"THE LOVE OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS IS THE GREATEST HEALING THERAPY OF ALL."
Grief

FOOD FOR THE HEART
Contains essays for personal reflection, photos that calm the spirit and
give perspective, and information on recognizing and healing from
grief, whether in ourselves or people we love.
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FOOD FOR THE MIND
Contains information on heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, as well
as conditions including autism, mental illnesses, dementia, head
injury, and seizure disorders, as well as links to general and disease-
specific resources.
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FOOD FOR SMART PATIENTS
Helps you represent you or your child in the healthcare setting or assist
another adult. Although rights and limits depend on your relationship
to the patient, patient advocacy skills help you learn about diseases,
understand options, and develop the ability to communicate effectively
with doctors and other healthcare providers to get the best possible
outcomes including quality of life.
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FOOD FOR THE BODY
Contains information on physical healing including nutrition, dietary supplements, exercise, physical and occupational therapy, and physical activities with therapeutic effects such as yoga and tai chi. READ MORE

FOOD FOR THE FUTURE
Contains tips for creating a healing home environment and recommend-
ations for music, books, and other materials that can help you plan and
improve your personal or family future.
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The price of attachment and love is loss and grief, yet we heal from grief through love. Perhaps
these emotions are as much the circle of life as the physical events of birth, marriage or
partnership, and death.

Grief is natural, and people heal in their own way: We don’t “get over” losses, especially
unexpected or particularly tragic deaths or ones that society does not acknowledge, so much as
we find one day that we’ve begun moving forward again.

For many, religion, culture, and family are supports during the grieving process. However, each
person is different, and each loss is different. Within the Western medical system, some settings
are as devoted to helping survivors to survive as helping the dying to die.

Children’s hospitals often work with parents dies to establish a setting within which the family
will be supported after the child dies. Hospices provide care for the body and spirit of the
terminally ill, and some begin survivor care before death. Many cancer centers have support
groups for survivors. Two of our dogs received care at a large, urban animal medical center,
and it had its own grief support organization.

Some losses are generally very hard, including unexpected deaths. Suicide carries stigma in most
societies on top of the guilt survivors may feel that they did not recognize warning signs in time
to prevent a death. People who survive an accident or violent event in which one or more died
may find grief intensified by their own trauma. Society prepares people to bury the aged, but no
one about to become a parent is prepared to bury that child.

I
f you see someone whose grief appears to worsen with time or who does not seem to heal at all
over months or a year, it may be helpful to recommend a medical evaluation to make sure
depression or post-traumatic stress syndrome is not hindering nature’s healing.

Trust your instincts with people you know well. Try to avoid saying “I know how you feel” unless
you are, or have been, in a situation that enables you to understand in some way how they feel,
such as the suicide of a child.

I
f you are unsure of what to do for yourself or someone else, there are organizations devoted to
helping people grieve. A sampling of these (some of which are found in multiple countries) is
listed in Resources.

I
f you do an Internet search in a language other than English, try combining a country or region
with the translated terms for loss or grief organization, along with specifics such as loss of a
child, loss of a pet, violent death, or suicide.

When the loved one is irretrievably lost before death occurs – such as some cases of major
stroke, dementia, or traumatic head injury--- check with organizations dedicated to fighting those
conditions (there is a long list of condition-specific organizations in Resources) for help.
People there will understand what you are experiencing.

Please let us know of anything that will improve the value of this section or if you identify useful
organizations or online resources we do not list.

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