When my son passed away, I wished my family and friends would have researched grief and loss and had an idea of how to support me. Most didn't. And I didn't ask anyone for help. That wasn't smart of me and also, not the best recipe for healing. I hope this list will help you and your clinic family to have a better experience.
I love that you all are so proactive and interested in learning about how you can support one another
I tried to keep the list of resources short and manageable but grief is complex and everyone has different needs so ...
I realize wading through a long list and clicking on a bunch of links may feel like too much. If this is too overwhelming, I'd be happy to talk one-on-one. You can email me, text me, call me (though cell reception at my house is terrible so pick that option last). We can arrange a meeting. Whatever works for you.
Sending love to you all
ANY BABY CAN
Free grief counseling for families who have lost a child 0 - 17 years of age.
They have a referral form where you can refer a family or friend in need related to the death.
I'm not a big fan of "meditation" in the traditional sense but I do find listening to meditation music very soothing and healing.
Trained counselors are there to listen, free of charge, to what’s going on. Take advantage of their great kindness. Vent with an objective individual.
You don’t have to be ‘suicidal’ to call them, but if you are, don't hesitate to call!
- Boystown National Hotline -800-448-3000 or Text VOICE to 20121, https://www.boystown.org/hotline/Pages/default.aspx
- Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696
- Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-8433
- LifeLine: 1-800-273-8255
This organization has support groups all over the US. A GriefShare support group is a safe, welcoming place where people understand the difficult emotions of grief. Through the 13-week group, you’ll discover what to expect in the days ahead and what’s “normal” in grief. Since there are no neat, orderly stages of grief, you’ll learn helpful ways of coping with grief, in all its unpredictability—and gain solid support each step of the way.
Helping Parents Heal Facebook Group
I've found a lot of online support groups are incredibly depressing. Most members are new in grief and the majority of posts are raw and gut wrenching and very hard to take. This group is different. There are new people who post about their pain but there are also a lot of senior members who are there to give encouragement. It's a very active group with many people reaching out for support but even more people giving help and support and hope.
find relief in grief (Text Message Grief Support)
1-3 text messages a week with resources, tools, tips, inspiration, motivation, and encouragement.
To see sample messages from the archive, click HERE.
"Why Me God?" The surprising answer that will stop the questions spinning in your head and show you the way forward.
Tackles the inevitable questions after loss and explains the way ahead.
"Waterbugs and Dragonflies - A Parable of the Afterlife by Doris Stickney
Great for people of any age but may be especially helpful as a tool to discuss death and the afterlife with young children. This sweet story brought me great comfort in the days immediately following Jackson's death. I've had a "thing" for dragonflies ever since. And I think Jackson shows up sometimes to say "Hi" masquerading as a dragonfly.
I don't have names of specific grief counselors to recommend because I've never had anyone report a good experience Most therapists are not trained specifically in grief. But there is one program I wholeheartedly recommend:
- I had an amazing experience with the Grief Recovery Method, so much so that I became a certified Grief Recovery Specialist.
- I don't think people in early grief will be thinking about this kind of program and that's a good thing. I'd say it isn't for those in the 1st year or two depending on the situation. People in grief are highly resistant to the idea of feeling better ... It feels like a betrayal, it brings on feelings of guilt, it's kind of unthinkable for a long while. But after year 2-ish, this program is absolutely incredible. I didn't learn about it until I was a decade into my grief journey. I wish I'd known about it LONG before then.
- Healing After Loss (Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief) by Martha Hickman
- When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold Kushner
- Healing a Grieving Heart, 100 Practical Ideas - book series by Alan Wolfelt (there are different books for different losses). Each of the 100 ideas is presented on 1 page ... VERY good for those with grief brain who can barely concentrate.
- Good Grief by Granger Westberg. This book is short and simple but still good. I wrote a book summary that will give you the essential concepts asap