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Resources for grievers during shelter-at-home advisory

09/30/2020

The world is quickly changing. We want to send love to each of you and to your families. 

We realize this is a particularly difficult time for so many families due to the uncertainty related to the coronavirus. With many grievers already feeling anxious and isolated, we wanted to reach out and offer some resources that might help you stay more connected during the next few weeks and months.

For those in need of support, please visit the MISS Foundation’s Support Services page at https://missfoundation.org/support/support-services

Free services like our online Forums and our HOPE mentor program are available if you would like to connect with other bereaved parents. Due to COVID-19 health concerns, our in-person support groups are temporarily suspended but will resume as soon as we are able to. Some groups may be meeting online over the next few weeks and months. Please check with your local group.

If you would like to connect with a trained counselor in your area, please visit missfoundation.org and click on “Find a Support Group, Volunteer or Provider” on the opening page.  Scroll down to Geo Search and type in your area. There is also affordable Skype/Zoom counseling available by one of our counselors at the Selah Carefarm. If interested please reach out to Genmitsu at genmitsu@missfoundation.org.

Due to the added stress related to the pandemic, Wisdom Publishers has agreed to offer a very deep discount to its online program for grievers. The program, based on the best-selling book "Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief" is taught by the author, MISS Foundation Founder, Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, and MISS Facilitator Karla Helbert of Richmond, VA. For those grieving and feeling isolated during these shelter-at-home days, this may be a vital resource to help navigate the path of traumatic loss. This course is now $75 off through April with the code SAVE75. To find out more about the course, please visit: https://wisdomexperience.org/bearing-the-unbearable/

A message from our founder - Dr. Joanne Cacciatore
How to take care of yourself in small, and not so small ways, during your respite time at home….

