The Grief Summit
Sunday, February 28th from 12:00 - 4:00 PM EST
The Resilience Collective will be hosting "The Grief Summit," a free, virtual conference exploring collective grief
and rituals, pathways, and possibilities for healing on. In the wake of the pandemic and systemic injustice,
we find ourselves facing vast, collective grief. How we meet and mourn our losses has radically changed.
We have been forced to create new rituals and gather virtually. We have unearthed new ways to witness our
grief and build resilience together. This summit will gather teachers, healers, and community leaders from
around the world to share learnings and build solidarity. It will explore:
- Storytelling and the role of creativity in our journeys through grief
- How family-directed funerals build resilience and strength in navigating grief
- How rituals and new traditions influence the ways we experience grief
- How to stay present and hopeful amidst immense losses
- How to talk about death and grief
Any and all who wish to explore resilience in grief together are welcome. This summit may be particularly
helpful for healthcare professionals, educators, artists, psychologists and therapists, coaches, activists
(and aspiring activists), somatic practitioners, and mindfulness practitioners.
- You are encouraged to join if you:
- Want to learn more about cultivating resilience in grief
- Wish to understand more about community death care
- Are seeking meaningful language to speak about grief, both individually and in the workplace
- Need a supportive community of fellow professionals finding collective resilience
There is no cost to attend. We will be gathering virtually for the sake of safety in the time of COVID.
The Grief Summit will be recorded and a few weeks following the event, The Resilience Collective
will share a recording of on their website.
Register to attend for FREE at: https://resilience-collective.com/grief-summit
Sibling Support Group Hosted By Eric's House
Teens 13-18 years old who have lost a sibling are invited to join EricsHouse.org
along with facilitator Vanessa Baker, of vanessabakermindset.com,
for weekly support conversations on Mondays, from 7-8pm MST
via Zoom between March 1 - 29, 2021.
Vanessa is the author of "Mean to Real Clean", has been featured in the
media, and is a leading coach for growth.com. She is passionate about
working with teenagers, and she is also a suicide survivor.
There is not cost to join. Register at: https://tinyurl.com/supportsibs
Do People Hide Their Grief Over Overdose-Related Deaths Because of Addiction-Related Stigmas?
Drug addiction is a severe health danger that can put people at a high risk of many health issues. Sadly, many individuals die from overdoses every year, and their loved ones may struggle to understand this situation. Even worse, stigmas on addiction may make this mourning process and treatments such as rehab for mental illness harder to process appropriately.
Addiction-Related Stigmas Exist
Stigmas can be tough to fight because they are often so ingrained in culture and how people perceive the world. For example, stigmas about addiction – and other mental health illnesses – can paint a damaging picture. The idea that a person with an addiction is "weak" or "immoral" is widespread, and so is the idea that they "deserve" to suffer from addiction.
These stigmas are a real issue because they create a feeling of otherness to those with an addiction. This scenario strips them of their humanity and can make it harder for people to feel sympathy for them. Unfortunately, these stigmas can affect the loved ones of a person who has an addiction and make that individual's overdose death harder to mourn or accept.
Whether that loved one feels unable to mourn due to stigmas placed on the situation by others or by themselves is irrelevant – a stigma is a stigma. These feelings make it harder for a person to mourn a loved one. Instead of healing, they might face a challenging journey that may affect their recovery and cause a high level of emotional suffering that refuses to go away.
Why People Hide Grief
Many people hide grief over a loved one's death, an emotional reaction that is understandable but ultimately unhealthy. The reasons for this behavior can be quite complex, particularly if an individual experienced conflict with the person who passed. Overdose deaths might make a person's struggles with mourning even more difficult.
First of all, a person might disown a loved one with an addiction and may not recognize them in their life. Or, loved ones might be mourning a person with an addiction before they die because their addiction has changed the person and their lives so drastically. An individual may feel shame from others in their community and deal with their shame by hiding their mourning and depression.
But unprocessed emotions can challenge a person, making it difficult for them to move on from a loss. Even though they don't publicly – or even personally – admit to their grief, it exists. Left to fester, negative emotions such as grief can worsen and cause more damaging emotional health issues. Therefore, it is essential to fight addiction stigmas and process death properly.
Ways to Fight Stigma
Fighting the stigma against addiction starts by understanding your emotions. Sometimes people do not realize that they feel stigmas or behave in ways that may upset or damage their loved ones. For instance, individuals may use language that is very negative towards addiction and people with this disease, which may affect how they think about it.
This type of language includes terms such as addict, junkie, user, or drunk. These terms are harmful and can create a stigma in a person's mind. The terms put the disease before the person by defining them by it. As a result, those who use these terms reinforce the mistaken belief that a person with addiction chooses to be addicted, worsening their stigma.
Instead, it is crucial to understand that addiction is a disease, one that requires professional rehab help to combat. People do not choose to be addicted and they aren’t solely defined by their addictions. They are people who also have addictions to drugs or alcohol, not addicts, junkies, or drunks.
Accepting these distinctions can make it easier for a person to grieve their loved ones and adequately mourn them. Remember – mourning is an essential part of recovery after death, and removing addiction stigmas may allow a person to accept death and avoid hiding their emotions.
