Grief Anonymous

I am more than excited to launch this organization.  It has been several years in the making for sure and it will continue to evolve and transform over the days, weeks,and years to come.  I have so much to say about this organization that there just isn’t enough time here in this one post to describe it in its entirety.  So let me just start with a few words about the  beginnings of GA. In the days to follow I will continue to add it all to this blog with a book to follow shortly. GA’s roots began to form after I transferred my writings from Caringbridge from when my husband was first diagnosed into http://www.hollycbarker.com after my husband passed away from cancer as a means to cope and to share in hopes that maybe my journey might help someone to know they are not alone in their grief.  What came to pass was a growing membership of people from around the world and right here in the USA coming to the page to connect and read someone’s shared grief experience.  From this catalyst of losing my husband, the writing has also allowed me to continue to write about the connection we all have to humanity and to a Higher Power.  Through my husband’s diagnosis and into his passing and onward through my recovery that Source of Love and Light has never left my side.  During the summer of his original cancer diagnosis in 2006, I was shown a vision of a bright, loving, beautiful light.  It was shown to me during the lowest and saddest time of my life.  I was shown and was able to feel the love God has for me, and also the pure simple love we all have for one another.  It is from this experience that the circular gold light has been created from the vision  into what is now the GA symbol.  The small circles surrounding this Light are the Tenets of Recovery.  Ten actionable concepts to follow in order to recover from grief.  These Ten Tenets are the premise and bedrock for this organization.  This group is for all to attend, no matter what your religious beliefs are or not.   No matter your ethnic origin or race.  Male or female.  Young and old. Social situation.  Grief is a collective human experience that has been in the shadows for way too long.  Now is the time for cumulative action to be taken to link us all who are on this path.  We can then be there waiting for those who will join us.  Grief Anonymous will be the light where there is darkness and bring hope to those who are bereaved and in need of fellowship, understanding, and support.

The Ten Tenets of Grief Anonymous:

  1. Belief in a higher power or consciousness
  2. Find or create a sanctuary for healing
  3. Focus on the physical fundamentals of sleep, diet, and exercise
  4. Practice baby steps and leaps of faith
  5. Acceptance of your loss
  6. Facing your fears
  7. Learning to forgive and what forgiveness really means
  8. Finding a creative outlet for your grief
  9. Embracing your new authentic self
  10. Giving back

http://www.griefanonymous.com is under construction and will be ready soon!

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Rosalinda’s Story: Stepping Back from Suicide with a Smile

Rosalinda’s Story: Stepping back from Suicide with a Smile

This is a most welcome support group. If only we had this earlier, I would have been guided in my 3 days state of shock, when I could neither cry, eat nor sleep for days and in my prolonged mourning. For the first three months, there was no moment when I was not in tears. I saw my husband everywhere and at dawn, I would give in to intense sobbing. There was even a time when I became suicidal. It has been 2 1/2 years since, and I am still in mourning clothes, his pictures are all around my room, as I talk to them and his clothes still hang in our walk in closet, to hug when I would feel so lonely. By now, I know that I have not been coping well. It is only lately that I sport a genuine smile, and could react with a chuckle.

First of all, a BIG THANK YOU Rosalinda for sharing your story with authenticity and what life has been like for you for the past two and a half years. The good and hopeful part about your story is the ending~ you are starting to genuinely smile again and have found you can start to laugh a little. Baby steps are crucial for us. And also sometimes giant leaps are too, even if we stumble. I wrote a blog post early last year when my husband first passed away from cancer called “Training Wheels” and I used this analogy when I was in this space and it helped me. Maybe it will help others too. It is about learning to live “AS IF”. Because everything we know changes in the moment we lose that person and our new life begins. It is a process and many of us get stuck in the physical separation of grief. It takes time to learn our new lives and for me, living “AS IF” provided a Godsend answer.

Training Wheels

Most of us learn to ride a bike using training wheels as kids.  We learn how to get up on the seat, balance ourselves, and steer while peddling.  We learn how to break and watch for cars. But the training wheels are what enable us to move forward and to feel what it is like to authentically ride. We get a grounded feeling, a oneness with the road with the help of those training wheels.  Eventually they come off and we are free to roam. Steady. Self-assured.  Not looking down but out to what life puts in front of us.

Right now I am trying to live a life “as if” and I feel it’s a good place to be.   I am trying to live now based on what I envision I want for myself down the road.  It’s not that I am trying to bury my grief into the recesses of my brain and just carry on; I just have my training wheels on.  I have no end goal in mind in terms of when I will get the wrench out to unscrew those little-helper wheels, but I know that I will know the feeling when it comes.  When I feel a oneness with the road and I feel free to roam, I will slip into that life that I have been living and catch up with my actions.

My belief is that during the epicenter of the death of a loved one, living authentically is nearly impossible. Your whole definition of who you are is profoundly changed because “no man is an island.”   Some people have had time to consider what is about to happen~ and such was my case. Maybe Rosalinda didn’t and like so many others felt there was no other option than to join her deceased husband. The link below is a sobering view of a statistical fact that suicide is much higher for widows and widowers, especially during the first three years. And I write to all of you, both those who are bereaved and those who want to support and understand that these years are the crucial ones. Please don’t give up on us. Make a genuine effort to stay connected to this person through it all. You might actually be the link to them deciding to stay with us.

http://depressivedisorder.blogspot.com/2011/03/bereavement-leading-to-suicide.html

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255

I pray to you, God, that this journal finds its way to those that might be considering this option and to those who need a spark of inspiration to pick up the phone or stop by to see someone who is suffering the worst of grief in that they may be lifted up by your Angels and given hope that life is important and it does get better.

Thank you,

Holly

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