1. Spend at least fifteen to thirty minutes daily in meditation, prayer, or quiet time just being (Tip: There's a great app called "Calm" that has helped many I know learn to meditate. Also, bathtub or water meditation is great for starters. Fill up tub with warm water. Get in with legs and arms outstretched and close your eyes. Just notice your buoyancy and stay still with whatever rises).
2. Get at least twenty minutes a day of exercise- yoga, walking, hiking, tai chi, or any type of exercise within your abilities (Tip: www.DoYogaWithMe.com offers free yoga at all levels, all day, every day!).
3. Give yourself permission to laugh (Tip: Netflix a few good comedies) when you feel authentically silly, exuberant, or joyful.
4. Surround yourself with caring others- family, friends, work colleagues. Seek the company of others who are compassionate & kind. (Tip: Even though you can't connect in person right now, try FaceTime or Zoom or other meeting app and schedule "innings" (instead of outings) with friends and family).
5. Find the sun for at least 20 minutes every day. (Tip: You can combine outdoor meditation for 20 minutes in the sun. This is one of my favorite ways to meditate).
6. Observe and truly experience nature. Notice the sky when walking to your car. Listen to the sounds of birds. Pay attention to the trees, smell blossoming flowers, hear the buzzing bees, and watch ants as they work. (Tip: Because spring is here, this is the perfect time of year to notice season-shifting and contemplate how nature teaches us about loss over and over).
7. Without forcing it, experience gratitude daily for even the simple things in life that we usually take for granted: good health, family, running water, your home, & food. (Tip: Grab a stack of paper or get on your computer and write love notes to your family!).
8. Show compassion, actively, toward others. Look for, even small, opportunities to help...Actively, every day, seek to show kindness. And volunteer at least one day per month. (Tip: Harder to do in the current situation however you can offer to do things like read a book to an elderly neighbor over the phone; drop off supplies or food at someone's door (be wise about protection); or volunteer at an animal shelter to walk the dogs. We love the idea of fostering or adopting a rescue!).
9. Support your brain: Eat a healthy diet & eliminate junk & fast foods. Take a good, food based multi-vitamin/mineral & include omega-3 oils such as cold pressed linseed oil, & also include borage & flax. (Tip: I always take extra vitamin c with bioflavonoids through April every year. I find it attenuates symptoms of even the common cold).
10. Express love, gratitude, and affection. (Tip: You can do this on social media for friends and family and also for strangers. Consider sending take out food to a specific department at your local hospital as a 'thank you' to staff).
11. Rescue an animal (Tip: Wait, did I say that already? Worth repeating!).
12. Find creative expression: garden, yoga, art, music, sculpture, poetry, writing... any way to transform emotions into creativity! (Tip: I love acrostic poetry. Maybe you will too!).
13. Be your own best friend. Now. Hurry. (Tip: Imagine, when you're struggling most, what you'd want your best friend to say or do for you. Then do that for yourself).
14. Have a good cry when you need it (Tip: Emotional tears are biochemically different from irritant or lubricant tears. This is why we often feel physical and emotional relief after a good cry).
15. Drink plenty of good water (Tip: I drink half my weight in ounces a day).
16. Accept and embrace painful emotions without pushing them away. Accept and embrace 'feel good' emotions without clinging to them (Tip: This takes practice. If you can transform your emotions through visualization into water, then just imagine them moving, like a river, around bends, flowing uninhibited, always changing).
17. Practice solitude (Tip: I like to call this a time of self-solitude rather than self-isolation. Take some time for you; see this as an opportunity to do some inner work, maybe?).
18. Sleep 7 hours a night (Tip: Sleep is so important. Check out my website for the instructions on good sleep hygiene).
19. Eat clean (Tip: Clean eating to me means vegan and organic food. At least, try to stay away from heavily processed food and steer toward nutrient dense food).
20. Play dirty (Tip: Walk in mud, walk (or hike if you dare!) barefoot, sweat).
21. Remember your precious, beloved, irreplaceable ones who have died (No tip needed for this but sometimes I pull out my daughter's (who died) photos and her baby book and put on my favorite sad songs and just cry missing her).
22. Try new things (Tip: You can take online painting classes, visit museums, or watch documentaries of foreign lands. Try something novel).
23. Find your special song (Tip: Go through your old play list and find a song you really like now. Or, sometimes I find songs from the year I was born (ages ago!) and start a play list).
24. Seek out those who made a difference in your life and tell them (Tip: Another opportunity to express gratitude but for this one, I like to go at least 15-20 years back and reach out to an old teacher or other person who helped me).
25. Help build bridges of love, not fear, between people (Tip: This is so hard right now. One way to build a bridge is to commit to not dismissing how others feel, even if it's fearfully. If someone shares that she is 'hopeful', I just listen with an open heart. If someone shares that he is 'fearful', I also listen with an open heart. I ask them to extend that same courtesy to me).
26. Take an internet/electronics/cell phone break (Tip: It's easy to get sucked into social media and world news. Take frequent breaks from being indoors or on your blue screen).
27. Treat yourself to a day of comfort (Tip: Maybe an hour of comfort? Take a bubble bath. Give yourself a pedicure. Make your favorite dessert. Hug your toilet paper. The struggle is real).
28. Again, rescue an animal. Rescue animals truly can rescue us (Tip: Third time's a charm).
29. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee (Tip: If you're going through a drive through, consider buying the order of the person behind you).
30. Find your own daily or weekly rituals of solace such as lighting a candle, burning incense, writing in a journal, or taking up a hobby that honors your precious one.
© Dr Joanne Cacciatore, 1999, 2011, 2016
Tip: Many more resources and tips at my website.
https://www.centerforlossandtrauma.com/self-compassion

 

MissFoundation

Copyright © MISS Foundation 2020.

MISS Foundation | PO Box 9195 | Austin, TX 78766
602-279-MISS(6477) | 888-455-MISS (6477) | missfoundation.org | info@missfoundation.org

The MISS Foundation is an international 501(c)3, volunteer-based organizaion providing C.A.R.E. [counseling,
advocacy, research, and education] services to families experiencing the death of a child.


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