Category Archives: Family Health

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Sibling Grief -Finding Solace between Grief vs Suicide

Sibling Grief

One Parents Journey

A death in the family usually remains within the family unit, and an announcement is made in the local paper, so friends, and colleagues may join in paying their final respects . It’s a difficult time when family members pass on, and as a parent, it’s worse when a child passes on, regardless of age, and survived by parents, and the effects upon surviving siblings.

The normal stages of grief takes place, as follows:

  • Anger, as reality sets in, pain rises again, and it can be overwhelming. We turn it away aka ‘deflecting‘ it, and ‘redirecting‘ it, and expressed as anger. Towards others, or inanimate objects, strangers, friends, and family. Some will be angry at the one who passed away. Some will feel guilty for their anger which makes them angry yet again. It also isolates them from others trying to bring comfort.
  • Denial and Isolation , we stand in disbelief denying this event has occurred. A well of pain rises, the first wave, to the surface ,and we cry. Denial is a defense mechanism, and normal reaction. Self-isolating allows the release of the pain, with crying. in privacy. It is better to ‘share’ your grief with another sibling. Don’t shoulder this loss, alone.
  • Bargaining, we ask ourselves if there’s more we could’ve done to prevent the loss? This is called ‘Bargaining‘. We make ‘ if I did this …that… or the other thing‘ statements. Normal reactions to feelings of helplessness, and trying to regain a sense of control, and avoid the pain, and the true reality of death. Guilt will follow bargaining. We genuinely believe there was something more we could’ve done.
  • Depression, this emotion comes in two parts. One is sadness and regret while making funeral preparations, and worrying about not spending time with closer family members, such as the surviving children. The second type of depression, are those feelings of guilt towards preparing to ‘separate and say good-bye‘.
  • Acceptance, a quiet withdrawal and calm but not depression. This stage of grief is not always reached at the same time for anybody, and there is no time limit for the stages of grief. We may move from one stage to another then move back again. Acceptance is reaching that stage where we know that we cannot change the reality, and stop trying to make it different.

The loss of a child for parents is painful. All the dreams, hopes, and plans shared with this child vanish in an instant, leaving one to almost feel hollow. The pain will be great and when other children are affected, your own grief goes on hold, to help your surviving children. This particular duty will take great effort because you must juggle between your own grief, and the grief of your surviving children. Your emotions and energy levels will feel as if on maximum overdrive. It’s very important to keep an eye on maintaining your self-care, and your surviving children.

Sibling Grief

Surviving siblings of the one who’s passed away, will go through the stages of grief also but seen from their place in the family. Siblings are re-known to have a somewhat ‘tug-of-war‘ relationship. It’s not perfect but each day they eventually grow, to have a peaceful rapport going on between them. They have a closer bond separate from parents since they spent a lot of time together than with their parents.

Siblings share a history and experiences, again, separate from their parents. They know each others antics, good and bad. They’ve shared conversations, had arguments, learned something from each other, and most of all, they are family.

I lost a daughter. She has siblings, all brothers, from both her bio mother and father’s sides of her two families. I can only speak for her siblings here with me, and my experiences to help her brothers through this major life event.

Siblings lose their Hero

The major shared symptom that arose with my sons was ‘survivor’s guilt‘. They were packed and ready to move to the city and get an apartment with their sister. They were a mix of excited and nervous but ready. Then the ‘news’ arrived. We all stood in disbelief, as we had spoken with her, night before last, and I had been waiting for her about a particular conversation, and her return call. The emotional fallout is intense, and a journey that can be done. Your love is going to be your strength to get all of you, through the loss.

A change in behaviors is going to be first to surface, of course. Two of my sons went on immediate suicide watch. Each one telling me, ‘I wanted to protect her, she always protected me, and now my chance is gone. I feel so alone.’ I understood their position and agreed. They each were in different roles, one as the eldest, a middle, and the youngest brother, and a tight-knit bond between all of them. Their bond was shredded and hanging on by a thread. I had to figure out how to find solid ground for them, and to help keep their life moving forward vs feeling like they got ‘shot out of orbit’ and adrift in their grief.

I had to think fast, long and hard, and talked with my former husband, who adored our daughter even though she was his step-daughter, she was his ‘daughter’ as far as he was concerned. She always called him her ‘true’ father. She would always have dinner with him when he was in the same city for business trips. We were 1100+ Km apart but she kept near-daily close contact through phone calls, with each of her family here in the Great White North, at all hours. Somebody always answered.

finding Solace

I awoke one day and quickly realized that I could draw upon my own life experience as a 60’s Scoop survivor. I had lost my own mother, not once but twice. First loss, the apprehension from Children’s Aid Society back in the 60’s, and the second loss, learning at age 18, she had died shortly after I was ‘adopted’ out. I had grieved for her, all the years of hoping for our reunion, were gone. I remembered.

