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Gratitude and Grief

Grief is like a rock. It can be large, small, heavy or light. I recently chose a “grief rock” in the bereavement group I’m attending. I keep the rock with me to symbolize that the grief is present, real and tangible. We learned about the difference between grief and mourning.

Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D., says, “Grief is the constellation of internal thoughts and feelings we have when someone we love dies. It’s the weight in the chest, the churning of the gut, the unspeakable thoughts and feelings. Mourning is the outward expression of grief; crying, journaling, creating artwork, talking to others about death, telling the story and speaking the unspeakable. Everyone grieves when a loved one dies, but if we are to heal, we must also mourn. If you grieve, but don’t mourn, your body will keep telling you it is in distress.”

Sunday family dinners at my brother’s house aren’t the same anymore since Grandpa and Pop both passed on earlier this year. Several high school and college friends also passed away recently. All of us at Natural Awakenings suffered a heartbreaking loss with the sudden passing of our beloved company President and COO, Larry Levine, just a few short weeks ago (see page 9).

As the holidays approach, the recent loss of these loved ones is another affirming reminder for me of this glorious gift of life, a precious opportunity we have in time and space to authentically express who we are as we learn the spiritual lessons life provides us.

I’m grateful to have shared experiences with my departed friends; grateful to have spent time with my dad in his last years; grateful to have known and worked with Larry, a true angel on earth. I am grateful that a new dawn breaks every morning, giving me the opportunity to start anew, wherever I am in the midst of life’s twists and turns; and I am grateful to be part of a community of educators, practitioners and readers as we learn, grow, heal, love and support each other, together.

This month’s issue focuses on mental well-being, where we discuss groundbreaking research that supports the case for healthy lifestyle changes, starting with nutrition, to help slow and possibly reverse cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients. We also cover the use of conventional antidepressants versus natural lifestyle choices for the treatment of depression, including thoughts on the matter from Carlisle-based psychotherapist Joan-Marie Lartin on page 35. We also welcome to the magazine Psychiatrist Christian Kcompt, M.D., on page 17.

Enjoy this important issue and in the season of Thanksgiving and spiritual renewal, I am grateful to be in a position to live each day to its fullest and encourage myself and other to feel good, live simply and laugh more.

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