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For Those in Grief, Talking to a Dead Loved One Is Good for Mental Health

Teen Vogue
And it's totally normal.

Grief is hard work. Whether you've lost a parent, sibling, a friend, or someone else, a loved one's death can lead to a feeling of tremendous loss.

Everyone grieves differently. For some, talking to a deceased loved one at their grave is comforting, while others like to post messages on someone's Facebook after they have died. If you've ever found yourself having a conversation with someone you love who has passed away, don't worry. If you've ever wondered whether this is an unhealthy coping mechanism, experts argue it is a completely valid and healthy way to cope with loss.

"Speaking out loud to a loved one who has passed -- whether at a grave site or out loud at home -- is helpful for many people processing grief," Dr. Alison Forti, an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling at Wake Forest University, told Teen Vogue. "I will sometimes encourage my clients to speak to an empty chair in an effort t…

64 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self About Grief

As a child, teen, young adult, you don't think that grief is something you will have to to deal with.  Unfortunately, I've come to realise that is not the case.
Www.whatsyourgrief.com

We've been engaged a bit of dialogue over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram about the things our readers would tell their younger selves about grief (either before they experienced the death of their loved one or just after). The advice they have to offer runs the gamut, but echoes the collective wisdom we hear from people in WYG community on a regular basis.
We wanted to extend this conversation beyond social media and so we've paraphrased it below. Some of the comments may resonate with you and some may not; please remember our question was (and is) - What would YOU tell YOUR younger self about grief? The answer to this question will depend on the person answering it, who they were when their loved one died, and who they are today. If you haven't already, we'd really love you to …

Helping a Teenager Deal with Grief

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It's difficult to sum up how to support a child or teenager without being overly general because, just like big wrinkly humans, they are complicated individuals who think, feel, act, and react to life in their own unique ways.

An adolescent's grief can be impacted by any number of things including but not limited to, their unique relationship with the individual, how the individual died, their support system, past experiences with death, and their own unique strengths and weaknesses when it comes to dealing with stress, adversity, and high emotion. Grownups seeking to support an adolescent should try to remember that a wide range of responses are considered 'normal' and there's no one formula for providing support. 

Fortunately, conventional wisdom says the best way to support a grieving adolescent is to 'companion' them, which is just a fancy way of saying be there for them which you (hopefully) already know how to do. You can 'companion' a teen by s…

New "Normal" Again

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The past few weeks have brought some changes to "our normal". School started; Becca and Ian both have new teachers.  All of us were a little anxious about this....but they have all been wonderful.  The week before school started I had a meeting with all of the Forest and Ocean team teachers, to give a medical update to those teachers who had Becca and/or Ian last year and the new teachers all the information they needed in order to teach/care for both kids. Some good ideas were put into place from this meeting and everyone was excited for the year to start the following Monday. The 1st three weeks have been great for the kids.

Becca is having a hard time adjusting to the "strictness" of the teachers...as we have told her, she will have to get used to and adjust. We will continue to work with her....

Ian is doing well and has been adjusting nicely. All of the staff he has at school is the same, except for his teacher. He is enjoying learning from Miss B.

Another chang…

MY SPECIAL DAUGHTER (AND HER SPECIAL BROTHER)

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I was going through some paperwork and found this...I wanted to share it.
MY SPECIAL DAUGHTER (AND HER SPECIAL BROTHER)
My son, Jacob, believes that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. For my daughter, Shira, it may or may not be a happy place, but Disneyland is certainly the place where she is happiest to be Jacob's sister. Because Jacob is autistic, we don't have to wait in line to enjoy any of the rides. Instead, we flash his IEP (Independent Education Plan, given by the public school system and attesting to his condition), Disney bestows a VIP pass on Jacob, we skip the line and get stared at by all the other guests. As we breeze onto the ride, Shira beaming, I routinely overhear people mumbling,
"What's so special about them?" What is so special indeed?
In the language of our age, our son is "special" and our daughter is "typical." Ten years earlier, he would have been "disabled" and she, "normal." A decade pas…

A New Normal...Diagnosis

Imagine one day everything being normal...whatever your normal is. Then in some way in a blink of an eye your normal changes...what will be your new normal?  July 4th weekend of 2009 our normal changed....and has continued to change over the past 3 years...July 2, 2012 our normal has changed and we will again look for our new normal. Ian is NO longer undiagnosed.....

March 2012, Brian, Becca, Ian and I continued our journey with Dr. Raymond and Lelia (our new and wonderful genetic counselor)...we were the 13th family through Kennedy Krieger Institute to have a whole genome sequencing test through Ambry Genetics. This test is different from anything we have ever had done, actually different then most people have ever had done. To explain it very simply...if you are looking at an aerial view of a map whole genome sequencing looks at the street views...traditional genetic testing looks at the state view of the aerial map or only 1 to a few specific genes at a time. Whole ge…