Happy Mental Health Monday, Dealing with grief & loss (2023)


20230213….This video is for those left behind after dealing with the loss of a loved one to Stage IV Cancer…This is coming up to the 90 day mark after Janette passed in November 2022. This is a mental health Monday, it is the day after the 57th Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia eagles congratulations to the Chiefs, and well done to the Eagles!

This is a point where I am actually starting to feel better and the triggers aren’t having such an emotional impact like they did in the early days. I’m not saying that you get over it, but that you can see light of the tunnel and you don’t necessarily think it’s a train. Headed your way.

I am at a point where I am starting to put things on the calendar and plan to accomplish new and exciting tasks, but it also is a time when you’re still sorting things out.

Janette had Stage IV cervical cancer and a mass around the kidney and one in the lung. We’ve tried Chemo/radiation, KeyTruda and TIVDAK with Dr Kirby and his staff at Huntsville Hospital since May 2021. We didn’t have success with any of those, so we were invited to Augusta GA to be considered for a Trial at the Augusta University Cancer Center and Dr Ghamande in OCT 2022. We weren’t accepted for the trial and rather than move back to aggressive chemo, we opted for Hospice back in Alabama. She passed on Sunday, 20 NOV 2022, just before sunset!

The grieving process is rough, even when you know it’s coming and even when you truly are happy that their pain has ceased and your loved one is in a better place.

I look at Mondays as mental health Mondays, just like Wednesdays are Wellness Wednesdays, Thursdays are Hunt The Good Stuff Thursdays and Fridays are TGIF days!

I have been learning a lot about the grieving process and I’m grateful I have the capability and chance to learn from this experience….as I enter this phase…I am not sure but I feel like are blessings or maybe a “silver lining” about a terminal illness versus being killed by an accident or dying suddenly from something like a heart attack…..I had the heads up that it’s coming and that started upon diagnosis over 1.5 years ago…. So I had an opportunity to start working thru some of this early on and tackle what the end might be like along the way….In this phase after she actually passed, I’m finding triggers for both positive and negative thoughts and emotional hiccups…so learning to deal with those has unique challenges, but overall I can see glimpses of peace that is already transforming and shining thru the tunnel of loss, grief, anger, guilt, denial and even acceptance etc… time heals in the essence for me that it provides opportunities to practice dealing with things and getting better at it…

HTGS= Hunt The Good Stuff. This is one of the key parts of Military’s resiliency training and it is a little bit more than just the glass is half full. The intent of this is to help rewire your brain away from the negativity bias, and once it has a more optimistic outlook that will increase your mental agility and often times you will see options or solutions to challenges and problems, or simply just a better way to look at friction than before. There is much more that builds on resilience, but having a more optimistic outlook can also help improve relationships, which is another very big key in developing increased resilience and protective factors. The slight difference between HTGS and just the glass is half full is that in HTGS, the individual also needs to note on what did they do to cause that good thing or what can they do to improve the chances of that good thing happening again.

Please go back and see the celebration of life here on YouTube or if you’d like to see the long version that includes the music, you should be able to see the entire Celebration of Life at this link. vimeo.com/event/2714854

“Be Good to Each Other!”

Remember if you’re struggling, to seek professional help from experts if you need it but whatever you do, keep plodding along!

In Augusta, The Lydia House Project (as of May 2022 I understand it changed to be called Cancer Support Services) and those that work with it have been AWESOME!

CANCER SUCKS! But there is HOPE and lots of HELP out there!

Check out www.thelydiaproject.org and


Well, all right all right all right? Happy, Monday and happy, post, Super, Bowl 57.

So here it is it's about 105., p.m, Central, Time on Monday, yep, Monday, the 13th of February, 2023 I, just finished my lunch.

And it was pretty tasty.


So I might uh I might make another one.

It was a ham Swiss and cheddar and then I didn't toast it I, microwaved it.

But it melted the cheese and stuff and I feel bad because I want another one.

So you know, I gotta kind of, you know, keep an eye on my girlish figure here to my uh, little Fitness, uh figure.

But on another note, I, didn't, finish I only had one of these yesterday for the Super Bowl because I had to go pick up Alex from scouts kind of late right at halftime.

