“Life After Loss” Support Group

Has it been two years or more since you lost your spouse or life partner?

If so, consider being part of WinterSpring’s new “Life After Loss” group, specially designed for those who have moved beyond the initial stages of grief but are still feeling the impact of their beloved’s absence in their everyday lives…  This group offers a chance to connect with others who have also traveled some distance down the road of “the new normal.”

Life After Loss 5.21.15click image for larger view

The Significance of Ritual in Integrating Feelings of Loss

tree-festival-leaf-001Community builder, hypnotherapist, writer Carolyn Shaffer tells about her unique loss experience and the significance of ritual in integrating the feelings of loss and receiving support.

Courageous Grief Talk 04/02/2014

Courageous Grief Talk – KSKQ 89.5 community radio Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m.

So you’ve just become a single parent…what now?

This past week, I participated on a panel at the local high school’s Parent Academy – the topic was single parenting. Many parents unexpectedly find themselves alone, either through divorce or death of the other parent. It’s a shock, really. It was for me. When my former husband passed away unexpectedly leaving me to raise our daughter by myself, I felt closed in and afraid. It felt too big, more responsibility than I ever wanted. Her grief, my own, our changed lives…how would we get through it?

We did get through it, day at a time…which brings me back to what I learned at the Parent Academy. Here’s some things I gleaned from the panel and audience participants:

Common challenges for single parents:
• Lack of Sleep
• Loneliness
• Grief
• Emotional stress
• Time management
• A lack of sanity
• Challenges with kids’ attitudes and accountability

Ways to take care of yourself:
• Exercise – one woman started running every day and lost 40 pounds
• Drinking water—keeping yourself hydrated helps to fend off depression feelings
• Find friends you can talk to about your challenges with kids and getting time for yourself
• Take time for yourself in nature—one woman walks under the moon and stars at night
• Dance to wild music when the kids aren’t around
• Start a gratitude journal for yourself…or share it with your kids so that you all practice gratitude

Ways to connect better with your kids:
• Set aside special time for your kids—they want time with you, even if they are teens
• Appreciate them for the things they do well
• Set reachable goals—make a chart with tasks that you expect and make a reward for getting a certain number done
• Work with your child on the things you expect and let them come up with some ideas
• Find grief support groups for them in your local community
• Realize that underneath bad behaviors is deep loss—help your kids learn to grieve in healthy ways

If you are a single parent, please share what works for you!