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What is Mindful Grieving?

Grief is powerful and universal. It is something we all experience at some point in our lives. Most of us are poorly equipped to deal with it effectively because we resist the pain, fatigue, feelings and continue longing for what was. If you had a flat tire, would you change it with your bare hands? Of course not, you would use tools. So why not learn the tools of Mindful Grieving to move through grief? You can practice Mindful Grieving by: 1) Recognizing the many facets of grief: fatigue and tired to the bone; overwhelm and don’t know what to do next; constant changes in emotion; aches and pain in the body. 2) Feeling, listening to and experiencing the fear of grief vanish by taking time each day to be in grief. Give it your attention by talking to your loved one’s photo, crying regularly in the shower or the car. 3) Take really good care of yourself for that entire first year. Ask: “What is the most kind and loving thing I can do for Myself in this moment?”  ... read more

Why Should I Share My Story?

The process of “life review,” or compiling and sharing life stories, can be a powerful experience for both storytellers and their loved ones. It is an opportunity to preserve memories, bring generations together, and create a lasting legacy. In addition, studies have shown that telling your story can enhance mental and emotional well-being by enabling you to: • Derive a sense of accomplishment from past achievements • Resolve old conflicts and feelings of ambivalence • Reaffirm past and present values • Create fulfilling future goals How do I get started? You can find a variety of resources both online and in print. You may also want to contact a personal historian: a dedicated professional who can help you tell your story. Services offered may include: Audio recordings Legacy letters Memoir and tribute books Videos Personal mentoring and workshops Transcription, editing, design, & printingArticle provided by The Portland Chapter of the Association of Personal Historians, which has members throughout Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington. Many offer free, one – hour consultations to answer questions and discuss the vision of your project.For a link to this resource and more visit... read more

Stanford Letter Project

Did you know? New research at Stanford University shows that most doctors are reluctant to talk to their patients about what matters most at end-of-life. The Standford Letter Project will help you write a simple letter to your doctor about your values and life goals. Many people have written their letters and given them to their doctors. Write your letter now! The link at the bottom of the page will take you to the letter in different languages. Dear Doctor, My Doctor’s name _________________________________ RE: What matters most to me at the end of my life I have been reading and thinking about end-of-life issues lately. I realize how important it is that I communicate my wishes to you and my family. I know that you are very busy. You may find it awkward to talk to me about my end-of-life wishes or you may feel that it is too early for me to have this conversation. So I am writing this letter to clarify what matters most to me. My name ______________________________________ What Matters Most to Me Examples: Being at home, doing gardening, going to church, playing with my grandchildren ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ My important future life milestones Examples: my 10th wedding anniversary, my grandson high school graduation, birth of my granddaughter ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Here is how we prefer to handle bad news in my family Examples: We talk openly about it, we shield the children from it, we do not like to talk about it, we do not tell the patient ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________ Here is how we make medical decisions in our family Examples: I make the decision... read more

7 Ways to Support a Friend on Mother’s Day After A Loss

Did you know that Mother’s Day originated from one woman’s idea to honor her late mother? In 1905, Anne Jarvis decided to create a day to keep the memory of her mother alive and honor her work as a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil war. Anne’s intent was to encourage others to show their appreciation for their own mother by giving her a hand written and personalized note of thanks.

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Short Eulogy Quotes, Poems, and Sympathy Card Quotes

During times of grief and providing support to a loved one, can sometimes leave you speechless. What do you write in the sympathy card? What do you say in a eulogy? We hope the following list of short eulogy quotes and poems, can help you find the perfect words to express your feelings. And if you have a favorite, do share with us via a comment. Eulogy Quotes, or Sympathy Card Poems Grief is the price we pay for love.
-Unknown Author Until we meet again, may God
 Hold you in the palm of his hand.
- Irish Prayer Tears water our growth.
- William Shakespeare When someone you love becomes a memory,
the memory becomes a treasure.
- Unknown Author Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time… It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other. by Leo Buscaglia If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.
-Unknown Author May you find comfort in the arms of an angel.
- Unknown Author ‘Say not in grief ‘he is no more’ but live in thankfulness that he was’
- Hebrew proverb Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones
shine down to let us know they are happy.
- Unknown Author As you danced in the light with joy, love lifted you. As you brushed against this world so gently, you lifted us. – – – T.C. Ring The memory of a good person is a blessing.
- Proverb 10:7 When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced
Live your life in a manner that when you die, the world... read more

Burial at Sea

According to the Cremation Association of North America, by 2018, the US cremation rate is projected to reach 50.6%. And as the green movement continues, more and more families and individuals are looking out to the sea as their final resting place. Burial at sea is offered by a number of companies across the nation, as well as the military. Burial at sea may include burial in a casket, burial sewn in sailcloth, burial in an urn or scattering of cremated remains. Depending on the deceased, the bereaved will have to choose a company that will perform the burial or memorial at sea. Also, there are certain military restrictions that will need to be taken into consideration if a veteran or active duty person is to be buried at sea. Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency’s ocean and coastal unit, oversees burials in American waters based on geographical regions. And, based on where you conduct the burial, different paperwork is required, so be sure to do the proper research and submit your paperwork. Some Options Available To You and Your Loved Ones As you explore this option, here’s a few services that you can expect to find: Captain’s Service If the family can’t join for the ash scattering ceremony, you can generally hire a captain with proper licenses to conduct the ash scattering ceremony for you. The remains can be transported to the burial at sea firm, and the firm handles all of the proper documentation as well. The cost starts from $150 depending on the region. Memorial Services by Family For families who wish to plan for their personal... read more

