End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 134 The Hidden Grief of Life’s Transitions with Rev. Terri Daniel

Learn how grief over the death of loved one is compounded by other losses that occur simultaneously.

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ALDanielcroppedIn this episode I share a conversation with Rev. Terri Daniel about the “other grief” that occurs throughout life with or without the death of a loved one. We’ll talk about this hidden grief and why it is important to acknowledge it as an important part of life.

Learn more about Terri’s workshop at http://spiritualityandgrief.com

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

It’s not too late to sign up for A Year of Reading Dangerously and join us in reading books about death, dying and the afterlife throughout 2018! Learn more and sign up here.

Thank you to all of the donors who are contributing to my page at Patreon.com/eolu each month! It makes a huge difference and I’m very grateful! Thank you to Suzanne O’Brien RN and Doulagivers.com for being a “legacy supporter” for the past 18 months!

FEATURE PRESENTATION:

In this interview Rev. Terri Daniel and I talk about the big picture of grief throughout life’s transitions and how it often goes unnoticed as we focus primarily on grief after a death occurs. We talk about:

  • Continuing Bonds Theory
  • “Other” types of loss
    • Material loss
    • Relationship loss
    • Intrapsychic loss
    • Functional loss
    • Role loss
    • System loss
  • Four additional types of grief
    • Relinquishment grief
    • Tribal/National grief
    • Vicarious grief
    • Collective grief
  • The need for ritual and ceremony to process grief
  • Are there avoidable vs. unavoidable losses?

Rev. Terri Daniel is a clinical chaplain and end-of-life educator certified in death, dying and bereavement by the Association of Death Education and Counseling. Her work focuses on assisting dying and grieving individuals to discover a more spiritually-spacious understanding of loss and trauma.

Remember to tune in every Monday for a new episode and please leave a review on iTunes if you enjoy this content!

Until next time remember …

Face Your Fear          BE Ready           Love Your Life

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EOLPodcast

Ep. 92 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 8

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 8: The Fire Ceremony

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suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • What I’ve learned about my Dad through my investigations
  • The “Tapestry Dream” that changed how I saw everything in my life
  • The hard lessons I learned through hospice work
  • How I recognized that Dad had been my silent partner through all of my grief journey including writing the book What Really Matters
  • The Fire Ceremony: A ritual for healing my Dad’s trauma and my own
  • The song The Sun is Shining for You by Gia (used by permission)
  • Closing comments about this podcast and farewell
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

Highest blessings and deepest love to you!

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 91 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 7

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 7: Omaha Beach

omahabeach

suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • Exploring Dad’s memorabilia from World War II
  • How indigenous cultures hear the stories of their warriors in order to share in their pain
  • My travels to Iceland and Normandy to retrace Dad’s steps in World War II
  • What I learned about the pain of war on my journey
  • A healing dream about my Dad
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 90 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 6

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 6: The Purple Heart

purpleheart

suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • How hospice work help me get “unstuck” on my grief journey
  • How I uncovered my anger at my Dad and my need to forgive him for taking his life
  • The “secret” my Aunt Lena told me about Dad and World War II
  • What I learned from psychiatrist Dr. Jeff Black who treats war veterans for trauma and “soul loss”
  • The RAIN formula from Jack Kornfeld for healing trauma:
    • Recognize the effect the trauma has had on your life
    • Acknowledge and accept the pain you are experiencing
    • Investigate the patterns
    • Non-attachment to the “story” of the trauma
  • Poem: “Griefwork”
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 89 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 5

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 5: Guns

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suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

timemagThis episode consists of:
-Dad’s passion for guns and hunting

-A Time Magazine Article from July 1989 about Death by Gun

-Statistics on suicide deaths by guns and gun ownership in the U.S.

