This morning, as I was reading a blog concerning grief following the death of a loved one, I realized that I was feeling thankful for the cyberworld that is now available at my fingertips. The amount of information that can be reached by a mere click of a button is amazing. I’m probably dating myself quite a bit here, but sometimes I find the internet a truly interesting phenomenon.
After Jason died, I reached a point where I wanted answers – answers to my questions, answers to what “typical” or “normal” grieving looked like, answers to why I felt the way I did and how long my grief would last. I did what I knew how to do and in the way it was done at the time.
I scoured the shelves at the local libraries (to check out) and at our local Barnes & Noble (to purchase) for books on grief and on the death of a child, even though I was acutely aware that I was physically a mess, that my eyes were red and puffy from crying, and that I might break into tears at the drop of a hat while reading a book synopsis. I searched the library archives for magazine articles. I tried to find a grief support group that was a good fit (never did find one). I tried to reach out to others who had lost a child by talking about what I was feeling, by writing emails and making phone calls – all in an effort to find encouragement that I would make it through and that I would survive this horrible loss. I tried to create whatever type of support I could find. I wrote an article for our homeschool newsletter in an effort to encourage/promote understanding and support for bereaved parents.
All in all, it took a lot of physical, trial-and-error searching for helpful resources when I didn’t have a lot of energy (truly, I was a mess!) Although there were some books written on grief that I would consider excellent resources, it was generally not a topic about which much was written in comparison to the need.
Now, there are many more resources so easily available without even leaving the comfort of our homes. A bereaved parent (or those who wish to support a bereaved parent) can go online to find information, book reviews, helpful resources, download “how to help” booklets, or order resources shipped right to the front door. A bereaved parent can find a virtual community of support and encouragement where there may be none presently available in his or her own backyard. (I’m certainly not suggesting the cyberworld replace the real world when it comes to truly supporting a bereaved parent, just that it can be a resource should none be available.)
The Compassionate Friends has a wonderful website full of helpful resources. Libraries have links to extensive electronic resources (with a library card) that can be accessed from home. Amazon and other sites have extensive book reviews and suggested further reading lists. If I had a Kindle or Nook, I could instantly download a book on grief from wherever I happened to be. I can Google “death of a child” (or whatever the topic may be) and find many, many articles to read until I find something that applies to my given situation.
There are many wonderfully written and insightful blogs by bereaved parents, giving those “outside” an “inside” view of the world of lost children. I am so thankful for the bereaved parents who take the time and make the effort to write about their experiences online. Being vulnerable is not an easy thing to do, especially about something so personal. These blogs contain a wealth of information and encouragement for those who will take the time to read. Sure, you may have to sift through stuff (books, blogs, articles etc.) sometimes to find the gems, but I am thankful for the increasing awareness on the topic of grief because of these resources. I am thankful that so many have the courage to speak up, to no longer allow grief to be swept under the carpet as a taboo topic.
Yep. I’m of a certain age where the cyberworld can still amaze me…and I am thankful for this electronic resource, education tool, and connector to others who grieve.
And I am especially thankful to each of you “out there” who enrich my life by your writing.
© 2012 Rebecca R. Carney
Thank you so much for all the resources. Thank Goodness they are readily available as you say. 🙂
I Lost my dad last September and my mom in December. Sometimes there are no words for how I feel and the waves of sadness that roll in out of the blue. Grief is an individual, personal experience. Thank you for sharing the resources you’ve found along the way. May you find many peaceful moments and beautiful memories to soothe.
Hugs to you. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your comments. I also hope for peaceful moments and beautiful memories for you, too.
Yes, the internet can be very comforting. Sometimes the anonymity of it allows of us to share our true, gritty feelings more than we might in the “real world” which can be very therapeutic.
I agree. Sometimes it’s easier to “talk” to strangers than with people we know, especially if the bereaved feels that the person with whom we are talking doesn’t really want to talk about it or wants to avoid the subject. I also feel like having the opportunity to talk about our feelings of grief and loss can be very therapeutic. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your comments.
It is indeed a very small world when connected by the good old internet! Thank you for liking the post on my blog, I’m now following yours! Sadly I can identify with so soooo much of what you have written – and I’m only three years down this path that noone wants to tread! So sorry for your loss of Jason, sending you a big hug from sunny Scotland! xx
A small world, indeed! Sending you a big hug, too.
I am in the process of writing a book — from the perspective of a friend in the first year’s journey of the loss of a husband. One thing i actually have been looking for…and wondering if you have seen it, is a book (scrapbook of sorts) that kids can fill in on the memory of a parent. This would be for younger kids that would put in “A time that my dad made me laugh” or “THings my dad taught me were…” and a place for pictures, etc. have you seen anything like that?
I actually don’t know of such a thing, but maybe another reader would…
I too am so grateful for my cyber world and cyber friends