, and without warning, I came across the last saved message. It was a message from my mom letting me know she was going into the hospital. Only a few days before we lost her. I am a tough guy with lots of crisis management training because of my law enforcement background, but nothing prepared me for the reaction I had to this grief attack. I could not stop crying. Could not. Could not even get off my car. When I finally got to work, i had to walk for almost 30 minutes before I could enter.
Maria said: March 17th 11:16 pm
After my dad's death, I have not been able to go back to our house. I tried once and walked out immediately. I know I am weak, but I grew up in a large family and dad was everything to us. That house was dad, and in my profession I have been trained to know better, but just could not. Still to this day, I take a different street so I do not go by our house.
Paul said: March 17th 11:13 pm
I didn't grief as hard as my sisters when my father passed away, but I had grieved much harder then them when my parents had moved away from our childhood home to retire down south - I grieved for what no longer would be. I couldn't just stop by and see them. However, I do grieve uncontrollably sometime when a memory hits. Last time, we were just crossing a bridge and it reminded me of my father. I could not stop crying. Each of us grieves differently and at different times.
JD said: March 16th 10:24 am
I was looking forward to seeing her on Saturday, and she passed away on Wednesday. Even after being married for years and with children, my mother was the center of my universe. My universe was gone. My grief was and is most intensely painful feeling i have experienced in my life. The only thing that got me thru this was to belief with all my heart and soul that mom was in a much better place where she no longer was in pain. Whenever the grief attacks come and they are often, I force myself to smile as I keep that thought in mind. She was no longer in pain and in a better place.
Eduardo said: March 15th 12:47 am
The hardest time for me after the death of my mother was returning to work after only two days. My company did not give us more than that and that is not right. I was not productive. I was not even there. If they would have only given me a few more days, it would have been much better. Everytime i got an attack I had to get up and walk immediately. That helped me get thru the worst period of these attacks. Companies should be more compassionate of thier employees.
David said: March 14th 5:33 am
When I am feeling bad I find it helps if I stop, breathe deeply, and try to center myself and be present. I take in everything around me and what my senses feel to remind myself that I am alive and here in this moment. I tell myself that while I might not be able to make myself feel better, I can always reach out and do something for someone else. So I call or text a friend to check-in on them, or do something as simple as opening the door for someone. This usually gets me past whatever I am feeling and reconnected with the people around me.
Susan said: March 13th 11:55 pm
I lost both of my parents in my 20s, and when dad died I was 7th month pregnant with my first child. My grief attacks were so painful that I became afraid for my child's development. Each of the memories that triggered my grief attacks was specially hard because I knew my child would never have the opportunity to make their own memories with my parents. My two best girlfriends agreed to be on call for me whenever I got these attacks. I had them in speed dial 1 and 2 and they were there anytime of the day or night that I needed them.
aland said: March 13th 7:26 pm
My grief attacks tend to happen in the middle of the night.. I'll wake up for no reason and think of my mother. To cope, I try to think of the pain she went through and the peace she now has... but it's tough. I try to remind myself that it's selfish of me to have wanted her to live in pain for even longer... But the grief is difficult to deal with.
Felicia said: March 13th 3:57 pm
My parents were still living in the Phillipines when my father died unexpectedly. I live in Los Angeles and the flight back was the longest of my life. My grief attacks on that flight were so difficult that my husband thought he would have to ask for help from the flight crew. I could not breathe, i could not sleep when these came on. The only thing that helped me was to put all my thoughts on my mother and how i could make the time we have left with her a very happy time. My brothers and I had to be firm with my mother when she told us she wanted to stay in the phillipines. We were finally able to convince her to come live with us in the US. Having her with us has not been easy but it has been a blessing to be able to spend time with her.
John said: March 13th 3:45 pm
Loosing my father was a catastrophic event in my life. I had grief attacks that were so painful I had to close myself in the bathroom. My best friend suggested something that has helped me to this day. I keep photos of my two children with me at all time and when i get one of these, I take out the photos immediately and focus on them. my photos are of me playing with them. this has worked for me.
Gelcy Capote said: March 13th 2:24 pm
Losing my father has been one of the hardest things I've been through in my life. The loss of my brother was also very difficult; especially because he was so young. I give thanks to God everyday for giving me the strength to live and move forward. I find this strength from my children; Derek, Devin and Tatiana. They are my life! As now, my grandchildren; Lucas & Matteo are. I give thanks to my family who has always been there; especially the rock of my mom's family - Augusto Amaury. He's the strongest, most caring and generous person I have met. We have lost our beautiful aunt, but she will remain in our hearts forever!