Suicide statistics in Wyoming

-Poem: “Shattered” 

-A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 88 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 4

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 4: The Bicycle

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suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • Dad’s difficult childhood
  • How Adverse Childhood Experiences are associated with suicide in adulthood
  • Low self-esteem as a factor in Dad’s death
  • The ongoing guilt experienced by suicide survivors over missed clues
  • An excerpt from my story: “Two Souls in cognito” 
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 87 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 3

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 3: Tough Times

toughtimes


suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • The stigma attached to suicide
  • When friends fail to offer support after a suicide death
  • Financial stress as a factor for suicide in older men
  • Why helping doesn’t always require words
  • The song “Without You” by Gia 
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 86 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 2

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 2: The Funeral

funeral

suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • My father’s funeral
  • The surprising number of visitors who attended the funeral
  • Stories of my father that were shared after his death
  • Information about suicide and men facing retirement
  • Guilt and grief felt by suicide survivors
  • My encounter with a meadowlark at my father’s graveside
  • An excerpt from the song “Scary Monster” by Gia (my daughter who was present at the graveside as an infant)
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

EOLPodcast

Ep. 85 Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath: Part 1

Suicideblog_

The story of my long journey of healing after my father’s suicide death – told in a series of 8 episodes.

Part 1: The Phone Call

phone-1506530_1280

suicide lifelineIf you are currently experiencing a crisis or feeling hopeless please know that you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for free and confidential support available 24/7 for people in distress:

1-800-273-8255

or Text HELLO to 741-741.

This episode consists of:

  • Introduction to the podcast
  • The day I learned of my father’s death
  • The shock and grief experienced by the survivors of a suicide death
  • Statistics about suicide in the U.S.
  • A blessing by John O’donahue “FOR THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF A SUICIDE” (Click the link to download the blessing.)
  • A message of hope for those grieving a suicide and for anyone who might be considering suicide at this time:

Please don’t give up. There is light in the darkness, there is love for you, there is grace. I have survived and I am here to spread hope.

karen-signature

Please call 1-800-273-8255 for help if you are thinking about suicide.

Click here to talk with someone now.

suicideLogo-with-ribbon

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/end-of-life-university/id1033282990

Sign up here for the End-of-Life University mailing list. Visit the EOLU website.

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 68 Holiday Gift Guide for Those Coping With Death and Bereavement

 

This week Dr. Wyatt shares ideas for holiday gifts that are appropriate for caregivers, patients, and the bereaved. Those of us who work with dying patients and bereaved families believe it is important to deal with death openly and frankly, rather than trying to hide or deny the reality that we are all going to die some day. By choosing a gift that acknowledges death you can help foster a healthier approach to the end-of-life in our society and provide an opening for your friend to seek you out for support and conversation.

Here are some “death-aware” gifts that you might consider for various individuals grappling with death and loss this holiday season:

