The messy stuff of being human that most grief books don’t mention

The people that Julia Samuels talks about in her book, Grief Works. Stories of Life, Death and Surviving, are complicated.   The first story tells of a woman living with her dying husband while having an affair. Their marriage had been difficult and after his death she spiraled out of control. We read of her path to finding some stability and calm.   In the … Continue reading The messy stuff of being human that most grief books don’t mention

Digital Detox

Somewhere along the way, smartphones and tablets changed from being our favourite new toys to something more like little pocket dictators. Now increasingly health and fitness experts, top business people and even more doctors and psychologists, are urging us to step away from the apps, unplug the email and up our offline time.   While your mind is fogged with grief, scattered by shock or … Continue reading Digital Detox

Know your rights to sick pay

Citizen’s Advice issued a statement in February, saying that some employers are tricking their employees out of sick pay.   The most common tactics they see are: The cancelling of shifts after an employee has called in sick, so that it looks as if they weren’t meant to be working and therefore no wages appear to have been lost Reducing hours or wages so that … Continue reading Know your rights to sick pay

What ecotherapy can do for you

How did we survive life’s ups and downs for all those millennia before therapists came along? Ecotherapy suggests that our everyday connection to the natural world played a large part.   By going for a stroll in a park, spending time in our garden or even bringing plants into our homes, we can tap into a bit of nature’s calming, head-clearing powers without disrupting our … Continue reading What ecotherapy can do for you

Common conditions that share symptoms with grief

The standard advice is that grief is hard on your physical and mental health so feeling awful in the early days is normal. When we ask how long before we can expect to stop feeling awful, we’re told that it’s different for everyone.   There is a world of good intentions in this advice. It’s a reaction against years of bereaved people being expected to … Continue reading Common conditions that share symptoms with grief

Try this

In 1988, psychologist James Pennebaker asked 50 university students to write about either something traumatic or something unimportant, for fifteen to twenty minutes, for four days in a row. Their health and visits to their doctor were measured six weeks after the writing exercise. The researchers found that students who had written about something traumatic, went on to show boosted immune function, lowered blood pressure, … Continue reading Try this

One bit of good news if grief has left holes in your memory

The best friendships are between people who rely on each other to remember the things they’ve shared. This is the finding of a study reported in The British Psychological Society’s Research Digest.   We know that many couples have interconnected memory systems. This is another of the big and rarely mentioned losses of widowhood. But researchers have now looked at platonic friends and found a … Continue reading One bit of good news if grief has left holes in your memory