While you’re in throes of grief. It’s difficult to truly think straight. You’re emotionally numb, and the world literally feels upside-down, moving too fast, and you wish it would slow down. This is from trying to process the reality of the loss ,and over whelming emotions. Don’t be too hard on yourself for acting rather ‘slowly’. It’s part of the normal grieving process.

I had been adopted to a ‘family’ where I did not feel as part of this family. I eventually learned to live my life ‘in the name of my ‘bio’ parents and do my best to ‘be my best’, and make them proud. I’m an Indigenous First Nation woman and have had to ‘re-learn’ my culture. One major lesson shared with me was, ‘ our dead? only their body is gone, not their Soul, that lives forever.’

One night with my youngest son, telling me, ‘she was my Hero, how can I do that for her now? I want to go, so I can protect her.’ I then shared my own life lesson with him about my mother, and how I live with my loss, since I was 18, even today. I then told him about one of his sister’s ‘last’ conversations with me. I told him,’ She said this just last week, ‘ my brothers are awesome!’ She had shared points about each of her brothers to me that night. I shared them with my youngest son. She absolutely loved and adored each of her brothers even when they ‘annoyed’ her. I did the same with his eldest brother. Their middle brother was also floundering but struggling his way through the grief. They had their eyes opened and found a ‘life raft’. This last conversation, her last words, gave them new purpose.

heartaches from loss

new Arrangements

Today, they have each graduated from high school, and various college programs. They ‘live’ their lives to the best of their abilities with a deep faith that she is there too. Our Indigenous culture does not have words for ‘good bye‘ only ‘see you later‘ or ‘till we meet again‘. We will see her again when our time here, is done.

Yes, we do have our ‘off’ days and do fall into grief but now, each brother can pull each other back up onto their feet, or do their best, to get back up together. We all share the same sorrow, and we’re not alone with this loss. Christmas gets cancelled by my sons, it’s not the same without their sister. It was one of her last visits with us, Christmas. I accept that, not crazy about it, but okay. I hope that will change when they leave home and truly begin to live their own lives.

The other issues where their behaviors would change, are on her birthday and the anniversary of her death. I pay close attention with each of them. A few months of ‘high risk’ behaviors, and second near loss of another child, keeps me on alert. These types of behaviors and scary days are less now, and I can smile but do so tentatively. I hope they will learn to check in with each other on those days, on their own.

We do bake a cake on her birthday, and visit her grave site each year, together, or alone, as needed. Her brothers can talk about pranks they would do, today, and her most likely reaction. They loved getting on her nerves about ‘retarded shyt’ they did, her exact words. They can once again, find and share laughter, and build memories, together.

I think that I’ve helped them reach a level of comfort, and coping skills to handle their loss. They have each learned to share pieces of their own birthday cakes with their sister, and her eldest brother lays a single rose for her, in the city they both love, on her birthday, and half dozen minus one, on anniversary of her death. She is never far from their thoughts and hearts. They are my heart and joy, and I tell them regularly.

It is now going into our eighth year of our loss. I can relax more and believe that I’ve reached the final stage of acceptance. I am calm and some friends have stated, they get ‘spooked’ with my quiet calm and miss my ‘bubbly-ness’. It still comes out but not as often as before my loss and not everybody knows about my loss.

Setting Stepping Stones

Siblings don’t usually get as much focus, as the parents when a death occurs in the family, or community. Some articles online have said they are usually the ‘forgotten mourners‘. I had worked tirelessly over the years, to ensure they had a close bond. We all share the loss, and the same sorrow. I pushed myself through my own grief, to ensure their sibling bonds would remain strong. I like to believe that I’ve accomplished this one hope, and it will hold true throughout their lives.

Parents must remember the five stages of grief are NOT going to be reached at the SAME time between you, and your children. One other behavior that arose was all mine. I was ‘hovering’ always nearby and almost ‘smothering’ my sons with worrying about their safety. It ‘s important that you acknowledge that you too, have changed, and will have your own ‘residual’ behaviors to contend with and find closure. Secondly, let it be okay with your children to point out your behaviors. Open honesty between all of you will help with growing and healing. Remember, you too suffered a loss, and need to finish your grieving stages.

