Thursday, 28 March 2013

Good Grief. Submitted by: Michael Brickey, Ph.D.

Good Grief

Submitted by: Michael Brickey, Ph.D.

As a psychologist I have worked with many people who were stuck in grief. They speak about losing someone with poignant emotion–as if it happened yesterday. But it happened years ago, sometimes decades ago. Some people, however, deal with loss very effectively and come to terms with a loss within a few months. What accounts for the difference? Those who deal effectively have better mental strategies for dealing with loss.

People who get stuck often form unresourceful visual images in their mind’s eye. Perhaps it is everyone gathered around the table for Christmas dinner–but there is the empty chair where momma is supposed to be. This image freezes the loss in time. It compares a picture of the way Christmas “is supposed to be” with the absence of momma and concludes that Christmas will never be the same again. Other people who get stuck see mom (or whomever they lost) in a hospital bed, wasting away with tubes and machines droning on. This image of mom is sure to elicit sad feelings. The empty chair or hospital bed scenes, however, are only two of billions of possible images. They do not represent the essence of who mom was. More resourceful images would have her with the family, or in a favorite activity, or a symbol that embodies her fine qualities.

Let me make an analogy with computers. When you turn on a computer, you get a default image on the screen. You can click options to have the computer change the default image to a more useful image. The first image is still in the computer if you need it, but the more useful image is now the default. If you have an unresourceful default image, change it to a resourceful image that honors the person who lived.

If you see the person in your mind’s eye, you can change the image and thereby change how you feel. Moving the image away from your head, making the image smaller, making it black and white, and making it dimmer, all make the image less intense. Conversely, making an image closer to your head, bigger, colorful, and bright usually makes an image more intense. Try it. The idea is to make resourceful images intense and unresourceful images seem to be a distant, far away memory.

Much of the literature on grieving emphasizes beliefs that are contrary to effective grieving. One author referred to her husband dying as “amputation without anesthesia.” This is a vivid metaphor that fosters self-pity rather than healing. Another author talked about how profoundly pervasive the death of a parent was and how she viewed everything in her life as “BDD–Before Dad Died–and the ADD–After Dad Died.” This approach intensifies the anguish as opposed to seeing parents dying as the natural order of things and oneself as mature enough to handle.

Art Linkletter, whose daughter committed suicide at 19 and son died in an automobile accident at 32 put it this way: “Too many people who lose others–mothers, fathers, children, friends–become people who see grief as a tent pole for their life. They cherish it almost, they clutch it to them, they never let it go, and that grief becomes the impelling force for a negative, bitter, unhappy, vengeful unforgiving life. Other people, like myself, use it as a springboard for being a better person and for enjoying life more and for appreciating all the good things in it as a counter to the other things that are going to happen.”

You can care and feel without feeling every death is tragic. Most deaths aren’t a tragedy. A tragedy is not living life fully, a list of what ifs, and not connecting with life. For many people the tragedy occurred years ago when they numbed themselves to experiencing life fully. As poet Stephen Vincent Benet put it, “Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.” For those who have lived a full life but disease has greatly compromised their lives, death can be a relief.

People who deal effectively with loss often see the deceased as an ongoing presence in their lives. A humorous but good example is Fred Sanford from the television show Sanford and Son. When Fred (played by Red Foxx) was having a hard time he would feign “having the big one” (a heart attack). He would then look up and talk with his deceased wife Elizabeth. He wasn’t crazy. He just knew her so well that he could sense her presence, imagine a conversation with her, and gain comfort and guidance from the experience. Actually, he probably got along better with her after her death than in real life as he was a cantankerous character. Many religious people find it easy to think of the person who lived as an ongoing presence or to imagine the person communicating with them from a better place.

Many people believe in an afterlife when it comes to their own lives but neglect to try to imagine their loved one already in a better place.

Teachers and professors are particularly good role models for letting go. They have their students for only a year or a few years and then must focus on inspiring a new cadre of students. Do they complain that they can’t bear to let their babies go? No, they realize that it is time for the students to leave the nest and fly. While they could become sad at the students leaving, they instead are joyful to see them move on to new challenges. They feel enriched and invigorated from having worked with them. They have a vision of helping to change the world.

We too need to appreciate the rhythms of life and work with them rather than fight them.

About the Author: Dr. Michael Brickey, The Anti-Aging Psychologist, teaches people to think, feel, look and be more youthful. He is an inspiring keynote speaker and the Oprah-featured author of Defy Aging and 52 baby steps to Grow Young. Visit for a free report and a free newsletter.

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Friday, 15 March 2013

Overcoming Grief

Overcoming Grief

Submitted by: Brian Jones

During my first year of college a life-long family friend and mentor tragically lost his son. Separated by distance, I assumed that his Christian friends, the staff at his church, and his Sunday school class would step in and wrap their arms around him and his wife. Needless to say I was surprised, one year later, when we were able to finally meet face to face. When I asked him how he and his wife were doing the first words out of his mouth were, “Brian, the church failed us during our greatest time of need.” Knowing first-hand his maturity and emotional soundness, I was taken back. I thought, “If he said the church failed them, the church must have really failed them.”