It’s National Healthcare Decisions Day

Today is National Healthcare Decisions Day – A day to consider your options and share your wishes regarding the type of medical treatment and end of life care you want to receive in the event that you cannot speak for yourself. Why does this matter? Let me share my experience with you…. At age 21, I watched my father’s health deteriorate after he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Although he was given the option to make his medical care and end of life wishes known he did not give any instructions to his family or the medical team treating him. What happened next was horrible and a memory I cannot erase from my mind. The cancer quickly progressed to his brain which left him incapacitated – his brain had shut down.  My mother and I were forced to confront the end of his life, before he even died. It has been nearly 13 years since that Summer day when my family and I sat with a nurse to decide my father’s fate. I would not wish this upon anyone. THIS is why National Healthcare Decisions Day matters! Yes, it is true….most people do not want to think about their own demise but let’s face it – modern technology hasn’t made it possible for any of us to live forever….at least not yet! We recognize that it can be hard to get the ball rolling, which is why we have some pointers to start the conversation as well as links to the legal forms for all 50 state advance directive forms. Today, we challenge you to start the conversation about end of life planning... read more

Grief Before Death – It Happens

Grief is a natural component of human adaptation to change. While bereavement usually refers to those who have lost a loved one, anticipatory (or preparatory) grief occurs both in the dying and in those close to them. Anticipatory grief can develop in response to receiving a diagnosis of a life-limiting illness, as well as anywhere along the course of illness, particularly as symbolic losses accumulate. This can include loss of physical abilities, autonomy, control, predictability, mental clarity, role or status in family, future hopes and dreams, sense of belonging, and sense of purpose Know that grief tends to fluctuate and experiencing joy and grief simultaneously is possible. Emotional ups and downs are a “normal” part of facing a life-limiting illness. Share your thoughts and feelings with a family member or friend who is able to supportively listen, without giving advice or passing judgment. Try to stick to your regular routines to maintain a sense of normalcy, making adaptations to adjust for any physical or cognitive changes. Develop a strong working relationship with your medical providers so you can feel comfortable getting your questions answered and sharing your fears or concerns. If your emotional “downs” stick with you (rather than fluctuate), or your grief is accompanied by poor self-esteem or thoughts of actively harming yourself, consider meeting with a social worker, chaplain, counselor, or psychologist for professional support. Make sure your clinician has experience working with individuals and families facing serious medical illness. By Meghan Marty, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Transitions Professional... read more

Life After Death – Facebook Let’s You Choose a Legacy Contact

Facebook Legacy Contact Feature Released Over 8,000 Facebook users die each day, yet Facebook’s terms and conditions haven’t kept up with the every growing issues surrounding death of social media users. Today, Facebook announced that it will now allow users to designate a Legacy Contact who can manage their account when they pass away. Proof of death through an obituary or death certificate will need to be provided and once the user’s death has been authenticated the designated legacy contact will be able to: Post an announcement, memorial information or special message on the top of the person’s timeline. Respond to recent friend requests from family members and friends who were not yet connected on Facebook Modify the deceased profile picture and cover photo. It is also possible for Facebook users to give their legacy contact permission to download an archive of photos, posts and profile information that had previously been shared on Facebook. Considering how much content we all share on Facebook on a daily basis, the Facebook Legacy Contact feature could be quite helpful if you’re contemplating digital legacy plans for yourself and your family. To get started —> Open your settings. Choose Security and then Legacy Contact at the bottom of the page. Facebook has also redesigned memorialized profiles (a user’s profile that’s no longer “active”) by adding “Remembering” above the deceased’s name and making it possible for their legacy contact to pin a post to the top of memorialized profile Timeline. This provides the community with a signal, and the opportunity to pay tribute to the deceased. View the official press release from Facebook here. If you’ve gone down the... read more

Holiday Conversation Starters

Holidays like Thanksgiving are a wonderful time to have meaningful conversation with your friends and family about what matters most. How do I do that? Here are a few conversation starters that can help!  Do you ever think about what our lives will look like 20 years from now? Where you want to live? What will you value most then? My best friend is Sarah – I want her to be there for me during the good and bad times. What about you? Who comes to mind for you? Oh, I love the memory of Grandpa – how would you like to be remembered? Congrats grandma and grandpa on 50 years of marriage. What was the song played at your wedding? What did you love about each other when you were married and has that changed now? Look at how organized Suzy and Steve to throw this wonderful party and dinner spread – I bet you are so organized you have all your “stuff” in order right? There are so many ways to start the conversation that don’t need to bring a party down – let’s just say that we believe that meaningful conversation isn’t to talk about how to brine a turkey 🙂 Life can be truly fulfilling and meaningful if we take a moment to reflect and find the door of opportunity to start these conversations.  ... read more

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