Death is not anybody’s favorite topic. It happens to everyone, and all life forms on our planet. I’d prefer to see people living happy lives but it does not exist equally for everybody, around the world, and in Canada for First Nations. It is difficult to have discussions about it but worse to live through it, and especially for our children, no matter their age. It should be discussed, and I highly recommend parents share their hopes, and dreams, with each child. Let it be a ‘gift’ they can hold close and bring it to life, in their own lives with the motto, ‘see you later‘. As parents, would you, or have you discussed this topic with your family?

Reading Resources

Memory-Making Activities, Elementary School Age PDF

Grief Handbook for Teens – Eluna Network PDF

Memory Book Ideas

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments, link to me, or Share this article, with your Friends. Use the ‘Ask a Question’ form and request a topic of your own interest, for the next Post.

Article(C)2021 +, An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business development, skills, health, science, technology and society and advocate for independence, security and a better world for all of us.

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How to Take the Stress Out of Sober Travel

travel sober, addiction free, sobriety, travel safe, addiction free, stay sober, an informal cornr, caleb anderson, how to

a Guest post by Caleb Anderson

Travel can be exhilarating, relaxing and rejuvenating. But if you’re in addiction recovery, travel can be scary because you think you may be tempted to fall back into old and dangerous habits. It doesn’t have to be that way. Travel can give you a sense of calm and an awareness of the big world around you. It’s also a great way to help heal your body and mind.

A little advance planning can make your trips easier and less fraught with triggers. Here are a few tips to get you ready for this big step.

Try Sober Travel

There are travel companies that offer sober tours, trips and even cruises. Though you might think you need to avoid the big cities that are party meccas, you can enjoy these places sober, too. Sober tours offer companionship with other people who want to stay clean but still have a great time.

Travel with the right people

Don’t bring your party-animal friends along on a trip. Travel with people who understand your situation and who will refrain from drinking and drugs, if that’s what you need. If you’re comfortable with others drinking around you, but don’t want them to offer it to you, communicate your needs ahead of time. Good friends will honor your recovery.

Look for meetings

If you’re in a 12-step program, you can find meetings almost anywhere. They’re even offered on cruise ships, which are typically loaded with alcohol. Plus, meetings are a great way to meet new people and experience other cultures. Keep your sponsor’s phone number handy, and tell him or her in advance of your trip. You might even get some good travel tips.

Manage stress

Travel can often include stressful situations, which could easily trigger a relapse. If you plan ahead, you can ease some of that anxiety. Make lots of plans, lists, and itineraries to keep the guesswork to a minimum. Build extra time into your travel schedule for the unexpected, like a delayed flight. Tell your travel partner that you may need help if you get too stressed, and he or she might need to take the reins and help you relax.

Bring your pet

If you’re planning on being in the great outdoors for a sober adventure, and you have a dog that loves to hike or camp, bring him along! Your dog can help calm you when needed, as well as give you a loving companion to cuddle. Not only will you both be getting some time outdoors, but you’ll get some extra bonding time. Plus, your dog will appreciate the vacay, too!

Continue your self-care routine

Do you meditate every morning? Read a book over coffee? Take regular breaks to clear your head? Keep this up on your trip. Continue eating well and exercising for your health. Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you have to give up your goals.

However you do it, just do it. Travel can hugely benefit your state of mind. Just by getting out of your normal routine, you reset your thoughts and experience the world. Travel enhances your creativity, gives you a more “open” personality and relieves stress. Studies have shown that just preparing for a trip can boost your mood. Everybody wants something to look forward to!

As J Henry Hanson put it in Huffington Post, “Waking up clear-headed and knowing where I slept is extremely satisfying to me. Rising with the sun, rather than the moon, enables me to really get to know a place that I am visiting,” she said. “Sober travel allows me to recall sunsets over Volcan Masaya in Nicaragua, Green Turtles laying eggs in Costa Rica, swimming on Starfish Beach in Panama, and participating in a Mayan planting ceremony in Guatemala. The absence of a hangover allows me to savor museum exhibits rather than rush through so I can find my next cocktail.

Extra Reading & Resources

Sober Vacations International 

Addiction.com – Last Minute Vacations for Sober Travelers

Sober Travelers

Read related —->  What’s the Alcohol doing to You?

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to leave your comments and SHARE your new found knowledge with others. Use the ‘Contact’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. It is FREE to subscribe by RSS feed.