Those who experience tragic loss, which I’m sure will include all of us by the time we leave this planet, experience sorrow that defies explanation. C.S. Lewis, struggling to put into words how he felt after losing his wife commented,

“No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.” (A Grief Observed , p. 19)

And if there was ever someone besides Lewis that couldn’t put their finger on the depth of their grief, it had to be Naomi.

The Book of Ruth tells us that Naomi was happily married to a man named Elimilech and together they had two strong sons, Mahlon and Kilion. As life goes, business took her family to a foreign country-a place called Moab. But even in that distant land their family blossomed. Life was good. Then, without even the faintest hint that heartbreak was standing at her door, Naomi’s husband didn’t return home for dinner. Who could have known that their kiss that morning would have been their last? Her sons eventually married, but even their weddings and talk of children couldn’t take away the emptiness she felt. Finally, in a cruel twist that even Hollywood wouldn’t script, she lost both of her sons. She was devastated, alone and bewildered. Naomi was so broken that Ruth 1:20 tells us that she began asking people to not call her Naomi (meaning “pleasant”) anymore but Mara (meaning “bitter”).

The bright spot, if there can be a bright spot in someone’s tragic loss, is that there was someone who didn’t leave her. Her name was Ruth, her daughter-in-law. We’re told she didn’t offer any deep theological explanations. There’s no record that she tried to provide the “right word” at the “right time.” All we hear is Ruth’s promise in Ruth 1:16, “Where you go I will go, and where you stay, I will stay.” And that’s exactly what she did.

I never asked my friend what his church could have done differently. I didn’t feel that it was my place.

My guess? Unlike Ruth, there were probably too many words and too few visits.

About the Author: Brian Jones is the author of Second Guessing God: Hanging on When You Can’t See Plan (March 2006) and the founding Senior Pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley in Collegeville, PA. More information about his writing and speaking can be found at

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As Brian noted above, grief is a very painful period and we need to support those who are experiencing grief. To learn more about grief, and on supporting people in grief, take a look at my two books:

Monday, 4 March 2013

Write A Book and Make Residual Income

Write A Book and Make Residual Income
By Brad Forbush

The initial thought of writing a book of any size is daunting to the average person. If you like to write or have a great idea of which to write about, you should give it a shot. It may not seem like passive income at first because you will be putting in a lot of hours and time to write the book. Yet, in the long run, it will become an income source once it's published.

Most people have said at some point in their life that they should write a book about their life, their experiences, or a topic they feel strongly about. Yet, most people never get around to it. If you do decide to write and finish the book, it can become an income source for you in the years to come. After publishing the book, it will be sitting the stores and every sale yields a percentage to you, the author. It could be up to five years later and your book is still selling and bringing in income. Once you've become an author that people enjoy and read diligently, it can be a good idea to write more so that your fans will have more books to buy. Not every book, especially first books, will be a success. It does take a lot of work to write a book yet the results can be well-worth it. The passive income it can produce will help you reach your goals.

If you decide to write a book as a way to earn passive income, you should consider several things ahead of time. It may take years for the publishers to give your book the green light for publishing. It may not sell as well you'd hope it would. Writing the book itself may prove to be more difficult than you imagined. While these are negatives, the positives are also present in the book writing process. You can decide when and where to write. You can decide what to say and how to say it. This is your book, your masterpiece, and by what you will be remembered. Don't decide on a topic unless you know something about it or want to know more about it. The book writing process will be easier if you enjoy what you're writing about and feel as though you can move quickly through the topics and ideas. If you have to struggle with every page, every chapter, the book will never get and you will never see that passive income. It can be a great feeling to get a royalties check even after your book has been available to the public for a while.

For more information on making money get free video training

Brad Forbush is a dedicated specialist in residual income. He is passionate about helping others achieve their dreams and has developed a step-by-step system where anyone can build a retirement now.