In fact.

So this is the leftovers and uh, I'm drinking this here as part of my lunch and uh, I've got some other work here.

I need to be doing I'm doing more research, I've been trying to figure out.

You know, if I were to do another YouTube besides Alabama Adventures, you know, which didn't get any traffic until Janet died.

So it's, one of those, uh, strange things that, uh, um, I never could get more than three or four or five hundred YouTube subscribers and then I posted, uh, some of uh, Janet's videos.

So that her family around the family and friends around the world had an idea of what's going on because she'd kind of broke contact, especially during the last uh, three or four months.

So anyway, trying to decide where to go from here, um I, don't know, what people may want to hear on YouTube or what's helpful, um, I'm, still trying to learn and figure this out, uh, I figured out that there was another place that the comments are going and they're like in a holding station, which is good because I haven't really learned how to deal with the negative comments, the positive comments are so so comforting they're.

So, um, they're, good to hear it's great to have that support, um.

So maybe I'll post this video, because maybe you can put down in the comments below, where do we go from here? Because I have a feeling that majority of the audience probably is somebody that was going through the same type of stuff that Janet went through I have a feeling that there's very little of anybody that went through what I personally went through.

It was probably more, uh from the people that were in Janet's Foxhole or somebody that can relate a little better with that.

So how do I take? You know, my interests or I, don't know that I'm capable? I mean, Janet's passed away in November.

So how do I keep going forward in the in the future to help those people? Uh that that need help? What do they need help with? You know, I think I'm, uh, been very fortunate.

I've got a I'm, uh, I've got a lot of grit.

I have a lot of really good, uh, resiliency type training, I've, I think, I, I feel like I have a lot of good, um and very positive protective factors, built in I have a great support network from from family and friends.

So I, I think I'm just very very blessed.

But some of the things that have been on my bucket list that are challenging to do.

Now that Janet's passed away, you know, go and finish the Appalachian Trail or even uh to do the the trail here in Alabama, um and uh, the tourism, uh.

Now that I'm retired, you know, do I move forward with Earth Barbers and and make that stuff.

So maybe what I need to do is have multiple different types of channels and I can cover on that stuff, um.

But as far as Alabama Adventures, you know, I do have some places that I want to go see, uh, kind of waiting for the weather to I, don't know, it's not so much.

The weather really I think it's just a little more daylight, which you know now it's starting to get darker a little bit after five, uh.

So, uh, maybe I could finish up some of these uh tasks and get rolling, uh in order to get back, you know before dark and make some of those types of videos.

So so anyway, this maybe this is an opportunity for you.

Those of you that are have been that subscribed to this channel.

Thank you so much, uh for your support.

And for the positive comments, uh, hopefully it's been Mutual that we've been able to help each other get through this, uh kind of time period.

But where should we go in the future? Or what kind of things can I do to help you move forward? Or where should we go? You know, I always said, when I retired from the military it's like I, still don't really know what I want to do when I grow up and I'm still trying to sort that out have a ton of Interest have a ton of knowledge.

You know, I, I, go all over the place like one point, it's like, hey, I'll go get my finish getting my uh PhD and something like positive psychology, uh, met with uh, a doc, uh last week, because of some unusual High numbers in my physical after I came back from covid, um and uh.

So I thought a lot about.

Uh at one time in my life I was I, was pretty sure I was either going to be a doctor or a PA.

A PA seems a lot more suited for me, I'm a little more blue-collar I think than going through all the the doctor stuff.


So so when I met with them it's like, yeah, we have a lot of 50 year olds, uh in our class and uh, it probably only take a couple years before I could actually start seeing patients.

So you know, if we live long enough, you know, or maybe that's a great way to pay it forward because, uh, you know, that's a great way I think to meet uh with patients.

And one of the things, the one of the main reasons why I didn't go to medical school is America doesn't, honestly seem to be really set on keeping people healthy, um, you know, but when I learned to look at it as being able to help improve people's quality of life, then I became a lot more sold on, you know, maybe I should stay with this public health type of concept and just learning to have a have a great life.

So on another note, I, guess if I do post this on YouTube, I will say that little cough is about one of the things that I have left over I'm.