  1. Books: As a reader, books are always one of my favorite gifts to give and receive and there are many that can fit the criteria of “death-aware”. Here are just a few of those books:
    1. The Legacy Letters by Carew Papritz consists of a series of letters from a dying father to his unborn children. This small book is profound and impactful but not too confronting about death and dying. Since it has a masculine perspective on life and death this would be a great gift for a man who may not resonate with some of the other books listed here.
    2. A Call from Spooner Street by Carol Ascher is a good read for an adult child dealing with the death of an elderly parent.
    3. Connecting the Dots and Support for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers by Judith London are wonderful books for caregivers of dementia patients.
    4. The Last Adventure of Life by Rev. Maria Hoaglund is full of helpful tips for families dealing with the dying of a loved one at home.
    5. Final Gifts by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley is another wonderful book for families with a loved one nearing death that deals with unique deathbed experiences and communications.
    6. Safe Passage by Molly Fumia is an inspirational little book of daily devotions for one who is grieving.
    7. Turning the Corner on Grief Street by Rev. Terri Daniel is appropriate for someone in the later stages of grief who is ready for a spiritually transformative look at grief.
    8. Home Funeral Ceremonies by Donna Belk and Kateyanne Unullisi is a beautiful book of rituals and ceremonies for a family comfortable with having their loved one die and receive after-death care at home.
    9. What Really Matters by Karen Wyatt MD is a book of stories about hospice patients, their families and the process of discovering what really matters in death as well as life.
    10. Find additional recommended books in Episode 56.
  1. Music Music is a matter of personal preference but here are some lovely choices for those near the end-of-life:
    1. Walking Each Other Home by The Threshold Choir consists of songs appropriate for the bedside of a dying patient.
    2. Rosa Mystica and The Geography of the Soul by Therese Schroeder-Sheker contain beautiful harp and vocal music for the dying produced by her Chalice of Repose Project.
    3. Graceful Passages by Gary Malkin is a combination CD and Gift book with music and the spoken word for anyone exploring the issues of life and death.
  1. Hello Game (formerly called “My Gift of Grace”) This game is a fun and inspirational tool for creating conversations about death and dying. It would be a great gift for a family facing future loss (which actually describes all of our families) who need some help talking about the end-of-life. The questions contained in the game provide a gentle introduction to a difficult subject.
  1. Memory Quilt or Pillow Favorite clothing items like T-shirts, ties, skirts or dresses can be used to make beautiful memorial quilts or pillows. This might be a thoughtful gift for someone close to you who is grieving a loved one if you have access to those clothing items.
  1. Ceremonial Supplies You might package together one of the suggested books or CD’s along with some of these supplies to help families create rituals for the dying process and for grief:
    1. Incense or sage
    2. Essential oils such as lavender, frankincense, lemon, sandalwood, tea tree. Read about aromatherapy for the dying here.
    3. Candles
    4. Handmade paper for writing notes
    5. Journal
  1. Gifts for Caregivers If you know someone caring for a loved one during this holiday season be sure to offer a little extra TLC or support. Stress levels can increase greatly for caregivers at this time of year with an influx of visitors and extra tasks to perform. Here are some thoughtful ideas:
    1. Gift certificate for a massage or “spa day”
    2. Homemade “coupon” book with redeemable certificates for help with errands, housecleaning, laundry, cooking, or respite care
    3. Gift cards for local restaurants that provide home delivery
    4. Punch card for a local yoga studio or gym along with offers of respite care so the caregiver can get away at least once a week
    5. Provide an outing for the patient including transportation and companionship to give the caregiver a break
    6. “Fidget Blanket” for a dementia patient to keep hands occupied
    7. DVD for the patient of a favorite movie or sporting event (especially old musicals, comedies and TV shows from the 1960’s)
    8. CD for the patient of music from the 1940’s and 50’s
    9. Invitation for a “lunch date” for the caregiver along with respite care for the patient
    10. Create a “Memory Book” for the patient of old photos, newspaper clippings and special documents from the past.

These suggestions are just a beginning to help you start thinking creatively about how to give a meaningful and fitting gift to a loved one facing death, dying or grief this holiday season. Spend some time searching for the perfect present that honors death and supports the one experiencing this difficult path.

But remember, there is no substitute for your presence, which is far more important than any other gift you can give. Be willing to spend time with your friend or loved one, even when you don’t know what to say and can do nothing more than sit in silence. Offering your calm and loving attention in the midst of a busy holiday season can be a gift for you, as well.

Wishing you many blessings this holiday season! Go to Patreon.com/eolu if you’d like to support this podcast and End-of-Life University. Tune in each Monday for a new episode and remember:

Face Your Fears.                BE Ready.                Love Your Life.

 

 

End of Life, EOLPodcast, Grief

Ep. 24 The Many Paths of Grief with Karen Wyatt MD

In this podcast I will discuss eight tips for coping with grief I have learned through the many interviews I’ve conducted in the past for End-of-Life University. One of the common threads I’ve found in the stories of my guests for EOLU is that most of us have experienced the death of a loved one in the past and that our current interest in the end-of-life arena has been inspired in one way or another by that death and our subsequent grief process.

You will learn tips for coping with grief, practical suggestions for applying those tips to your own life situation and how to navigate the journey of grief that can be dark and lonely at times.