Coping With Grief

Coping with losing a loved one is one of life's great difficulties. If you have experienced the pain of mourning, you know that any way to ease the loss is welcomed. While our knowledge and study of grief continues to evolve, it's important to note that not everyone grieves the same way: We have individual patterns and outlets for grief.

Recent Posts on Grief

Things Not to Say to a New Widow

It's best to avoid these five phrases.

Can You Visit the Deceased in Your Dreams?

By Michelle Carr on July 28, 2015 in Dream Factory
Evidence from anecdotal reports and cultural practices suggest that it is possible to interact with lost loved ones in the land of dreams, a "bardo" state of consciousness that is similar to death.

Severe Migraine: Finding Answers in the Mind, Not in Pills

There are 45 million Americans with migraine and about 10% of those have frequent and severe headaches that are unresponsive to medications and other treatments. Most doctors would describe migraine as a genetic disorder, however this blog presents a different view. A patient with severe migraines is presented and her cure lay in her willingness to reappraise her life.

Do You Ever Pretend You’re Somebody Else?

I decided I couldn’t live in a world without Robby. The only thing to do was to take his place. I’d have to become Robby. No, not “become Robby.” I’d be Robby.

6 Family Friendly Ways to Help Kids Grieve After Pet Loss

"Young members of the family often experience the death of a pet as their first exposure to grief."

Coping with Adversity from "Inside Out"

This film effectively and hilariously shines a light on the inner workings of our emotional brains and why we struggle at times. Most powerfully, its metaphor of "Emotions at Your Central Control Panel" offers a useful way to reflect on our own feelings and how they can push us to react, sometimes to our disadvantage. Required viewing for anyone operating a human brain.

No More Tears

It will be a year ago tomorrow that my mom left this world. Even though I believe that she is happy and at peace, I still want her here with me NOW.The heartbreak of loss seems to be a fundamental, inescapable aspect of the human condition. When we take the risk of caring about another living being, we set ourselves up for eventual loss. What can compare to that pain?

The Cure for Fear, Grief, and Death

When Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s infant son was kidnapped and murdered, only this story helped her.

Releasing Constipated Grief

By Kimberly Key on June 23, 2015 in Counseling Keys
Chronic complaining is one of the many side effects of constipated grief. Sometimes people have cumulative grief from traumas and losses that have piled up. They are deep storehouses of pain that the person hasn’t been able to fully process or release, so they get clogged up.

The Emotional Topography of Grief

Loss—especially traumatic or tragic loss—creates a dark region in our world that will always be there.

Gone Daddy Gone

By Deborah Carr Ph.D. on June 18, 2015 in Bouncing Back
A Father's Day survival guide

Encounters with Dead Pets: A Study of the Evolution of Grief

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on June 17, 2015 in Animals and Us
Bereaved pet owners sometimes think they have seen or heard their dead dogs or cats. Here's what these errors reveal about the evolutionary functions of grief.

When The Person You Love Doesn't Love You

It's time to reject the rejecter and embrace lovable you.

Resolving Guilt in Therapy

By Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP on June 05, 2015 in In Therapy
Dr. Martin Hsia describes his compassionate CBT intervention for resolving guilt in this Moments of Meaning video.

Grieving the Loss of a Child: The Five Stage Myth

The trauma experienced by grieving parents cannot be captured by the five stage model.

What We Can Learn From Joe Biden’s Resilience

When Vice President Joe Biden spoke of leadership, compassion and resilience to Yale graduates in May, most students didn’t realize that his son, Beau Biden, was struggling with brain cancer and had very few days to live. How can resilience exist in the face of such sorrow?

Miscarriages: Conception Without Birth

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on June 02, 2015 in How We Do It
Miscarriage is a rarely discussed, almost taboo topic. Couples hit by pregnancy loss are usually unprepared and left alone to cope with grief and imagined guilt. Popular belief has it that miscarriage affects only 5% of pregnancies, but 15-20% are reported. Far greater losses occur before pregnancy is clinically recognizable, and only 25% of conceptions lead to birth.

When Your Dog Dies

We all suffer losses, but the death of the family dog is clearly one of the most painful we endure. Our attachment to our canine friends trumps many of our human relationships. It's not that people are less valuable or meaningful to us, but where else do we find such unconditional love, loyalty, happiness in the simplest of pleasures and rarely a complaint?

Vulnerability

Because we are limited, finite, mortal beings, vulnerability to trauma is a necessary and universal feature of our human condition. Suffering, injury, illness, death, heartbreak, loss--these are possibilities that define our existence and loom as constant threats. To be human is to be excruciatingly vulnerable.

A Heart-Rending Story of Courage in the Face of Loss

Bella lost her baby. What she did with her anger, grief and shame is remarkable.

Heartbreak

In virtue of our human finitude, heartbreak is built into our caring engagement in the world.

How to Know if You’re Stuck in Your Grief Post-Divorce

Learn seven tools that can help you get through your divorce grief and push through to the other side.

Why We Still Love

Choose to love, choose to live.

The Great Grief: How To Cope with Losing Our World

A “Great Grief” a feeling that rises in us as if from the Earth itself

A Death Sentence Will Not Bring “Closure”

By Nancy Berns Ph.D. on May 15, 2015 in Freedom to Grieve
The jury’s decision to send Tsarnaev to death row will not bring closure for the families.

Living After a Police Officer Dies

By Nancy Berns Ph.D. on May 15, 2015 in Freedom to Grieve
If you look closer, you’ll see some of them wiping away tears. You’ll see the exhausted look of fresh grief on many faces. For others, eyes shine with appreciation of being among family—not related by blood but related by blood lost.

The Good Divorce Story

By Wendy Paris on May 05, 2015 in Splitopia
When facing divorce, many people struggle almost as much from narrative disconnect as from the logistical changes. Their story about what should have happened plagues them almost as much as the facts themselves. Rewriting the narrative is not only necessary, but also can be powerful.

5 Silver Linings You Can Find in Hard Times

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on April 30, 2015 in In Love and War
Major negative life events, such as the death of a loved one, the dissolution of an important relationship, or the diagnosis of a serious illness, can be painful and isolating. But these experiences can also sometimes bring about unexpected positive changes.

Two Things Children Should Know about Grief

By Nancy Berns Ph.D. on April 29, 2015 in Freedom to Grieve
Do not think you have to have all the pain go away before you can have fun or even just go about your ordinary routine. You are not being disloyal to the person you miss if you are experiencing joy.

Breakup: How to Tell If You Suffer from Complicated Grief

Sometimes it is impossible to let go of grief. When you continue to grieve a loss, your condition is called complicated grief. Complicated grief is so severe that psychiatrists now consider it for inclusion in the psychiatric manual for diagnosing mental disorders. Here is how to tell if you suffer from complicated grief.