Finally, starting to feel like, uh, I'm, not quite so tired and uh, because there for a while boy I'd go work for a while one or two hours and I'm kind of like I need a nap it's like shoot.

Am I really that old or is this something else, um.

And then when I got those unusually high numbers on one of the lab results, it had me kind of, you know, kind of figuring out we're still trying to figure out.

We did some other tests and we'll, wait to see what happens, but, um, you know, we'll deal with that kind of stuff.

Once we really know what we're dealing with right now.

It doesn't really do any good to worry about a lot of things until we know what we're dealing with I can already say that on the positive side, if it is something, uh, we probably caught it very early and uh, hopefully we'll be able to mitigate it or deal with it when it comes.

So anyway, it's a Monday.

It is a mental health, uh, Monday.

So I hope, everybody's getting out there checking on each other.

Uh, just, uh, you know, we went through the 22 days of suicide awareness for suicide.

You know, for the 22 soldiers, military members veterans that uh, commit suicide every day, um.

So it's, not really about the push-ups reach out and touch base or send a text to somebody that's.

All you got to do is just say, hey, I'm, just checking up on you.

You know, something like that can go a really long way.

So anyway, I hope you're all having a great day dubs up Reagan's games will start playing next.

Uh, soon in Northern Florida at the end of February.

And then about every weekend after that.

So she'll have a busy time up through about May.

So dubs up dubs up and go dogs, take care and peace out bye.


What is the best advice for coping with grief? ›

Coping With Loss
  • Take care of yourself. Try to exercise regularly, eat healthy food, and get enough sleep. ...
  • Talk with caring friends. ...
  • Try not to make any major changes right away. ...
  • Join a grief support group in person or online. ...
  • Consider professional support. ...
  • Talk to your doctor. ...
  • Be patient with yourself.

What do you say to someone who is grieving? ›

A simple 'I'm with you' or 'I'm thinking of you' could be exactly what they want to hear. If you know the person who's died, you could also say something about what they meant to you. Try to avoid phrases like 'I know how you feel' though, because everyone experiences grief differently.

What are 3 strategies for coping with grief? ›

Private prayer, meditation and listening to religious music are other ways to cope with the spiritual aspects of grieving. Reminiscing in a healthy way: Your good memories of the person who has passed on can be a comfort during grief.

What is the difference between grieving and mourning? ›

➢ Grief is what we think and feel on the inside when someone we love dies. Examples include fear, loneliness, panic, pain, yearning, anxiety, emptiness etc. ➢ It is the internal meaning given to the experience of loss. ➢ Mourning is the outward expression of our grief; it is the expression of one's grief.

What are the 5 stages of grief? ›

The five stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – are often talked about as if they happen in order, moving from one stage to the other. You might hear people say things like 'Oh I've moved on from denial and now I think I'm entering the angry stage'. But this isn't often the case.

How long does grief exhaustion last? ›

Grieving isn't just an emotional process. It can be surprisingly physical too, leaving you exhausted, achy, restless and even with cold or flu-like symptoms. Your mind and body are run down and burnt out, and you might feel that way for weeks or even months.

What not to say to someone grieving? ›

Things Not to Say to Someone in Grief:
  • You'll get through it, be strong.
  • He brought this on himself, it was his fault.
  • She's in a better place.
  • It's been a while, aren't you over her yet?
  • He lived a long time, at least he didn't die young.
  • God must have wanted her there because she was such a good person.
  • You're young.
Dec 7, 2020

How does God comfort us when mourning? ›

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

The Good News: God comforts us in our darkest times so that we are able to have strength to give others help and strength during their worst times. We look to God as an example on how to provide comfort and love during times of sorrow.

What are the 3 C's of grief? ›

Practice the three C's

As you build a plan, consider the “three Cs”: choose, connect, communicate. Choose: Choose what's best for you. Even during dark bouts of grief, you still possess the dignity of choice. “Grief often brings the sense of loss of control,” said Julie.

What are the 4 R's of grief? ›

Dr. Hoy and other counselors believe every good funeral includes these four R's: Recognize Reality, Remember, Reaffirm, and Release. Use these as a guide towards a “good goodbye.” The bereavement process starts with the recognition and realization that someone has died.

