Obituaries

Alice Frank
B: 1923-05-12
D: 2015-05-23
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Frank, Alice
Rachel Rozand
B: 1928-01-16
D: 2015-05-20
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Rozand, Rachel
Katherine"Kay" Ross
B: 1922-04-13
D: 2015-05-19
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Ross, Katherine"Kay"
John Wilken
B: 1928-06-03
D: 2015-05-19
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Wilken, John
Maurice Searls
B: 1942-02-11
D: 2015-05-18
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Searls, Maurice
LaVerne Davis
B: 1923-09-30
D: 2015-05-16
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Davis, LaVerne
Katherine Trnka
B: 1925-05-28
D: 2015-05-16
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Trnka, Katherine
William Weir
B: 1938-12-08
D: 2015-05-16
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Weir, William
Alan Burridge
B: 1936-04-04
D: 2015-05-14
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Burridge, Alan
Phyllis Martin
B: 1931-06-16
D: 2015-05-13
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Martin, Phyllis
Marion Cropp
B: 1923-05-12
D: 2015-05-11
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Cropp, Marion
Andrew Stoddart
B: 2000-02-20
D: 2015-05-11
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Stoddart, Andrew
Patrick Rooza
B: 1936-04-17
D: 2015-05-09
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Rooza, Patrick
Susan "Susie" Bruhns
B: 1933-06-09
D: 2015-05-08
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Bruhns, Susan "Susie"
Alice Koebel
B: 1938-10-19
D: 2015-05-07
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Koebel, Alice
Bruce Bayne
B: 1956-09-29
D: 2015-05-04
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Bayne, Bruce
Robert Quick
B: 1954-11-06
D: 2015-05-03
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Quick, Robert
Anne Joneit (Korzenko)
B: 1938-07-23
D: 2015-05-02
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Joneit (Korzenko), Anne
Jacqueline Anderson
B: 1938-02-09
D: 2015-04-30
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Anderson, Jacqueline
Robert Hanson
B: 1935-11-26
D: 2015-04-30
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Hanson, Robert
Margaret Stansfield
B: 1929-07-03
D: 2015-04-30
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Stansfield, Margaret

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How to Help Yourself

What is Grief?

Grieving is painful. Since we all want to avoid pain, it’s natural we want to avoid grief. But, unfortunately grief does not work that way. Denying the pain of our loss does not heal it, but instead only buries it more deeply. Understanding more about grief will help you to accept and work through it.

Grief is the Response to Deep Love. Love is an essential of life, and whenever you love, you will grieve. Grief is the flip side of love. Grief is a natural human response after the loss of a loved one. You grieve because you love.

Grief is Individual. It can be strong or weak, brief or prolonged, immediate or delayed. Everyone grieves in their own way and in different stages. There is nothing wrong with how you feel—it is unique to you.

Grief is a Natural Process. Healing grief is a natural process. Allow grief to run its course. Don’t try to block it. Be willing to feel the pain. Let grief in, and then let it out. Grief does not proceed in an orderly fashion, and there is no way around it.
In the grieving process, we work towards integrating loss into our life. We never get over grief, but learn to live differently with a new appreciation of life.

Getting Through the First Weeks After the Funeral


In the immediate days and weeks after a funeral, grief is still raw—although its edges may be softened by hope and moving forward. The last thing someone grieving wants to hear is, “Life goes on.” And yet, the clock still ticks, and the calendar pages still turn.

Is there a way to stop time? While that may not be possible, there are some tips to help you get through those most difficult days after suffering a loss.

Take care of yourself first. Are you eating well? Sleeping enough? It is impossible to care for your family, your job and other commitments if you are unwell mentally or physically. Give yourself the “you” time you need.

Don’t disappear. It may be easier to sometimes just go to your bedroom or den and “escape” from the real world after a tragic loss. And while taking quiet time away from others is important, don’t drop out of sight entirely. People want to help in a time of need, but they often just don’t know how. Acknowledge their kindness—don’t ignore them—but simply let them know you may need a bit more time on your own.

Talk about your loved one. Talking is a great therapy—so is sharing with friends. Keep your loved one’s memory alive by sharing something about them regularly. When someone talks about what one of their relatives did today, tell them a fond memory of your mother (or whomever you have lost).

Use your senses. Using all five senses is a fabulous way to remember your loved one and get through those especially challenging first few weeks. SMELL fresh bakery, candles, perfume or another scent that reminds you of them. TOUCH a piece of their clothing. TASTE some foods that were their favorite. LOOK at photographs. LISTEN to music, or an audio book, that they loved.

There is no timeframe for grieving. While the days and weeks pass, your emotions will change. Allow yourself the freedom to do what you need to mourn in your own special way.
 

Give Yourself Permission to Grieve

Grieve at Your Own Pace. Grieving will produce many feelings, and may include, shock, numbness, denial, depression, confusion, fear, guilt, and, regret as well as acceptance and hope. These feelings will come and go in waves and return many times. Let your journey be what it is, and be patient as you experience the many phases.

Grieve Your Way. Everyone goes through grief on different schedules with different feelings, so there is no right way or wrong way to grieve. Due to social messages, others may think they know what you “should” and “should not” be doing. However, these messages are not helpful. Instead, know you are the expert on yourself, and you can choose to do things your way.

Release Your Feelings. Working through grief can be easier when you freely express your feelings and release bottled emotions and painful memories. Don’t hold your feelings inside or hide them from others.