Paul said: March 13th 11:19 am
After loosing my grandmother, my grief attacks were very severe and way too often. She basically raised me. These grief attacks came on out of nowhere and from things as simple as a tv advertisement showing grandparents. They would immobilize me and it would take me a while to snap out of it. I could not afford to go thru too many of these at work. I programmed my phone with a loud ringtone and vibration that I could press when i felt one of these come on and it would help me to snap back to reality. sometimes i would get strange looks from some of my coworkers but it did not matter because this helped me get thru these.
Ana said: March 13th 12:26 am
My mother’s favorite Lucky numbers were 7 and 13. She went to heaven on 7/13/2004. As the reality of my loss and the pain of the grief attacks would hit I turned to my friends. It takes a village and I am very blessed in that I have a magnificent village. People said many beautiful things to help me get thru, some just held me as I cried. I still catch myself picking up a phone to call her. The memories I have of her, are very special and I cherish them. They get me thru it all. I still get teary eyed at times, but know I am not alone. Neither are you.
B said: March 12th 2:38 pm
Loosing my mother was devastating, and I tried every coping technique I could to get over these grief attacks, but could not. After almost a year of being totally lost in my personal and professional life, I ended up seeking medical help and was put on anti-depressant for a few weeks. I had never used these type of drugs, and didn't want to, but tried them after the suggestion of many friends, and I am very thankful. Some of us may not be strong enough to get thru this, and we need to get medical help, so never feel ashame of asking for help.
Craig said: March 12th 2:34 pm
After loosing my father, one of the best ways of getting thru these grief attacks was to turn them around and focus on the happy smiles and memories they each brought, not the pain of the memory and loss. It took me a while, but even today, this is my best way of handling these; along with exercise; specially running.
Augusto said: March 12th 2:31 pm
Loosing mom only days after thinking that we would be taken her home from the hospital left me in shock, and disbelief. I was unable to even walk out of the hospital after she passed away instantly when they tried to connect a dialisys machine to her. For me, grief attacks are constant, and a friend suggested visualization when dealing with these very painful and uncontrollable episodes. When you feel these coming, he told me to think of the oxygen bubbles that come out of the filter in an aquarium or your tank if you are scuba diving. As strange as that seemed, it works for me. Now everytime i get one of these episodes, daily, I visualize those oxygen bubbles going to the top and going into my head. If the grief attack is very strong, the oxygen bubbles keep getting bigger and bigger, and I picture myself breathing more and more oxygen. Also, he told me to sometimes speak the words: oxygen, oxygen. So if you hear someone next to you in a plane repeating the words oxygen, oxygen, that might be me in the middle of a grief attack. Friends and relatives need to understand that grief is different for each of us, and no, I cannot get over this, not now, not sure ever. Please just be there for those of us going thru these grief attacks, but don't tell us to get over them because we cannot. We just have to get thru them.
R said: March 12th 2:22 pm
After loosing my mother days before christmas, I was in shock and lost in a world that was celebrating all around me. For me, driving would force me to focus on the road, and help me get thru grief attacks. Driving across the United States was one of the best in keeping grief attacks in check. Long bike rides would also help me quite a bit when experiencing these. However, even after 30 years since her death, I still experience grief attacks throughout the year.
Tracy said: March 12th 2:11 pm
Thank you for providing this resource. For me, my grief attacks are worst at night and when i wake up. One of the most effective responses I have found is to write an online letter to him everytime I get these, and write about the specific memory that caused my grief attack. My friends were great support, but sometimes they need to accept my need to not go to the parties, or to the get togethers. Some of these would bring grief attacks that I did not want to experience, not yet.
Vennie said: January 24
This too shall pass
What not to say:
While our family and friends have the best intention in what they say to us during this very difficult time, we have a simple suggestion - when in doubt as to what to say - Say Nothing - "Just be there" - Listen and Embrace us with your love and light.
One of the incidental findings of putting these comments together was that the worst comments came from some of the most highly educated people we know. Individuals with degrees from top ivy league schools and/or multiple Doctorates - including Psychology. While some of the most helpful and appreciated support came from some of the least educated folks we know - folks that have been street educated by life experiences.
If we are educated on everything from the theory of evolution to human sexuality to swimming lessons - Then why are we not educating our children for something that is a natural part of everyone's life but a part that can be devastating to many of us if we are not prepared to face it: Grief Education.
Below (as suggested by community members, site-visitors, friends & ourselves) are a few of the wrong things good caring people said with all the best intentions at the absolute worst times:
- "People don't die from that"
- "There are a lot of available women in your dad's age group"
- "Are you considering legal action"
- "This is hitting you harder than most people"
- "They were ready to go"
- "I am sorry that I wasn't there for you all, but I have been in sex addiction therapy"
- "I have never trusted that place"
-"You have to move on"
-"Now that it has been 3 months since his death I want to set you up with a buddy that just got a divorce"
-"You should throw those things out"
-"Cannot get together this month but been thinking about you all"
-"Did they make a mistake?"