Can crying help resolve grief? ›

Crying releases stress hormones including cortisol which can build up in our bodies and cause physical and emotional stress. Crying also stimulates the production of endorphins, our body's natural pain killer which trigger a positive feeling.

Why is 40 days after death? ›

The observation of the 40th day after death occurs in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. The ritual represents spiritual intercession on the part of the dead, who are believed to collectively await the Day of Judgment.

How does grief affect the brain? ›

Grief can rewire our brain in a way that worsens memory, cognition, and concentration. You might feel spacey, forgetful, or unable to make “good” decisions. It might also be difficult to speak or express yourself. These effects are known as grief brain.

How long should a person mourn their spouse? ›

The standard grieving period can last anywhere from six to twelve months for it to cycle through. This applies to most cases of ordinary grief, with no additional complications coming into play.

What is the hardest stage of grief? ›

What is the hardest stage of grief? Depression is usually the longest and most difficult stage of grief. Depression can be a long and difficult stage in the grieving process, but it's also when people feel their deepest sadness.

What not to do when grieving? ›

5 Things Not to Do When Grieving
  1. Do not try to self-medicate your emotional pain away. ...
  2. Do not avoid the pain you feel. ...
  3. Do not hide yourself away from friends and family. ...
  4. Do not focus on regrets, choices you've made, or past actions you've taken. ...
  5. Do not make major, life-changing decisions.

How does death affect someone mentally? ›

People might feel or act differently to usual when they are grieving. They might have difficulty concentrating, withdraw and not enjoy their usual activities. They may drink, smoke or use drugs. They may also have thoughts of hurting themselves or that they can't go on.

Do you sleep a lot when grieving? ›

It is very common to feel tired, or exhausted, when you are grieving. There are many reasons why you may feel tired, especially if you were caring for the person who died. Strong emotions along with all the practical things you may have needed to do after they died, can also leave you feeling exhausted.

Why does grief hit so hard? ›

It requires more energy to work through than most people expect. It takes a toll on us physically and emotionally. This is why we often feel so fatigued after a loss or why we may feel very apathetic towards people and events.

When grief gets harder? ›

Often the hardest times comes four to six months after a loss. At this point, the numbness and shock have worn off and you are finally feeling the full weight of your new reality. This can be particularly hard because friends and family may expect you to feel better at precisely the time you are feeling worse.

How often should you check on someone who is grieving? ›

Check in every now and then just to say hello (you may find it helpful to put reminders on your calendar). Most bereaved people find it difficult to reach out and need others to take the initiative.

What do you say to someone who is grieving and crying? ›

For example, you could say something as simple as: “I heard that your father died.” By using the word “died” you'll show that you're more open to talk about how the grieving person really feels. Express your concern. For example: “I'm sorry to hear that this happened to you.”

Is it okay to text someone who is grieving? ›

The truth is, you don't have to leave a long, drawn-out voicemail or send a card with pages and pages of words. Sometimes, a short and sweet text message is all it takes. When someone is grieving, they may not want to talk and text messages offer a way to reach out to them during a difficult time.

What does the Bible say about seeing loved ones in heaven? ›

The reunion of believing loved ones

When Paul writes to believers who grieve the loss of a loved one, he offers them this comfort: “We who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17, emphasis mine).

What is a comforting Bible verse? ›

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

What Psalm is for comfort in death? ›

Psalm 71:20-21

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.

What are the 6 Rs of grief? ›

significant loss. She called her model the "Six R's":

React: Recollect & Re-experience: Relinquish: Re-adjust: Reinvest: the loss: First, people must experience their loss and understand that it has happened.

What are the 5 themes of grief coping? ›

The 5 Universal Stages of Grief and Loss
  • Denial & Isolation.
  • Anger.
  • Bargaining.
  • Depression.
  • Acceptance.

What is the 3 5 7 grief model? ›

The 3-5-7 Model©

The model incorporates theoretical underpinnings from child development, attachment, separation and loss, trauma, family systems, and relationship development. The 3-5-7 Model has several beliefs at its core: Human beings grow, heal, and develop a sense of self in relationships.

