It is human nature to share ideas and opinions with others. At times, it can be difficult to distinguishing the truth from an opinion freely given. Below are resources that may assist you in your personal growth along your grief journey. You determine, from what you learned if the information can assist you in your personal growth or not. The pain of grief comes in many different shades. As unique individuals we feel and respond differently. Discover your healing path with the help of a skilled grief counselor.
“Just as people do not live alike, they do not die alike. Death and dying occur in social context.”
– Cultural Competency in Grief and Loss, by Robin Florelli, MSW, LCSW, and Wanda Jenkins, MHS.
The resources provided below are a variety of recommended readings that may assist you or someone you love in the grieving process.
You can shed tears that she is gone,
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her only that she is gone,
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what she’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
– David Harkins
Changes in lifestyle and outlook can affect longevity!
As we think about the prospect of living longer, millions of us are taking more responsibility for our own health. We’re realizing that the choices we make each day are more important than an occasional visit to the doctor’s office.
As a result, we are seeking more and better information to help us make healthier decisions, and tools for lifestyle changes that lead us toward physical and mental fitness and enhance our well-being, not just treating our ailments.
We also need to focus on things like building strong social connections and reducing loneliness and social isolation, realizing a sense of purpose, and developing a more positive, optimistic outlook on aging. Social connections are important to your health. People with close friend relationships are more likely to get plenty of sleep, eat healthy foods, maintain peace of mind and have less stress, engage in brain health activities and take on new challenges and hobbies.
Loneliness is the new smoking – according to one researcher, it is equally as bad for you as inhaling 15 cigarettes each day. Studies show that loneliness can shave eight (8) years off life expectancy, and that it has a big negative effect on quality of life. The mortality risk for loneliness is greater than that of obesity. Social isolation of older adults is associated with an estimated $6.7 billion in additional Medicare spending annually. Here in the United States, Care More, based in California, became the first U.S. health care provider group to directly address loneliness and its impact on health.
Having a purpose in life is also important to health and is a key factor to aging successfully. A sense of purpose for many is more important than making money, and it’s associated with a wide range of better health outcomes. Evidence shows that optimism about aging has an impact on our health, adding 7.5 years to our lives. Those with an upbeat view of aging are more likely to fully recover from severe disabilities, have a larger hippocampus (a part of the brain that affects memory), show less anatomical evidence of Alzheimer’s on an MRI, and have up to an 80% lower risk of a cardiovascular event.
We are discovering that changes in lifestyle and medical advances can increase our life span and shrink the number of years spent with a disability. But it’s also vital that we have something to get us up in the morning and someone to share our lives with – and approach each day with a smile.
*Excerpts from the June 2018 AARP Bulletin
Look, the trees
their own bodies
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
the long tapers
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
“In Blackwater Woods” by Mary Oliver, from American Primitive. © Back Bay Books, 1983.