Grief & Loss Information


Grief Masks


October makes me think of Halloween, and Halloween makes me think of masks, and masks remind me that sometimes when we're grieving, we wear masks without even realizing it. We may never stop to think about how other people perceive our appearances, our images and our behaviors. Over time, we may gradually drift into a pattern of "being" that is so familiar to us we never realize that others might be seeing us in a totally different way.

Our pain may have caused us to have an outwardly distorted appearance, even when inwardly we may actually feel we are reconciling to our losses. Some people appear to be continually anger and bitter, when in fact it is only a reflection of their sadness. Even though their inward hostilities have begun to soften and resolve, on the outside they have kept their protective masks of fierceness. In reality, they are starved for love and companionship, but they are afraid to let their true feelings show. What if they were ridiculed, violated or abandoned and therefore hurt anew?

On the other hand, there are those who have adopted a perpetually "sunny" countenance that covers an internal sorrow. Their hearts and minds and faith may be splintered, but they are determined that the people around them will never guess their secret. They may believe that showing sorrow is a weakness that will drive away the people they think they need.

It would appear that masks are psychological props that seem to protect us from something we fear. For some people, self disclosure is as repulsive as public nudity! It seems safer for mask-wearers to endure the lack of support and attention they so sorely need rather than to honestly reveal their innermost feelings.

I wonder what would happen if we all let down our guards and allowed our families, friends, neighbors and co-workers to discover our real pain. Would our revelations really make us any more weak or vulnerable? Would we really be at any more emotional risk? Could we be hurt any more than we've already been?

Naturally, if we take the chance of disclosing our true selves, revealing where we are weak or frightened or hurt, there is always the possibility that we might become prey for the predators. The vultures seem always to be circling. But there is also the chance that we will provide an opportunity for the intelligent, strong and compassionate of our peers to offer their support. Where there is evil, there is also good. Where there is pain, there is also healing. Nature teaches us that in life, there is balance.

Precisely because we have suffered the ultimate wound-the death of one who was truly loved-perhaps eventually we can afford to take more risks. It's a tough issue: Dare we risk the pain of being hurt again if we disclose? Or have we become strong enough and brave enough to take a chance on the rediscovery of love and the richness of new attachments? Is it true that what does not kill us makes us stronger?

Perhaps it becomes a question of giving ourselves enough time to form scar tissue. We may need to proceed cautiously, taking baby-step risks at first, trusting our most private thoughts, feelings and needs to only one or two close and dependable friends. We may need to test the formation of delicate new bondings-even in old relationships!

Gradually, we may be able to uncover enough of our hidden courage to feel safe in abandoning our protective masks and revealing our true feelings-not only to the world at large, but more importantly, to ourselves.

Good Grief Resources (http://www.goodgriefresources.com) was conceived and founded by Andrea Gambill whose 17-year-old daughter died in 1976. Almost thirty years of experience in leading grief support gropus, writing, editing, and founding a national grief-support magazine has provided valuable insights into the unique needs of the bereaved and their caregivers and wide access to many excellent resources. The primary goal of Good Grief Resources is to connect the bereaved and their caregivers with as many bereavement support resources as possible in one, efficient and easy-to-use website directory.


MORE RESOURCES:
16 Best Books about Grief 2019  New York Magazine

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Keanu Reeves: ‘Grief and loss are things that don’t ever go away’  The Irish Times

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Grief support center expands to help Newark residents  NJTV News

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What to Say (and Not to Say) to Someone Grieving a Suicide  The New York Times

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‘Dead to Me’ Deals With Love and Loss. The Stars Speak From Experience.  The New York Times

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The Grant Ran Out, the Job Ended — Go Ahead and Grieve  The Chronicle of Higher Education

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Twins fight for justice in Kaitlyn Sage Patterson’s latest YA fantasy  Knoxville News Sentinel

"The Exalted" continues the story of the rebellious Vi and her long-lost twin, Bo, as they fight against oppression in the kingdom of Alskad.


David Carr's Daughter On The 'Grand Caper' Of Life, And The Grief Of Loss  WFDD

Erin Lee Carr says her father's death "is the most profound loss I will ever experience." Carr's new memoir about family, addiction, mentorship and memory is ...


'Surviving my daughter's sudden death'  BBC News

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Creative arts therapies can help people with dementia socialise and express their grief  The Conversation AU

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I feel grief and relief that I've never had children. Other women must share this | Katherine Baldwin  The Guardian

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Columnist Ezekiel Lim cautions patients and new caregivers about assuming that the acceptance stage of grief means resigning to the inevitable.


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Auburn radio voice, wife die following car crash  ESPN

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Barbara Bush’s Greatest Loss  The Atlantic

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Get Involved Spotlight: Austin Center For Grief And Loss  KUT

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Mary Oliver on Grief and Loss  The New York Times

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Coping With Grief: 7 Things to Remember When Dealing with Loss  On Cancer - Memorial Sloan Kettering

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She lost her dad when she was 14. Now, she's helping kids learn how to mourn.  CNN

Mary Robinson founded the Imagine center for kids to provide what she didn't have after her father died.


Why anxiety should be added to the 5 stages of grief  Washington Post

Our culture fails to make space for such feelings. Here is what we can do.


How To Fall Apart: An Irish female podcast to help you pick up the pieces  image.ie

In this week's column, Lia Hynes writes about her new podcast, How To Fall Apart; a series of conversations with Irish women who've come through it all.


Grief is far more complex than the “five stages” theory suggests  Quartz

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Grief doesn't have five stages  The Outline

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With climate change comes loss and "ecological grief"  Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

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Grieving? Don't overlook potential side effects - Harvard Health Blog  Harvard Health

Maintaining your health while greiving may seem difficult, but paying attention to wellness can help rebuild mental strength and prevent physical illness.


