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Refuge In Grief

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Validation and practical tools for living with grief. Corporate consultation, creative writing courses, and two super good books. www.refugeingrief.com
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If you're living an intense grief, you don't need to be "fixed." You need support, validation, and acknowledgement as you trudge forward in this unexpected life. Order my best selling book, It's Ok You're Not Ok: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn't Understand, wherever books are sold. Find support, writing courses, information, education, and other good stuff at the website: refugeingrief.com It's grief support that doesn't suck. Come see. ...

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Featured Articles:

2021-09-15

Worrying that people will think you're no longer sad if you smile or laugh is #PerfectlyNormal in grief. We know that it's simply part of being human to laugh or smile in the midst of deep grief. Different emotions don't cancel each other out. Even so, people make assumptions about our behavior, one of which is to assume that smiles or laughter mean you're not sad anymore.⁣n⁣nIt's like everybody around you is holding their breath waiting for any sign that you're OK. So if you smile or laugh or make a joke, they look at that and think, 'oh good, now life can get back to normal,' when you know that there's no such thing as "back to normal."⁣n⁣nHow about you? Do you worry about doing things that people will mistake for signs that you're no longer sad? If you've had people assume that you're "over it," how did you respond? The more we tell the truth about what grief is really like, the more people realize they're not alone. ⁣

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2021-09-15

How do you deal with people who say they're worried you're "stuck in your grief"? Read this article to find out what we mean, individually and culturally, when we say that somebody is stuck in their grief and why the whole idea of being stuck is yet another way that people pathologize grief.

2021-09-14

There’s big legislation being considered next month that would protect grieving people in the workplace. ⁣n⁣nCurrently, you can easily be fired if you take time off. Obviously, that’s trash. If this legislation passes, grieving people will be allowed 5 days of bereavement leave (up from zero days), and employees can’t be fired for taking time off after a death. ⁣n⁣nThere are 16 politicians who will decide whether this legislation passes. We’re in the public opinion part of the process now. ⁣n⁣nWe need to flood the phone lines of 16 politicians with stories about grief and why it’s not cool to fire someone for taking time off after a death. ⁣n⁣nWe need grieving people to make it personal for these politicians. It’s a kick shit over, all hands on deck moment. ⁣n⁣nWe can actually improve things for grieving people on a federal level if this legislation passes. ⁣n⁣nAll the details - including ideas for what to say when you call - are at this link: https://live-evermore.org/protect-our-jobs-congress/n⁣nEach office’s phone number is connected to their name right on the webpage, so you can call their offices by tapping on the number. ⁣n⁣n🚩NOTE🚩: You don’t have to live in the senator’s jurisdiction to call them.⁣n⁣nYou can call each office more than once between now and Sept. 15th, when Senator Schumer will review the legislation. ⁣n⁣nFollow the link and call everyone on the list of 16! Tell everyone you know to call! Please spread the info and the link around - grieving people REPRESENT: https://live-evermore.org/protect-our-jobs-congress/ ⁣n⁣n#GrieversRepresent #GriefLegislation

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2021-09-14

I bet you know what the stages of grief are, even if you don't think of yourself as much of a psychology-type person.⁣n⁣nThe stages of grief were developed by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in the 1960s, as she listened to and observed people living with terminal diagnoses. What began as a way to understand the emotions of the dying became a way to strategize grief.⁣n⁣nThe griever is expected to move through a series of clearly delineated stages: denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, eventually arriving at "acceptance," at which time their "grief work" is complete.⁣n⁣nThis widespread interpretation of the stages model suggests that there is a right way and a wrong way to grieve, that there is an orderly and predictable pattern that everyone will go through.⁣n⁣nIn her later years, Kübler-Ross wrote that she regretted writing the stages the way that she did, that people mistook that as being both linear and universal.⁣n⁣nThe stages of grief were not meant to tell you what you should feel, and when exactly you should feel it. They were not meant to dictate whether you are doing your grief "correctly" or not. Her stages, whether apply to the dying or those left living, were meant to normalize and validate what someone MIGHT experience in the swirl of chaos that is loss and death and grief. They were meant to give comfort, not create a cage.⁣n⁣nThe truth is, you can't force an order on pain. You can't make grief tidy or predictable. Grief is as individual as love: every life, every path, is unique. There is no pattern, and no linear progression. Despite what many "experts" believe, there are no stages of grief.⁣n⁣nTo do grief well depends solely on individual experience. It means listening to your own reality. It means acknowledging pain and love and loss. It means allowing the truth of these things the space to exist without any artificial tethers or stages or requirements.⁣n⁣nGrief is part of love, and love evolves. Your love, and your grief, are bigger than any stage could ever be. The only way to contain it is to let it be free.⁣n⁣nYou'll find ways to live inside your grief, and in doing so, it will find its own right place.

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2021-09-14

There is nothing wrong with longing for a populated life. But that’s not how we talk about loneliness, is it. Much like with grief, expressions of loneliness are typically met with platitudes and dismissal. It’s like you’re failing some secret test by not being 100% self-contained. Read this and learn why loneliness isn't a personal failing.

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2021-09-14

What's ONE thing that always reminds you of your person? Let us know in the comments.

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2021-09-14

After a year of countless loss many people are feeling like they don't have the right to grieve the cumulative everyday losses or losses unrelated to the pandemic that they've experienced - are still experiencing - because "other people have it worse." But comparing and then dismissing your own grief is the opposite of helpful. nn"One of the biggest challenges with disenfranchised grief is getting the person who is suffering to acknowledge the legitimacy of their own grief. Once you accept that your grief is real, there are steps you can take to help you cope."nnMore on this at the link.nnHow about you? Have you found it difficult to acknowledge the losses you've experienced over the past year? What ways have you found to acknowledge your own grief? Let us know in the comments.

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2021-09-14

Having to emotionally prepare for every day & task is #PerfectlyNormal in grief. The lived reality of grief is full of so many reminders and grief land mines that the non-grieving wouldn't even think of. The effort to simply join the world is Herculean and interacting with humans is often exhausting. Everyday tasks and decisions are overwhelming. Every last little thing is emotionally loaded and taxing and requires more energy than you have. ⁣n⁣nIf you feel like you have to brace yourself and emotionally prepare for each new day or every single task, you are not alone.⁣⁣n⁣⁣nHow about you? Do you currently feel or have you been through periods where it felt like you had to emotionally prepare yourself for each day or task you need to accomplish? The more we talk about this stuff, the more people realize they're not alone. ⁣⁣

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2021-09-14

How many of you out there are introverts? When you lost your love, did you lose the one person who understood? Are there ways your natural temperament has made grief feel harder or less hard? Read this and then come back and share with us in the comments.

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