Acknowledge Your Feelings. Just feel what you are feeling. You cannot change your emotions. There is no way that you “should” act or “should not” act. The way you work through grief will be absolutely correct for you.

Quiet Your Inner Critic. Being gentle with yourself often means quieting some of your inner voices of judgment. For example, you may think, “I should be feeling better by now” or “I should have settled the estate by now.”  These sorts of criticism are the types of thoughts to avoid.

Be Your Own Advocate. People may try to minimize your grief through unhelpful comments or clichés. For example, you may hear others say, “At least he had a long life, and at least he didn’t suffer,” or “At least you have other kids.”  Others do this because they have difficulty in handling your pain, as well as their own. Remember, you do not need to minimize your pain to make others more comfortable. In fact, give yourself permission to let others know when their comments are hurtful or not helpful.
 

Be Gentle With Yourself

Finding gentle ways to take care of yourself as you grieve will be important to your healing.

Take Care of Your Physical Self. Grief is expressed physically as well as emotionally, so it’s important to listen to your body. Grieving takes a physical toll that can be unexpected. Losing a loved one is a highly stressful experience, and stress can create numerous kinds of physical responses –ulcers, high blood pressure, body aches. Your immune system can be weakened, and you may feel tired with little initiative. You may sleep too much or too little or have trouble eating.

Take Care of Your Emotional Self. Deal with all the painful emotions that you are feeling. You need both time alone and with others. Seek out structure and rituals. Pay attention to all of your needs. Try to find ways to meet those needs.

Be Compassionate with Yourself. Cry when your eyes well with tears, rest when your body is tired, seek gentle listening when you need to talk. Don’t hurry, move at your own pace. Take care of yourself as you would nurture a small child.

Pamper Yourself. Consider small ways to treat yourself, whether that be placing fresh flowers on a table, buying a new soft pillow or enjoying a hot bath. These activities can help produce a sense of calm and peace, which can bring you some relief, if even for a short time.

Do not Confuse Comfort with Escape. You know what you do that is unhealthy. If you are grieving in healing ways, you will not need to turn to unhealthy behaviors. Escape will leave you grieving longer, as your body becomes less able to heal itself.

At a time when you are wondering, if you will ever feel good again, it is important to take care of every part of yourself, including your body, emotions and spirits. Every part of you is grieving and needs support to heal.
 

Seek Support and Share Your Grief  

Going through grief may be the hardest thing you will ever go through in your life. It can be less of a burden when you seek the support of others. Sometimes isolation can seem easier, but you would deprive yourself of the valuable connection of others.

Reach Out to Others. Although everyone grieves differently, there will be others who are going through something similar.

Find someone who has been there too. You can support and comfort each other in ways that others would not be able too. Together you can provide each other with understanding and acknowledgement.

Find Personal Support. Grief does not take an orderly progression. There will be ups and downs throughout the journey. It’s okay to lean on others during this time. Find at least three people you can include in your grief support network. Think of those who are understanding, compassionate and caring. Consider people you feel comfortable with and can freely share feelings. Make a commitment to touch base with your support network on a regular basis, as well as during especially difficult times.

Talk and Share. You don’t want answers, you want ears. You do not need someone to fix you or diminish your feelings. Instead, you just need someone to understand and listen to you. One of the best ways to work through your emotions is to talk about them with trusted confidantes.  

Find a Support Group. There are many organizations serving specific losses that you can seek out both locally and through the Internet. You may find refuge in meeting with others in a setting where you can genuinely share your feelings. Plus; those who have experienced sorrow and turmoil are generally better equipped to provide caring help. You can hear others express their thoughts, which may give you strength in knowing you are not alone.

Get a Guide. Seek the wisdom of courageous role models. Those who have traveled the road before you know where the pitfalls are. You can find a guide by asking others or perhaps you have been drawn to someone who has experienced a loss like yours.
No one can totally understand your loss, but others can be your companion as you journey through grief.
 

Practice Daily Self-Care

Pay attention to yourself. These words are worth repeating. Your life has been turned upside down by the loss of your loved one, so self care is critical.

Rest when you need too. Listen when that little voice tells you that you're too tired to do some of the everyday tasks. Consider incorporating extra rest into your daily activities and routine.
Let your friends and family know your preferences. Pay attention to what you don't want to do, and what others can do for you. As you become aware of these things, share them with others who can help you.

Ask for help when you need it. Most people want to help you, and simply just do not know how. Give them the opportunity to help you and don't try to do everything yourself.

Know your limits. If you are tired or don't feel like doing something, you can choose not to do it. The most important thing you need to do is care for yourself. Your friends and family will understand if you choose not to join in some activities.

You can say no. If you are invited out by friends, but may not feel like going, it is okay to say no. Others may want to see you out and about, as they simply do not like to see you in pain. If you choose to decline some activities, you don’t have to give a reason. Simply ask your friends to continue to include you in their invitations. 

 

 

About our Grief Educator, Chelsea Hanson

As an author, Chelsea Hanson has the special gift of finding the right words when they are needed most. Having experienced loss and transcended grief herself, Chelsea provides a sense of comfort and understanding to help people with grief. Her reassuring words provide hope that you too will be able to journey through grief and find a new appreciation of life.

Copyright 2012, Chelsea Hanson, With Sympathy Gifts and Keepsakes, LLC. All rights reserved. The information may not be used, reproduced or transmitted in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise. Powered by www.ChelseaHanson.com

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