Caleb Anderson is in recovery from an opiate addiction. He hopes sharing his experiences will help others. He co- created RecoveryHope.org to help people with substance abuse disorders and their families.

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12 Free Science and Business Research Resources

free research resources, an informal cornrI have great admiration and respect, for people with mad skills in professional career fields, rich (not the money type) life experiences and immense knowledge. Mind you, one can also have a higher education but be an absolutely horrible person, and disrespect, or prey upon others. We’ll go hide over yonder, if we see one of those, okay?

Do you ever wonder about bloggers? They too are educated in various fields, and  develop partnerships with others, educated in different fields. They work together, and  provide awesome content for your enjoyable consumption. Many businesses hire Bloggers to provide content too. Feed the brain! Arrgh! (that growl sound) braaain! Remember that movie?

Bloggers do a lot of reading about their niche topic, or, as in my case, read about more than one niche, then make an outline, organize it into a fabulous and coherent, epic post, all for you. Speaking for myself, it feels good to know, somebody may find my post, helps overcome a problem, or two, and maybe, learn something new.

The 12 Free Science and Business Research Resources

The journey to delve into the 12 free online resource sites that can be quite helpful, for research purposes whether for personal, business, or education purposes, are as follows;

PubMed

Described as, ‘a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM)’ and which even Canada references to this site too.

Research Buzz

A site packed with news about search engines, digital data archives, online databases, and allows you to subscribe, for your own specific information. A great tool for research add-ons.

Information Please

A resource site for parents, educators and librarians to find factual answers to questions about ‘current events, science, government and history‘. Tools such as, a thesaurus, almanac, dictionary and encyclopedia are offered too. This site is considered, very kid friendly to visit, for their own research needs.

Plants Database

A database about ‘vascular’ plants, found in the US. It contains information about plants and is focused on land conservation. Information such as species abstracts, plant characteristics, symbols and more, can be found at this site and they encourage academic, educational and general use for research studies.

The Free Library

A huge library of classic literature but also ‘has been expanded to include a massive collection of periodicals from hundreds of leading publications covering Business and Industry, Communications, Entertainment, Health, Humanities, Law, Government, Politics, Recreation and Leisure, Science and Technology, and Social Sciences’.

Open Access Scientific Reports

A huge repository of free scientific reports and journals in science and technologies. They seek to ‘expand the reach of research data in the real time, which in turn helps in furthering the research for research scholars, students, libraries, educational institutions, research centers and industries and able to benefit from open access to research data’.

Free Tech Books

A site that offers a growing database of ‘free/open access online computer science books, lecture notes and textbooks’. Technologies are always changing therefore important to stay updated with the latest and greatest. Who doesn’t want to be tech savvy?

Retail Wire

A great business site that offers free insight into ‘expert opinion and advice covering the most dynamic trends and issues affecting the retailing industry’. Refer to this site when looking for news about business.

SBDC Clearinghouse|SBA Small Business Help

A public access, business research site, for Small business and entrepreneurs. They do research for their Small business development network and offer their research results at this site.

World Economic Forum

A business resource that offers insights about ‘the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas’. They have insightful reports about entrepreneurship and business from around the world.

Nations Encyclopedia

A resource site that offers insightful reports about a nations ‘economy, economic sectors, agriculture, poverty, and wealth, working conditions, imports, exports, manufacturing, and much more’.

Trade Pub

A fantastic free subscription B2B resource, that touts their ‘research library is #1 resource for professionals to access free research, white papers, reports, case studies, magazines, and eBooks’. Once you join, you can subscribe by email or download their app.

Learning in Action

Extra Learning Resources

Alison 

Offers 1000 Free online courses and some with Certification.

GED Testing Service  

Learn about earning your GED and prepare with Practice tests

Coursera

Free courses available online and upon completion, receive an ‘electronic Course Certificate’.

I strive to help others ‘learn that ordinary can grow into Extraordinary’. Set backs can happen to anybody but tomorrow, is a new day and we can make changes. Do I actually read all this stuff? Well, I spend a lot of time surfing online around these sites, or in my email, reading information from these sites, gathering notes.

All this activity and reading, helps to inspire spin-off topics, or strengthen current topics, provide concrete evidence. I prefer to present you with facts vs faux news. Besides, knowledge explored together makes for great moments, don’t you think?

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments, link to me, or share this article, with your Friends. Use the ‘Ask a Question’ form and request a topic of your own interest, for the next Post.

Article(C)2009 +, An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology and society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us. She is also a VEA available for Hire 🙂

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