Hello Further Shore Friends,
Here in Flagstaff the summer monsoons have been abundant after so many years of drought. Many residents here have experienced severe flooding from the burn scars of past wildfires. Recently, driving through one of those neighborhoods, I noted the sandbags and damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles. There has been tremendous loss of life and property this summer in other communities due to natural disasters. This is a type of sudden loss that results in shock, denial, and can produce anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Recently my virtual work has included support for those who have experienced sudden loss of possessions, personal health, companion animals, and loved ones due to unforeseen and unanticipated events.
Grief from sudden loss is somewhat different than grief after anticipated loss. In addition to the shock, there may be thoughts about unfinished business or not being able to say goodbye, as well as complicated feelings of disorientation or inability to cope. There are many virtual resources available for grief after sudden loss. Marieke Poelman, author of Everything Around Them is Still There – Dealing With Sudden Loss, offers a Tedx Talk about finding resilience and strength in the face of immense loss.
While there is no shame in acknowledging a need for support after sudden loss, many are reluctant to do so and suffer a decreased quality of life as this need goes unmet. If this experience sounds familiar, remember that healing after sudden loss takes time, patience, and may require help from others. There are counseling or coaching services, support groups, and clergy who dedicate their lives to the practice of providing such help.
Dr. Kristen Neff has a series of audio and visual meditations to spark self-care through the 3 components of compassion: mindfulness, kindness, and common humanity. This practice guided by Dr. Neff is just under 5 minutes and brings in a bit of tenderness. Navigating my own health challenge, has placed sudden loss squarely in front of me. Life is not status quo right now. I am appreciative of Dr. Neff’s self-care tips as I settle into treatment protocols that have demanded mindful attention and new boundaries of my time and energy. I am grateful to many here who have reached out to extend kind words and encouragement for healing. May your kindness be returned in immeasurable ways.
Now for the News:
- My latest blog post “K” is for Kindness is now available.
- Here in the USA, wildfires, flooding, and extreme weather have wreaked havoc in many communities including my own. Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana, once again a reminder of mother nature’s destructive power. Ask yourself if you feel prepared for an extreme weather event, earthquake, or other emergency. If you want to learn how improve your preparedness, spend an hour (or more) at the Ready.gov website. September is National Preparedness Month and Ready.gov provides information about how to stay informed; make a plan; build a kit; limit disaster impact upon you and your family; and teach children and youth about preparedness.
- As many disasters are attributed to a warming planet, this is also a good time to consider the ways we can support a healthy environment.
- Due to the rise in COVID-19’s Delta variant, cases, breakthrough cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are rising for all ages and demographics including those fully vaccinated, children and infants. In some states, the latest coronavirus wave has hospitals and morgues collapsing under the weight of this fourth wave. Persons who are at increased risk for severe illness due to a comorbidity or immune compromise will want to stay informed about test positivity rates, vaccination clinics, and other guidelines based on COUNTY are available at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view.
- This month’s quote: “My religion is very simple; my religion is kindness.” ~ His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Thank you for your interest in our mission to provide resources and education for living well and dying with dignity. May you be safe, well, and content.