WinterSpring’s Children’s Program at Bellview School has been a wonderful experience for these kids. Thanks to Sherry Nurre, our trained volunteer, for spearheading an additional program in Ashland. We also have our ongoing program in Medford. Call our office for more information about the programs coming up during the next school year: 541-552-0620.
New group in collaboration with Wise Women Care Associates:
This is a series for mothers and couples who have experienced the loss of a child during pregnancy or infancy.
This group will meet once a month starting in July 2013.
Facilitated by Tressi Albee, who has completed WinterSpring’s Professional Grief & Loss Training and has extensive experience with bereavement issues and facilitating grief support groups.
Please call Wise Women Care Associates for more information or to register:
Thanks Alisha Krukowski for sharing this wonderful article about letting go into grief.
“When we try to “keep it together” for other people, or for ourselves, when all we really need to do is let go, and feel, and hurt, and crumble. We live in a strange society that honors the “strength” of grieving people who don’t cry, who are “brave,” who “move on.” I’ve always felt in my heart of hearts that all of that was so wrong. So why did I fall for it myself when Mom died?” …more
(Photo courtesy of Hello Grief.)
The Ashland Daily Tidings published an essay written by our executive director on the importance of staff in nonprofits. Learn more about what we do every day by reading this essay.
- Acting out, angry outbursts
- Physical reactions—recurring sickness, allergies, stomach aches, headaches
- Changes in sleep patterns, nightmares or bad dreams
- Regressive Behavior
- Obsessive or repetitive behaviors that seem odd in the circumstance
- Lack of interest in usual activities
- Eating Problems or Disorders
- Crying easily
- Problems with concentration or focus
- Refusal to talk or emotional withdrawal
How to be with them:
- Assure them that those helping love them and will keep them safe.
- Keep routines consistent, which provides a safe predictable environment
- Set reasonable, consistent boundaries to provide a sense of safety
- Provide recreation–this enables children to have fun and take a break from grieving
- Provide healthy snacks, meals—their bodies are grieving, too.
- Care for and accept them as they are
- Tell the truth and answer their questions honestly, with age-appropriate words
- Help them create memory rituals, talk about the person and recall stories
- Acknowledge their loss of focus and interest
- Reflect back what they say without judgment, ask them questions as they try to make sense of what happened.
Teen Grief Cues
Being with a Teen in Grief
Resources: The Dougy Center, The National Center for Grieving Children and Families, Alan Wofelt, Ph.D. and Joseph A. Santiago
Suicide Survivor Support Group — eight weeks, starting April 2, 6:00-7:30pm at a Medford location. If you have lost someone you love to suicide, coping without support can be very difficult. Please join our facilitators, Meg Mocabee and Nadine Mayer, and others who have also suffered this tragic loss. Call our office to get more information: 541-552-0620
With the Gypsy Soul Benefit Concert coming up this weekend, community-minded Don and Niki at Kool FM interviewed Julie Lockhart about WinterSpring. Learn more by listening.
Five things to help with the grief many are feeling in the aftermath of the shootings: Turn off the media if it’s too much; do nice things for other people; take inventory of the good things in life; take care of yourself — exercise and good diet; pay attention to the kids in your life and listen when they want to talk — help them process the grief they might feel.
This photo and these tips come from a blogpost on Hello Grief on how to move through this recent tragedy. It’s important to take care of ourselves so the grief doesn’t get too big for us. Here’s what Alisha Krukowski recommends:
- Put yourself on an immediate “news diet.” Make a conscious and implementable plan about your news intake. That may mean allowing yourself to check in briefly with the news once every two hours. Or perhaps you’ll decide that giving yourself one solid hour, and then no other news for the day is a better fit. Regardless of your specific decision, make a plan and commit to sticking to it. Let friends and family know, so they are able to respect and support your choice. Take note of how you feel after checking in with the news. If you find you feel worse than before you checked in, more reason to limit your news intake. Tragedy is not, and should not be a spectator sport.
- Do something kind. It doesn’t matter what you do, but make a point to do something good or kind today, and each day as the crisis continues to unfold. Let someone ahead of you in traffic, leave a few extra dollars for your waitress, take your dog (and yourself) on an extra long walk. I’m betting you’ll feel better after doing something kind for someone else. There’s something inherently therapeutic about acts of kindness, which can help you to balance out the negative emotions you may find yourself inundated with in times of publicized sorrow.
- Refrain from posting “news” of the events on facebook, twitter, etc. If you feel inclined to post about your feelings of sadness, your wishes for impacted families, or your thoughts on tragedy in general, that may be something to consider. But posting updates about the tragedy itself will likely not help you or others. The specifics are often irrelevant, since the facts remain the same: Something terrible happened. Innocent individuals were injured or killed. There will never, ever be any bit of information or any new development that will make any of this make sense.
- Reach out to those you love, and tell them you love them. It sounds a little clichéd, I know, but have you ever felt anything other than good after sharing your feelings of love or friendship with people in your life? It’s an easy way to both offer support, and feel support yourself.
- Ask for help if you need help. If the news of tragedy has left you feeling overwhelmed with grief, sadness, fear, or any other emotion, please seek immediate support. If you need a shoulder to cry on, call a friend or family member. If you feel that you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-8255 or go immediately to your local emergency room.
- If you have children in your life, be mindful of what they may be seeing and hearing. Again, I am not a therapist, but it is always a good idea to ask your children what they are feeling, and how you can help them to process those feelings. They may have created some “truths” in their minds that are not accurate or helpful for them to be holding. Ask them what they have learned. If you have any concerns about how to support your child through tragic events, you should reach out to school or grief counselors, therapists, or other local support services.
- Physically do something to help. This doesn’t mean you have to fly to the impacted areas. This means choosing to devote time, energy, or money to a cause that is close to your heart. You can volunteer at a homeless shelter, send money (even a few dollars) to an organization that speaks to you, or help to clean up litter at an underfunded playground or park. When you immerse yourself in something that is helping those in need, you may feel a sense of connection to people everywhere who are helping where help is needed. It’s a good feeling, and again, that can help to balance out some of the negative feelings.