-"They were together 50 years she won't be too far behind him"
-"How are you feeling?"
-"It is a really busy Monday. I will call you back this weekend"
-"You are going to hurt for a very long time. Next year will be worst"
-"You need to get your father on the waitlist for the local convalescent homes"
-"I know you are grieving, but my sister's husband who has never wanted to come before now wants to come this weekend, is it ok if you come next year?"
-"Your dad doesn't look good. Is he OK?"
- "We can't see you this long weekend because the kids need to rest before school starts"
-"You are lucky she went fast"
The "My Grief Angels - Platinum Awards for Worst Comments" are awarded to:
1. "God took your mother first because your father needs to learn to be a better Christian"
2. The following two comments were given to a young woman who had lost her fiancé in a car crash a few days earlier:
- "It just wasn't meant to be"
- "There will be plenty of others"
3. A family friend for whom we had been there for many times before. During times when her son was arrested in the middle of the night; after her love breakups / panic attacks; after a fire incident in her apartment; as a job reference, and others. After reaching out to this individual days after mom's death, we get an email 7 months later asking:
"How are you doing?"
Most surprising about this award winner is that they have a graduate degree in Psychology.
List of Free Apps that some of us have found helpful:
Below are some FREE Apps in the areas of Stress Management, Breathing Exercises, Color Therapy, and Grief Support Network from the Google Play and iPhones App Stores that some of our network members have found useful themselves:
A. Grief Support Network App
by Good from Apps & www.MyGriefAngels.org
A free proximity-based social network connecting & supporting people grieving or who have grieved with the objective of creating a global community of Grief Angels that can be there for each other during one of live's most difficult time.
Subscribers to the app are known as "Grief Angels" that know that the people they may be helping now or in the future may be themselves, their families or friends.
Grief is different for each of us, so the app aimed at including what our development team of volunteers saw as the most commonly used resources and needs; including:
1. Proximity-based Feature - Enables you, if you wish, to see and connect with other "Grief Angels" Grieving, or who have grieved near you.
2. Grief Chat Feature - To Chat with other "Grief Angels" grieving or who have grieved near you.
3. Grief Wall - To posts messages to other "Grief Angels" near or far.
4. Grief Meetup - An opportunity to join the group's Grief Meetup and organize your own local grief meetup event. Whether a Coffee/Tea or walking or biking event, what best fit you.
5. Calm Sounds - If you need them, a selection of Calming sounds to help you in your journey.
6. Grief Health - A list and links to some of the latest research, studies and news on the impact Grief can have on our health.
7. Grief Attacks - A section of shared grief coping stories, and strategies on how some of us are or have coped with our own Grief Attacks.
8. Directory - A Directory of Grief Support Resources and Organizations listed by Type of Loss Experienced where you may be able to find additional support, educational resources, mental health professionals and grief counselors.
9. Grief Motion - For many Motion and keeping active has been key to their Grief Recovery, and in this section we list some of the activities many of our members found helpful in trying to stay in motion. From local community groups, to free online education, to volunteer opportunities to exercise and outdoor activities.
10. Grief Videos - A list of what our development team found to be some of the best Grief Meditation and Grief Education Videos on You Tube.
11. Calm Pixs - A collection of pictures with a calming quality by our group's volunteer photographer.
12. Twitter - The Twitter feed of www.Twitter.com/MyGriefAngels highlighting People Grieving worldwide that are turning their Grief into something positive to help others in their communities locally or worldwide.
13. Grief Books - List of Grief Books, and highlighting the recent Grief Book: "Good From Grief: How to Turn Unimaginable Grief into Something Positive in 288 Uplifting Twitter-Sized Life Stories"
14. GreatNonProfits' 2013 & 2014 Top Rated NonProfit - If you can now or in the future, an opportunity to support the efforts of the app's non-profit developer, the 501(c)(3) Public Charity www.MyGriefAngels.org
15. Registration - A link to the short App Registration form where your short answer to a couple of questions will help us to help you connect with other Grief Angels locally and/or experiencing your type of loss.
B. BREATHING EXERCISES APPS:
1. Breathe2Relax App Coping With Loss
Breathe2Relax is by The National Center for Telehealth and Technology
Breathe2Relax is a portable stress management tool which provides detailed information on the effects of stress on the body and instructions and practice exercises to help users learn the stress management skill called diaphragmatic breathing
2. Paced Breathing App
Paced Breathing helps you improve your breathing by giving you visual, audio, and haptic (vibrate) breathing cues. This is very useful not only for yoga and meditation, but also for exercise training, like running. Just pick a comfortable starting point and start improving your breathing!
