| January 2020
New Year's intentions and grief
If you’re grieving this New Year, you may consider setting an intention to create a supportive relationship with your grief. One idea is to use a calendar for mapping out events and occasions connected to your loss. This activity can be helpful for kids too.
Things to consider for your intentions calendar:
1. Particularly poignant days or times of year. No matter how long it’s been since someone died, there may be times that bring grief into sharp focus. Often the lead up can be even more difficult than the day itself, catching people off guard until they make the connection. Planning ahead and being aware of these days might not lessen sadness, anger, or heartbreak, but can reduce the confusion around why those feelings are intensified.
2. Specific tasks related to the loss you want to start or complete. There is no timeline for the emotions and logistics of grief. When it comes to sorting through belongings, deciding what to do with your loved one's cremated ashes, or responding to friends and family, going at the pace which is right for you is what’s really important.
3. Self-care activities that are truly restorative and nourishing. Self-care is as varied as we are. As you sort through self-care ideas, consider what helps your body, mind, and spirit. If you have children, talk with them about self-care and ideas they have for what to do when they need support.
4. Grief breaks and time for recreation and fun. How has grief changed your relationship with fun and recreation? Many people struggle with giving themselves permission to laugh and experience positive emotions. If you have children, talk as a family about activities that foster laughter and ease. For some, being intentional with these activities helps reduce feelings of guilt around having fun again.
5. Rituals to remember and honor the person who died. Many participants in our support groups appreciate having dedicated time for remembering the person who died and thinking about how grief is affecting them. Go at your own pace. If looking at photos is important to you, maybe start with one or two and try adding more as the weeks go by.
For more, visit The Dougy Center website. Top
Global Connections: Dougy in the World
Each quarter, we will feature updates and information about Dougy Center trainings that take place around the globe. Our staff, Dr. Donna Schuurman, Senior Director of Advocacy & Training, and Dr. Monique Mitchell, Director of Translational Research & Curriculum Development, respond to dozens of invitations each year to provide training, consultations, and workshops in cities in the U.S. and around the world. You can find out more about our consultations and trainings here.
Fall 2019 kept us on our toes! From consulting and training with our Canadian partners, to supporting our national and international thanatology organizations, to offering talks on grief and loss to the legal community, we were on the go! Here are just a few highlights:
We provided two trainings for community and professional audiences hosted by Langley Hospice Society in BC, Canada where we discussed best practices to provide meaningful support to grieving children and teens as well as how to engage children when a family member has an advanced serious illness.
Speaking of our colleagues to the North, the Canadian Alliance for Grieving Children & Youth (similar to the National Alliance for Grieving Children in the U.S.) was launched on Children’s Grief Awareness Day. We’ll continue to support them as they grow their network! Click here for more information.
In our roles on committees, we’ve been reviewing proposals for the 2020 National Alliance for Grieving Children symposium, developing materials for the Association for Death Education & Counseling certification exam, participating on the Search Committee for The Compassionate Friends Executive Director, serving as the Vice-Chair of the International Work Group on Death, Dying & Bereavement in anticipation of the 2020 meeting in Zimbabwe, and providing a Court Improvement Program talk for the U.S. Children’s Bureau on how children and families are impacted when children are removed from their families and placed into foster care.
We’re so grateful to be in this field and appreciate the efforts of everyone to make this world a more nurturing and understanding place for grieving children and families! Top
With our amazing community of supporters, we exceeded our $100,000 year-end goal!
We are overjoyed to share that we were able to raise nearly $175,000 in addition to the $22,738 raised through the Willamette Week Give!Guide in the month of December! This incredible show of support will provide grief support groups for more than 130 children, teens, and their families throughout the new year.
We are so grateful for our community of supporters and our generous donors. A special thank you goes out to Rick Freedman and Joana Freedman for their $10,000 matching challenge. Also, a huge thank you to Propel Insurance, who provided an additional $10,000 in matching funds!
Thank you for all you do for grieving children and families. Please join us in celebrating the power of generosity!Top