The five stages of grief don't come in fixed steps – everyone feels differently  The Conversation - Australia

The process of grieving can happen in stages. But these stages are rarely experienced in the same way by one bereaved person and another.


Schools fall short when it comes to helping students in grief – here's how they can improve  The Conversation - US

When it comes to helping students who've lost a loved one, educators often don't know what to do or say. A pediatrician offers insights on how schools can ...


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The death of a parent is one of the most emotional and universal human experiences. If a person doesn't know what it's like to deal with the loss of a father or ...


Why We Need to Take Pet Loss Seriously  Scientific American

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Why people who have never seen Notre Dame Cathedral are mourning  Quartz

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“How are you doing?” This is the question I heard relentlessly from friends, co-workers, and acquaintances after my mom died. Most of the time, I wanted to ...


Grief can hurt — in more ways than one - Harvard Health  Harvard Health

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'I am not alone': UMN students' silent grief  Minnesota Daily

Blake Downing is graduating from the University of Minnesota in May and preparing for graduate school at the University of California-Berkeley. In addition to the ...


What the Death of a Child Does to Parents, Psychologically and Biologically  Fatherly

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What Sorry for Your Loss Understands About Grief  The Atlantic

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Good Mourning: An Interactive Arts Festival About Grief and Loss  TheStranger.com

This series invites artists from Seattle and beyond to show work across mediums that addresses grief. Pieces include a panel from the NAMES Project's AIDS ...


How to Talk to a Grieving Customer  Harvard Business Review

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Seasons of grief - Harvard Health Blog  Harvard Health

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Pet Death: Emotional Difficulty for People  Healthline

For some people, the death of a pet can be more difficult than the loss of a relative. Here's why.


After The Loss Of A Loved One, Your Holiday Traditions Change But Hope Endures  NPR

Grief can be amplified this time of year, whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah. Honoring the memory of late family members helps many NPR listeners ...


Examining fathers' grief after miscarriage  William & Mary News

Examining grief: William & Mary School of Education doctoral counseling students conducted a study on the often overlooked grief experienced by fathers after a ...


How Grief Became Joe Biden's 'Superpower'  POLITICO

Two tragedies, 43 years apart, have defined the former vice president's life. Have they also made him a more formidable presidential candidate?


Will I Ever Get Over This Grief?  The New York Times

Nearly four years after the death of her sister, a reader says her pain has only become more pronounced.


Gift Cards Are the New Sympathy Cards  The New York Times

Credits for Seamless, Uber Eats and the like are a very 21st-century way to support a grieving friend.


Nick Cave illuminates love and loss in a letter to a fan  Quartz

Nick Cave is anything but a bad seed. The gloomy musician, artist, writer, and actor who looks a bit like a vampire is, in fact, a romantic who takes relationships ...


At a loss: How losing a loved one can help you take stock of what really matters  NBCNews.com

I'd lost my husband and then both of my parents, but you have to keep on living, even if everything seems to be against you.


Understanding Grief  The New York Times

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The First Holiday Without a Loved One  The Atlantic

For the bereaved, getting through the holidays means figuring out how—and whether—to celebrate as in years past.


Complicated Grief App Designed to Help Military Families Cope with Loss  Columbia University

Feelings of grief after the loss of a loved one are universal. While most people adapt to the loss over a period of time, for some the process is stalled or blocked, ...


Grief groups help students cope with all-too-common trauma and violence  Philadelphia Public School Notebook

He doesn't know why it happened or who did it, but Semaj Brazzle remembers the exact date: June 12, 2018. That was the day when a friend of his, a high ...


‘Like therapy, but better’: The holiday dinner party that makes space for grief  The Washington Post

Christmas was always her father's holiday. Courtney Arnold's dad loved the music. He loved the tree. The two of them would sit side-by-side on the floor, sorting ...


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Families grieving a pregnancy loss hit especially hard by medical bills: ‘I wasn’t prepared at all’  Philly.com

Losing a baby can be expensive as giving birth to one, and is a financial burden emotionally tapped-out families are unprepared to handle.


After The Anger Fades: When Grieving Finally Begins  Forbes

Until you lose someone, it's hard to know what grief will feel like and, even then, your experience will be unique to the situation. In the movies, people hold hands ...


R.I. camp program helps kids cope with grief for lost loved ones  The Providence Journal

Children built sand trays with mementos of people and pets who had died, a craft project designed to help them share their emotions and support one another, ...


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LOTUS group offers support for those grieving a loss  Bismarck Tribune

It was about a month after the death of his wife, Donnie, when Don Lucas of Bismarck started on a journey of sorts.


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In 'Sorry For Your Loss,' Creator Explores How To Survive Grief  Forbes

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'Grief looks different person-to-person': The Dinner Party serves up conversation on loss  Generocity

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She lost her husband, her father and a pregnancy at 31. Now she’s helping others explore grief.  The Washington Post

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Do Animals Experience Grief? | Science  Smithsonian

A growing body of evidence points to how animals are aware of death and will sometimes mourn for or ritualize their dead.


How to overcome grief's health-damaging effects - Harvard Health  Harvard Health

Grieving over the death of a spouse, friend, or family member exposes people to many months of constant stress that can lead to anxiety, depression, trouble…


Blue Christmas: It's the most wonderful time of the year — but what if it's not for you?  USA TODAY

The "holiday blues" — feelings of loneliness, loss or isolation that arise during this time of year — is real. Psychologists share tips to fight it.


Even in Grief, I Still Have Pride  The New York Times

Being part of the disability community means constantly losing friends and allies. I don't expect that to change.


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