Happy Blog-i-versary to What’s Your Grief!

General / General : Eleanor Haley

That’s right: This Sunday (December 15th, 2013) marks our one year blogiversary! We can hardly believe it. Don’t worry if you didn’t get us anything, your tolerance for our long-winded, occasionally snarky, occasionally emotional, always typo-laden posts means more than anything you could have sent us.

In celebration of our blogiversary, we are going to forgo our usual Friday Favorites and instead highlight a favorite post from each month of our first year. We wrote some of our favorite posts in the first few months, when only about ten people were paying attention (Thank you ten people, we love you!). So, obviously, we’re excited for the opportunity to dust off some of the old content. Throughout the week, we’ll also be sharing some of our runner-up favorites on Facebook and Twitter, so keep an eye out if you want to walk with us down memory lane.

Okay here we go, starting with December 2012…

December 2012 – Playing Cards and Keeping Memories Alive

Playing Cards and Keeping Memories Alive

We’ve recently reposted a lot of our early content about dealing with the holidays, but we’ve yet to highlight this post about keeping family traditions alive in new ways.  In our practical plan for dealing with grief during the holidays, we discuss how some family traditions will have to change after a death.

At first, this change in tradition seems hard because it highlights the many ways our lives have changed since the death. On second glance though, one can often find comfort in being able to adapt and preserve elements of old traditions in the face of profound change; just as we as grievers must learn to live differently.

January 2013 – Childhood Grief: The Influence of Age on Understanding

As if it weren’t hard enough for adults to navigate grief, many of us also have to figure out how to support children affected by loss. How to explain death to children and how to support grieving children are some of the most head-scratching questions adults are faced with; and, unfortunately, many grown-up’s don’t realize the importance of a child’s developmental stage.

In this post, we break down typical grief responses by age, so you (the grown-up) can make appropriate choices about language and interventions. We recommend this post to any adult trying to support a grieving child.

February 2013 – Grief and Mindfulness: Spending Time in the Present

Here, Litsa introduces mindfulness and makes the point that it can be accessible to anyone (not just all-or-nothing, new age-y, raw-food lovin’ people). She talks about how we can learn a lot from Buddhist concepts without becoming a Buddhist. We can learn about mindfulness without moving to an ashram. Within these teachings are interesting concepts that regular people can apply to everyday life.

March 2013 – Comparing Grief: A Useless Endeavor

We’ve had quite a few comments on our site lately about people comparing grief and how it feels for one to have their grief compared to another’s.  One of our guest authors, Nick Frye, noted in a post that:

“…every relationship is unique and therefore we all have our own unique experience with grief… After all, even a well-meaning friend who has had a parallel loss does not know how you feel. What we all do share is the experience of a broken heart because we lost someone/thing we love.”

We couldn’t have agreed with Nick more and, in this post, we break down the impossibility and futility of comparing grief between both similar and dissimilar losses.

April 2013 – Grief Makes You Crazy

I’m sure regular readers won’t be surprised to hear this is a hallmark post for us. I know it sounds weird, but the idea that grief makes you completely and utterly crazy is a concept that Litsa and I hold near and dear to our hearts.

It’s a fact that allows us to find levity and—if you ask us—justifies (or at least explains) all the angry, sad, shocked, irritable, forgetful, numb, tired, guilty, depressed, erratic, frustrated, and derranged stuff we do, say, and feel after a loss.

May 2013 – Sesame Street: Talking About Grief Before It Was Cool

sesame street and grief

I was watching a Sesame Street clip the other day when my dad commented that kids don’t watch Sesame Street anymore. I was like “Whaaa???? Yes they do!” He then responded, “Do YOUR kids ever watch it?” and I was like, “What? No! But that’s beside the point!” Then I felt sad because I knew he was right, my kids would rather watch porous pants-wearing pineapple dwellers than Sesame Street any day. I accept any and all blame.

Anyway! Sesame Street is still awesome for a lot of reasons, but #1 on our list is because they have sensitively, consistently, and comprehensively covered death.

June 2013 – Father’s Day Sulking Without Apology

Even though Father’s Day is months away, this kick-ass sulking guide can be used on any occasion. Here, Litsa details six action items for sulking like a pro.

This is one of my favorite posts ever because, LET’S BE HONEST, sometimes sulking feels darn good. Sad music, crappy television, a good book, comfortable sweat pants… How could you go wrong?

July 2013 – How to Break Up With Your Therapist

We are big proponents of seeking professional grief support and know that it can be tremendously helpful when struggling after a loss. Unfortunately, just like with any new relationship, things don’t always work out the way we expect. Finding a therapist can be tough and sometimes the relationship just doesn’t work out: You don’t connect, you aren’t getting what you want or need out of the relationship, you need to see other people, etc. Sometimes things go well for a while, until suddenly they don’t.

Knowing whether or not you should break up with your grief counselor can be tough, and navigating the breakup can be awkward. No one tells you how to break up with your therapist! In this post, we go through a few of the circumstances that may have you contemplating a split.

August 2013 – The 8 Horcruxes of Grief: The Harry Potter Grief Model

Harry Potter grief

You know we have a thing for Harry Potter around here, right?  So it should come as no surprise that the adventures of Harry, Ron, and Hermione would serve as inspiration for a completely unsubstantiated and fictional grief model that makes total sense.

The Harry Potter Grief Model theorizes that, in order to defeat grief, individuals must overcome the eight (some people say seven, but we say eight) horcruxes of grief. Don’t worry if you’re not a huge Harry Potter fan, we provide explanations so anyone can understand the thoery without a Harry Potter decoder ring.

September 2013 – Helping a Teenager Deal with Grief

An adolescent’s grief can be impacted by any number of things, including but not limited to: their unique relationship with the individual, how the individual died, their support system, past experiences with death, and their own unique strengths and weaknesses when it comes to dealing with stress, adversity, and high emotion.  Grownups seeking to support an adolescent should try to remember that a wide range of responses are considered ‘normal,’ and there’s no one formula for providing support.

All that being said, teenagers come with their own set of grief considerations: their search for identity, differences in how they express emotions, dependency on grown-ups, and impulsivity are a few factors this post delves into.

October 2013 – Coping with Cooking After a Death

Bad news, you still have to eat when you’re grieving. This is made even more complicated when the cook of the family has died and you are left to figure out how to feed yourself, or worse, your kids. I mean, it’s one thing to starve yourself and subsist on Big Macs… but it’s even worse when you have kids at your table.

Maybe you just don’t feel like cooking, or maybe you can’t stand the thought of cooking for just yourself (when you used to cook for two). We know, grief makes you feel like crap… But adding to that by not eating well will only make you feel worse. So before you give up on the idea of cooking, consider some of our tips to get (back) into the kitchen after a death.

November 2013 – Talking to Children About Death: The Danger of Euphemism

There are over 200 euphemisms related to death and dying. and we’re all guilty of using them at one time or another. There are many adults who prefer euphemism to some of the more unpleasant words associated with death and dying; however, this post illustrates why it is never a good idea to use euphemism when talking to a child about death.

And here we are, back at December 2013. Thank you for celebrating with us today! We are truly grateful for you and for all our readers. When we set out to write this blog, our goal was to help a handful of people… and now it seems like our community grows by a few more each day. We know you might only need to walk with us for a short while, but we’re grateful to be your companion when things are good AND when things are bad.

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Let’s be grief friends.

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