I am happy to say that two people were very offended by the simplicity, narrowness of Grief or Non-Judgment. The reason I feel happy is that 46% of you took the time to open this and 26% of you responded on Facebook. We are ENGAGING as a community. Thirty-three percent of you felt GRIEF. The remainder Non-Judgment. Holly’s blog post was offering you a choice for your thoughts The Day of the Inauguration. Do you want to suffering grief or choose to feel peace of non-judgment.

NOW we must Do what is ours to do. Click here to enjoy an interview with Jean Houston, world renowned scholar and author.

The first Wednesday of each month we will have a guest blogger. The third Wednesday will be my voice.

It is February already. The month of Love which can be excruciating when we have no one we are dating, been recently divorced, widowed or dumped by a partner. I was just walking with someone recently divorced who was experiencing Loneliness (Yes with a capital L). That emptiness of no longer having an intimate relationship as a way to deeply grow. Loneliness and sadness had flooded the tapestry of their life.

Read about Broken Heart Syndrome, an actual medical condition then leave your experiences of it on our facebook page to educate others in our community. (Click here to go to the facebook page)

Listen to what guest blogger, Terri Daniel, M.A. CT has to offer those grieving on Valentine’s Day.

If you are mourning the death of a loved one, living with your grief during holidays such as Valentine’s Day can be overwhelming. Everyone around you is celebrating togetherness, but you’re struggling with the fact that your loved one is no longer physically present in your life.

Methods for coping with grief are studied by psychologists and social scientists, but you may be surprised to learn that there is very little research on resilience in the grief process… at least in modern Western society. The fact is that loss and bereavement does not have to devastate us, and we may be more resilient than we think.

The term “grief work” was coined by Sigmund Freud in his 1913 essay, Mourning and Melancholia. He proposed that the mourning process should result in an eventual detachment from the memories and emotions that linked us to the departed. This letting go process is extremely painful, but without breaking that bond (said Freud), we are not able to heal.

Freud was not a fan of spirituality, and what he didn’t realize was that those bonds CANNOT be broken. If he’d followed the lead of mourning practices in other cultures, he might have learned that maintaining those bonds produces healthier outcomes. Most of today’s grief counselors know this, and we now understand grief as a series of tasks that include what researcher William Worden calls “relocating the deceased” in one’s life.

Think about how powerful that word is… relocating. It has both a physical and a non-physical application. In the three-dimensional world where we gather with family during the holidays, send Valentine cards or light birthday candles, the departed is not physically present in that location. But from a metaphysical perspective, many of us sense or understand that the person has merely moved to a different location in time/space. And knowing this can help us create meaningful rituals to make the milestone dates a little less heartbreaking.

So this year, instead of focusing on the absence of your loved one, focus on their presence by inviting them to the festivities. Create symbolic representations and rituals, for example, making a Valentine card and then burning it in a ceremony that sends your love “up” to the spirit world via the smoke. Or cook their favorite dinner and invite friends to share it with you.

Sad feelings are more easily healed and balanced when we invite them in rather than push them away. Recognizing that our loved ones are still very much a part of us can provide some relief from pain and open the possibility of finding joy in life again.

Rev. Terri Daniel, MA, CT

Founder, The Afterlife Conference

Interfaith Chaplaincy, Bereavement Support

Guest blogger, Terri Daniel, MA, CT is hospice and hospital-trained clinical chaplain certified in death, dying and bereavement by the Association of Death Education and Counseling. She conducts workshops throughout the U.S. to help the dying and the bereaved find healing through meditative, ritual and therapeutic processes that focus on inner transformation rather than external events. Terri is the author of three books on death and grief, and is the founder of the Death Awareness Institute and the annual Death and Afterlife Awareness Conference.

Broken Heart Syndrome

Many us were amazed — but not surprised — when actress Debbie Reynolds died the day after her daughter Carrie Fisher died. Both deaths were unanticipated, and many experts attribute this to something called “the broken heart syndrome,” where someone dies within days, hours or minutes of a loved one’s departure.

Janice Bangs, AMNW TV Producer reached out to me on January 3rd.

Click here to listen to the interview on AMNW discussing Broken Heart Syndrome with program host, Helen Raptis.

Click here to share your story of Death by Broken Heart with our Facebook Community.

You are invited to post there whenever you wish. We are a Beloved Community. The whole purpose of what I do is to offer awakening and different responses to grief so people have education, tools and recognize Grief as the Powerful Teacher it is. Then they do not get stuck in grief as I did.