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Sunday, 3 March 2013

Grief: The Different Types

By Christine Brownlee
Grief is the result of a loss. When we are looking at grief as the result of a loss of a loved one we will find that it doesn't happen just at the end of a life but will occur over the many losses that happen during the illness and then afterwards. There will be losses to grieve throughout the journey and not just at the time of the final outcome. Examples are when you and your loved one are unable to attend a joyous family event, travel plans are put on hold or cancelled altogether, or you stop working to become a full time caregiver.
Grief can present itself in a number of ways depending on the circumstances of the death and the person who is grieving. The process of grieving is based on the person's perception of the loss. Healthy grief is a normal process but it is a lot of very hard work. It takes physical and mental energy to cope with all the changes and challenges and at times it will seem insurmountable..
Anticipatory grief is the grieving that takes place before the actual death of the loved one has occurred. This grief can begin at the time of a terminal illness diagnosis. It is the sense of impending loss with grieving beginning immediately. This type of grieving will be interwoven with the activities surrounding the treatment and care of the terminally ill person. Those that are grieving are doing so in anticipation of an expected death, date unknown. This is normal.
The above two types of grief can usually be completed when the grieving person does the work required with the help of family, friends and community. Other services such as counselling and coaching can be very beneficial in helping the bereaved person reach completion of their grief sooner rather than later.
There are times when grieving becomes unhealthy and requires some stronger intervention. Absent grief may be present when a person who has just suffered a loved one's loss and they do not exhibit any signs of grieving. They carry on as though everything is just fine and they seem to be managing effortlessly. This person may be taking great pride in coping so well. However it may also mean that they do not receive the family and community support that they do need because it looks like they don't need it. Grief will only be absent for so long. It will remain and the grief work will still need to be done whether it is now or some many years down the road. This can happen when a widow feels she needs to be "strong" for the children however, once they are grown the grief will still be there.
Unresolved grief occurs when the normal healthy grieving process cannot occur. There are different reasons for this happening. Someone who is too sick and frail to do the grief work could have unresolved grief. If there is so much guilt and the grieving person cannot move past this level of emotion and reach completeness there is unresolved grief. This type of grief can also occur if there are multiple losses such as a family is killed in a car crash or if someone is presumed dead but there is no body. Families of a missing person who has been gone for years can have unresolved grief.
Complicated grief is the presentation of the symptoms of the grieving person but they are exaggerated and continue on for a long time. When we first hear of the death of a loved one we feel some shock, denial, anger and deep sadness. Doing the work of grief we will eventually become complete with the loss. The process will resemble a roller coaster with good days and bad. Complicated grief appears as being in the valley with the initial symptoms never being resolved. There are never any "good" days or moments. The man whose son dies and five years later he has trouble managing the activities of daily living, he has lost his job because he cannot work, and his marriage has fallen apart are signs of complicated grief.
Disenfranchised grief occurs when the person grieving cannot openly display their grief. This can be because of the societal or cultural values that have been placed on them. An example would be the mistress of a man who has died. The man's wife, who is now the accepted widow can display and receive support for her grief. The mistress, if it was a secret affair, would not be able to receive the same support. She may even be shunned for grieving.
Absent grief, unresolved grief, complicated grief and disenfranchised grief can be types of grief that are not healthy and can have a detrimental effect on the person grieving. This can seriously affect them physically and emotionally leaving deep psychological issues affecting their quality of life. These types may mean the person grieving will need additional professional support in the form of mental health counselling, prescribed medications and therapies.
If you are grieving which one are you?
Christine is a RN with 35+ years of experience. She is a certified "From Heartbreak to Happiness" Grief Coach specializing in encouraging and inspiring women whose partner has died or is dying to reconnect with their life dreams and soar from sadness and sorrow to peace and happiness. She is currently working on her book 'A Caregiver's Story' - 7 Tips to Navigate and find Balance. This book stems from her being in the caregiving role for her husband on and off for the last 20 years. Visit her website for more information.
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Saturday, 2 March 2013

Get Articles Written: Learning a Few Tips That Will Surely Improve Your Writing

Get Articles Written: Learning a Few Tips That Will Surely Improve Your Writing

Submitted by: Ryan Pauline

If you want to get articles written and make sure that these are of the highest quality, then you should consider researching about the many things that you can do to further improve your writing skills. You also have to develop a good writing plan in order to ensure that you continue to write contents that are guaranteed to capture the attention of readers and stay in their minds. The following are some of the most effective tips that will allow you to produce hundreds of high quality contents that are sure to stay in the minds of your readers:

1. Choose the right topic. Determine the specific market or niche where you have a lot of experience and knowledge and write about them. You have to be familiar about the topics that you are writing in order for your written articles to be effective. You should also remember that ideas for your topics are everywhere. This means that with proper research, you will get the chance to improve your knowledge about specific topics and make your articles even more powerful.

2. Create a good title. The title is one of the most essential components of an article since this is capable of grabbing attention. Writing a good title which gives potential readers an idea about what your article is about is a huge help in encouraging them to read further. Creating a good title will also allow you to effectively direct the flow of your articles.

3. Build a good outline. This is another tip that will surely let you get articles written without sacrificing quality. What you need to do is to establish the major points of the article that you are planning to write and its supporting details. You do not need to completely write your outline. This means that you can build a good one just by visualizing it in your mind. Once you are done building your outline, you can start expanding it in order to construct the article body. A wise tip is to format all the information in the outline in such a manner that you can effectively deliver your message to your audience. You should also consider breaking out its major points in bullet points or separate paragraphs in order for it to become even more readable.

4. Keep in mind that all writers are not perfect. In fact, there are times when the most experienced writers get scared when delivering their articles to the public. But despite the fear experienced by most writers, a lot of them still manage to succeed because they are determined enough to push their limits. This is also something that you should do. You should continue writing even if it is true that your articles won’t please everyone. You should persist until you earn the rewards of your hard work.

5. Take time to review your articles. If you want to get articles written and make sure that it does not contain errors that will only ruin your reputation as a writer and drive your potential readers away, then you should spend time reviewing all your written articles. A wise tip is to familiarize yourself with the editorial guidelines of your employer so you will know if your contents fit their standards.

About the Author: If you are looking for get articles written, click on the link. Or you can visit

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