This handy checklist from Get Your Shit Together founder Chanel Reynolds can help you organize all the overwhelming details that scream for attention in the days and weeks after a death.
Lots of good resources here, including regional groups, Camp Widow, and other events. PS: Camp Widow. Yes. It does have its cheerleading, rah-rah elements. But it’s also a time to spend actual, in-person time with many, many people who get it. The relief of that is pretty amazing.
If you’re widowed, you’ll probably find someone at least a bit like you here. If not in the actual post authors, then in the comment stream. Really. I’ve found some of my best and closest widowed friends through WV.
If you’re widowed with young children, check out the Liz Logelin Foundation.
The MISS Foundation is a volunteer based organization committed to providing crisis and long term support to families after the death of a baby or child of any age. I’ve found Dr. Cacciatore’s writings applicable to my loss as well. Check out the kindness project on this site – it’s so beautiful.
Because there are so many out there, I don’t usually recommend blogs here on this site. Glow in the Woods is an exception. Written for the baby-lost community, there is so much beauty and truth here on this site, I bet you’ll find something there for you.
This is a fantastic resource to help people get their financial and personal documents in order before, as the creator puts it, life goes sideways. If your life has already gone sideways, you can still get your sh*t together, and encourage others around you to do the same. Will it make grief and shock any different? Not really. But it is one act of kindness, one way you can ease the way for those you love, in the event that life turns upside down. It’s an act of love in advance. Do it. Encourage others to do it.
These are books I’ve read and found useful – and I can be a tough audience. Please note that these are affiliate links, which means if you click on the image here and buy a book I recommend, I get a small commission.
I read this one very, very soon after Matt died – propped against an old stone wall in the courtyard beside the library, tears streaming down my face. I got as far as half-way through choice two. Choice two was already far too much ahead of me. Choice three felt repulsive. That’s the way early grief is: you can only be where you are. Everything else is viscerally repellant. In a way, it’s a great internal compass – your body won’t let you look further than you are. So. All of that said, this book is good. It helps.
My copy of this book is riddled with underlines and stars. It was the only book I found in those early days that talked about the continuing relationship after death. I had some issues with it, but those were more irritation with their relationship style during their time together, not her words on grief and death. It gave me real hope for myself, that I would find a way to live this, and continue our connection, on this new – plane.
This was great. GREAT. My memory is a bit hazy here, but I think there is a Christian component to this book, though not at all preaching. What I do remember is that it was so direct, so clear and honest and truthful about pain. He writes specifically for the early days of grief.
I’m mixed on this one. There were parts – very useful, validating parts for me. And other parts I found repulsive. Again, “repulsion” is my own internal compass, having nothing to do with the actual book, just its timing in my life. So. Good book.
At Hell’s Gate, by Claude Anshin Thomas, is an account of his path through the impact and trauma of war, and both inner and outer violence. What does it have to do with grief? Well, everything. Throughout this book, he writes about meditation not making things suddenly okay, or even ever okay: you cannot chant your way out of pain and into bliss. He even says that this itself, this desire or this directive to “be okay with all that is” is in fact a denial, a shaming and suppressing of pain. There is some violence in this book, but not nearly as much as is on his website, and the writing – and the wisdom in the writing – is worth skimming a few tough descriptions if you need to. One of the very few teachers I’ve found who doesn’t pretty-up pain.
It’s not a cold, clinical “outsider’s” description of grief, and it’s not a memoir of personal grief, either. Full of great lines. It has a whole page on grief anvils, which I usually call landmines. I loved this book.