* Adjustable Session Times (inhale, exhale)
* Ramping Times Up or Down
* Visual, Audio, and Haptic Cues
* Custom Breathing Profiles
* Tons of sound choices, like Binaural beats (use with headphones)
* Multiple Color Themes (Pro)
* Breathes Per Minute (BPM) Tracker
3. Universal Breathing - Pranayama Free App
This is the free version of 'Universal Breathing: Pranayama' Stressed? Balance your life and experience a relaxed meditative state to relieve your daily stresses and tensions. Pranayama's simple and intuitive guide to deep breathing features a progressive course based on the principles of yoga, to help you find balance and stress relief. Combining the power of breath with technology, Pranayama is an easy way of improving your health and reducing stress. Using music and animated visuals to guide you to slower deeper breathing, Pranayama by Saagara enhances the way you feel and leaves you with more energy, stamina, and focus.
C. STRESS MANAGEMENT APPS:
1. Self-help Anxiety Management App
By the University of West of England
SAM is a friendly app that offers a range of self-help methods for people who are serious about learning to manage their anxiety.
SAM has been developed by a university team of psychologists, computer scientists and student users. Established methods of self-help have been combined with high standards of usability to provide an engaging, flexible, and practical resource.
The key features of SAM are:
• Clearly laid out menus
• User guidance
• External links
• Self-monitoring of anxiety with graphical display
• 25 self-help options covering: Information about anxiety, Thinking and anxiety, Physical relaxation, Mental relaxation, Health and Anxiety
• Guidance on putting self-help into practice
• Closed social network of SAM users
You know your other important health numbers - your cholesterol levels, your heart rate and blood pressure. Now for the first time, we finally have a number that gauges mental health. By knowing our M3 score and then getting the right treatment, we have more success managing all our numbers, because mental health affects everything.”
Larry Culpepper, MD, MPH
Professor of Family Medicine
Boston University School of Medicine
WhatsMyM3 is a primer to help you take control of your mental health. M3 is a 27 question confidential screen that you can complete at WhatsMyM3.com. After you finish the questions you to receive an overview of your potential risk of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or PTSD based on research published in the Annals of Family Medicine.
The M3 Score, which represents the likelihood that the symptoms disclosed reflect a clinically significant disorder. A University of North Carolina published in the Annals of Family Medicine study of the M3 has shown that among people with no diagnosis, 83% receive an M3 Score below 33, whereas 81% of those with confirmed diagnoses fall above this threshold.
The higher the M3 Score the more likely the patient's responses are clinically significant and the symptoms reported are having a real impact on quality of life. Therefore, the M3 Score could be viewed as a general mental wellness grade, with lower scores indicative of good mental health. For those receiving treatment it provides a target for treatment success.
Language Supported by this App: English & Spanish (More to come in next version…).
3. I Can Be Fearless - Relax, remove fear and Anxiety
By Human Progress
Get relaxed, sleep better and overcome fears and phobias. A free relaxation session is embedded with the download. From the info screen in the app you can get two additional free relaxation sessions.
You have an amazing mind that has the ability to learn much quicker and also un-learn some old inhibiting patterns that you do not need anymore. The application will, with your help, activate that learning state of the mind and then help that part of the mind to a deeper understanding and change. The more you listen, the deeper the effect. Many will discover great results from the beginning.
The application helps in eliminating those thoughts, feelings and actions that stop you from doing what you actually want to. The learning state removes the old habits and patterns embedded in long term memory that result in fear, worries, demotivation, grief, sorrow, loneliness, anger and rejection.
4. Anti-stress Chromotherapy App
Eliminate all your mental stress, play with colors and transform their environments with the fascinating application Super Living Colours. With the revolutionary concept in lighting that enables the automatic exchange and dynamic colors. There are more than 256 shades of colors to highlight your environment and impress your friends. Enjoy your convenience and bring to room or room to create a world of his own! You can leave your day-to-day more relaxing and celebrating their most lively.
5. Soundmindz Mobile Apps:
Anti-Depression, Anti-Anxiety & Other Related Apps for both Android and iPhone
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Shared Grief Attacks and Personal Coping Strategies by Web and Mobile App visitors/users
Please share with us and others grieving, your personal stories and strategies in coping with your Grief Attacks:
- How did you get thru or are getting thru your Grief Attacks?
- What is causing or caused some of your worst Grief Attacks?
- What coping strategies worked or didn't work for you?
- What did your relatives, friends or co-workers do right or wrong in helping you deal with your own grief attacks?
If you are up to it and would like to share your experience with others, please fill out the guestbook form on this page.
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