Ways You Can Help
If someone is suffering from grief due to the overdose death of a loved one, you could suggest that they talk with a therapist or another professional. By talking with therapists, people can explore and express their feelings without judgement. Therapists can help people acknowledge their grief while helping them navigate their new lives without their loved ones. Support groups can also provide assistance. Groups such as Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing (GRASP) include members who have suffered similar losses. GRASP notes that people sometimes treat addiction-related deaths differently, so it “was created to offer understanding, compassion, and support for those who have lost someone they love through addiction and overdose.”
There are grief support groups in specific geographic areas and ones that allow people to meet virtually or use online services to share and find information. The groups provide support and let people know that they’re not alone. They remind people that others have had similar experiences and are willing to help.
Assistance can also come in other forms. Instead of asking a grieving person what you can do, do something. You can:
Just talking can also provide assistance. People might be worried that grieving people don’t want to talk about their loved ones, but the opposite is often true. By sharing stories and memories about their loved one, you allow people to discuss their grief and what their loved one meant to them.
By helping people take control of their emotional health, you give them a better chance to be happy and healthy. Just as importantly, they can give their loved ones the love and attention they need so they can also mourn and address their emotions.
Author bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoys writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.
drugabuse.gov – Addressing the Stigma That Surrounds Addiction
drugabuse.gov – Words Matter – Terms to Use and Avoid When Talking About Addiction
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Understanding Stigma of Mental and Substance Use Disorders
ncbi.nlm.nlh.gov – Grief and Mourning Gone Awry: Pathway and Course of Complicated Grief
grieflink.org.au – Unrecognized or Hidden Grief
samhsa.gov – The Power of Perceptions and Understand: Changing How We Deliver Treatment and Recovery Services
grasphelp.org - About Us (GRASP)
mygriefconnection.org - In-Person Support Groups
medlineplus.gov - Bereavement
cdc.gov - Grief and Loss
Journey to Hope Support Group
Via Zoom from 6:00 - 7:30 PM, Thursdays, February 18th – April 15th, 2021
If you or someone you know is a young adult (ages 18-30) who is looking
for tools to help journey through the grief process, please check out the
2021 Virtual Young Adult Grief Support Group, Journey to Hope, from
Highmark Caring Place. This virtual/social setting is designed to be an
educational support group focused on empowering young adults to learn
how to navigate their “new reality." For additional information or to
RSVP, e-mail Davina Pacley at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 866-212-4673 or 814-871-6868.
We are so excited to have recently partnered with @aftr_live
as a brand ambassador. Check out the interview with our Founder,
Sara Cobb, recently did with them on their blog to learn more about our
story and her passion to serve the grief community.
Read the blog post here:
We know that the AFTR GroundCam will be a source of great comfort and connection to so many grieving families. The company launched the first-ever gravesite camera system that includes a mobile application and headstone camera, and provides AFTR Messaging, which securely delivers pre-recorded memories and messages from people who have passed away.
AFTR has changed the way people visit burial sites - forever.
For more information about the AFTR GroundCam visit https://aftr.live/
Use the code MGC-10 for 10% OFF your purchase.
Trauma Healing Support Circle
All are welcome to join this entirely online trauma support group hosted by
For You Network. This group is is welcoming, non-judgmental, all inclusive group for everyone. It will be especially helpful for those with a desire to heal the impact of trauma, support the healing of a loved one, and connect with other people on similar journeys of recovery. Whether the sudden and tragic death
of a loved one, an unexpected severe physical injury, an unhealthy relationship ending in heartbreak, a humiliating experience in childhood, a chaotic and
dysfunctional upbringing, sexual abuse, domestic violence, suicide by
someone close to you or thoughts of it yourself, addiction habits, battle with
mental health illness, or any other form of trauma you have endured.
You are not alone.
Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 6:15 PM MST – 7:30 PM MST
Follow the For You Network on Facebook and visit their events page for
details on how to join the support group circle. See the discussion posts in each scheduled event for link to join the group on Google Meet video chat
(video is optional, you can just use audio if you prefer).
**Adults and mature teens only**
Spirit Vessel helps guide you and your loved ones through a deeper,
more intimate layer of life by way of personalized ceremony. They provide support and tools for at home, intimate, personalized ceremonies, in which
you can participate by yourself or with others. They offer Mindfully Crafted Ceramic Urns and Personalized Celebration Of Life Ceremonies to assist in grieving, honoring, and celebrating you or your loved one. Their ceremonies recognize
and highlight the joy of our loved one's life while holding space for the complexities of grief for those left to live on. The Spirit Vessel studio is
located in southwest New Mexico, where each ceramic urn is handmade
and mindfully crafted with love and intention. Whether you are grieving the
loss of a loved one, preparing for an imminent death, or taking steps to plan
for your own death, they provide resources to help you create connectivity
and integrate your emotions around loss.
Discover more at: https://bit.ly/2YBrkJP
Sara J. Cobb
Founder, My Grief Connection
Note: Note: The website contains some affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something through one of these links we may receive a small commission
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Not responsible for the content, claims or representations of the linked sites, videos, movies, podcasts, groups, events, books, articles, etc.
This site provides links and general grief support information and is not intended to serve as or replace professional counseling, guidance or treatment.
If you are thinking about hurting yourself or someone else, please contact 911 or the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
For any type of crisis situation you can text CONNECT to 741741 to chat with a Crisis Text Line counselor.
My Grief Connection - Created 04 July 2019
Updated 22 February 2021
© 2020 My Grief Connection