Our Children’s Program on the Front Page of the Mail Tribune

Photo courtesy of Jamie Lusch of the Mail Tribune.

Photo courtesy of Jamie Lusch of the Mail Tribune.

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.

Here’s a link to the article.

Talking about grief — what our kids need

New York Times September 26 2012

Grief and loss are such a natural part of life.  And yet, people don’t know how to be with it in healthy ways.  I love this article from the New York Times that talks about including children in the mourning process and why.  At WinterSpring, we advocate for talking with kids about their grief and we have support groups available to help.

Click here for this NYT article.

Give yourself the freedom to grieve in your own way.

I really like Dr. Nancy Berns’ article on grieving, especially this quote:  “Treating grief as a disease threatens our freedom to grieve.”  She supports people grieving in their own way and debunks the commonly accepted idea that grief needs to follow five stages:  denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  At WinterSpring, we’re not afraid to be with loss for as long as it takes people to embrace life again.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-grieve/201201/am-i-grieving-right

A beautiful story of living after deep loss

http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120603/NEWS/206030322/-1/NEWSLETTER100

Grief brings chaos, healing brings balance

This post comes from WinterSpring Board Member, Jim Titus:

As I look at Denise Kester’s monotype print “Out of chaos comes the dance of balance,” I find my head and heart align.  Grief is indeed one place where I have found chaos and confusion.  But it has also become my surest path to personal growth and enlightenment.

Something that most of us seem to discover, sooner or later in life, is that we are not invincible, not really “in control” as we might like to be, but that we can, and usually do, find a way through the whirlpool of life.  We are children of many losses; but we are also survivors.  Sometimes we need a little help from others to  find our way – sometimes a lot of help.  It is a major step to discover that we are not alone; there are plenty of others who have traveled similar roads and who are willing to share their stories. 

The best discovery of all is that of our own inner spaces where our worst fears lurk, but where strength, renewal and life reside as well.  Loss will take us to both, if we are open – and will help heal us and make us whole, or “balanced,” to use Kester’s term.

Writing about the death of her daughter, Isabel Allende says:

My life is one of contrasts; I have learned to see both sides of the coin.  At moments of greatest success, I do not lose sight of the pain awaiting me down the road, and when I am sunk in despair, I wait for the sun I know will rise farther along.”  (Paula, p. 313)   

“I am a raft without a rudder, adrift on a sea of pain.  During these long months I have been peeling away like an onion, layer after layer, changing; I am not the same woman, my daughter has given me the opportunity to look inside myself and discover interior spaces – empty, dark, strangely peaceful – I had never explored before.  These are holy places, and to reach them I must travel a narrow road blocked with many obstacles, vanquish the beasts of imagination that jump out in my path.  When terror paralyzes me, I close my eyes and give myself to it with the sensation of sinking into storm-tossed waters.  For a few instants that are true eternity, I think I am dying, but little by little I comprehend that, despite everything, I am still alive because in the ferocious whirlpool there is a merciful shaft through which I can breathe.  Unresisting, I let myself be dragged down, and gradually the fear recedes.”  (Paula, p. 272) 

 

Children are resilient when given a safe space to grieve

As I looked through a file this morning, I ran into this quote from our volunteer, Liz Axness:

WinterSpring allows me to see the beauty, empathy and precious resiliency of children travelling their grief path. The children become a family of survivors that are connected through their losses. And yet, WinterSpring’s Children’s Group is joyful, sometimes wild, and often contemplative and deeper than any adult could devise.  (May 2011)

Each day that I learn more about this place I get to work, I am amazed that the wonderful volunteers are moved to support children, teens, and adults through their grief process.  When adults can make a difference in a child’s life, the world is truly a better place.

What is “grief work” anyway?

People cope with the loss of a loved one in many different ways. For some, the experience may lead to personal growth, even though it is a difficult and trying time. There is no right or wrong way to cope with the passing of a loved one.”

I like this article on grief and bereavement. Grief work, the path that a mourner walks, is thoughtfully discussed. Did you ever wonder what the difference is between grief, bereavement and mourning? This article explains the differences along with information on some special types such as anticipatory and complicated grief. Although this article is from the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, much of the information applies to grief in general.