What is masked grief? ›

Masked grief occurs when someone tries to suppress their feelings of grief and not deal with them or allow them to run their natural course. In the very early moments after a loss, our bodies and minds are clever in that the initial feelings of shock and denial are useful to us.

What is the shock stage of grief? ›

Shock: The First Stage of Grief

This can feel like a massive blow, sending a person into a state of emotional shock. During this earliest stage of grief, a person may feel unable to process the meaning of the news. Shock can last just a few moments or for many days.

What is the most important and most difficult task a grieving person must accomplish? ›

The most important thing you can do for a grieving person is to simply be there. Your support and caring presence will help them cope with the pain and begin to heal. It is common to feel awkward when trying to comfort someone who is grieving. Many people do not know what to say or do.

Does anything help with grief? ›

Complicated grief is often treated with a type of psychotherapy called complicated grief therapy. It's similar to psychotherapy techniques used for depression and PTSD, but it's specifically for complicated grief. This treatment can be effective when done individually or in a group format.

How can I end my grief sooner? ›

Instead, try these things to help you come to terms with your loss and begin to heal:
  1. Give yourself time. Accept your feelings and know that grieving is a process.
  2. Talk to others. Spend time with friends and family. ...
  3. Take care of yourself. ...
  4. Return to your hobbies. ...
  5. Join a support group.
Dec 12, 2022

What happens 8 hours after death? ›

For approximately the first 3 hours after death the body will be flaccid (soft) and warm. After about 3-8 hours is starts to stiffen, and from approximately 8-36 hours it will be stiff and cold. The body becomes stiff because of a range of chemical changes in the muscle fibres after death.

What happens 15 hours after death? ›

Typically, a body is in full rigor mortis 15 hours after death.

What happens 30 minutes after death? ›

As the blood pools, patches appear on the skin within 30 minutes of death. About two to four hours postmortem, these patches join up, creating large dark purplish areas towards the bottom of the body and lightening the skin elsewhere. This may be less apparent on darker skin. This process is called livor mortis.

What part of the body does grief affect? ›

It batters the immune system, leaving you depleted and vulnerable to infection. The heartbreak of grief can increase blood pressure and the risk of blood clots. Intense grief can alter the heart muscle so much that it causes "broken heart syndrome," a form of heart disease with the same symptoms as a heart attack.

Can grief damage your heart? ›

Grief-related stress can increase blood pressure and heart rate, raise levels of the stress hormone cortisol, constrict blood vessels, and disrupt cholesterol-filled plaques that line arteries. Any one of these changes raises the risk of heart attack, Mostofsky says.

Is it normal to want to be alone while grieving? ›

For many of us, solitude in grief comes naturally. When we are emotionally and spiritually torn apart, we often turn inward. The numbness of early grief settles in like fog. Later, we may often find ourselves mired in the thoughts and feelings inside us.

What is widow fire? ›

'Widow's or widower's fire' is a natural phenomenon defined as a strong desire for sex following bereavement and is often considered a natural part of the grieving process.

What is the hardest part of losing spouse? ›

A common theme among people who have lost their spouse is the debilitating effects of feeling entirely alone and incomplete. The sense of feeling like you have lost an essential part of yourself is both painful and disconcerting. The world suddenly looks like a different place, often odd and distanced.

What is the significance of the 9th day after death? ›

This is based on the traditional, pre-colonial belief that the spirit of the dead goes into the spirit world on the ninth day after dying. After nine days of prayer, there will be another service and a formal meal for the family and friends of the departed.

What are the 5 main coping strategies? ›

There are five main types of coping skills: problem-focused strategies, emotion-focused strategies, meaning making, social support, and religious coping.

What are 6 positive ways of dealing with grief? ›

6 Ways to Cope with Grief
  • #1 Surround Yourself with People Who Care. ...
  • #2 Take Good Care of Yourself. ...
  • #3 Let Others Help You. ...
  • #4 Postpone Major Decisions, Whenever Possible. ...
  • #5 Consider Grief Counseling. ...
  • #6 Take Charge of Your New Life.
May 17, 2018

What are the 4 A's of coping? ›

When deciding which option to choose, it's helpful to think of the four A's: avoid, alter, adapt or accept. Since everyone has a unique response to stress, there is no “one size fits all” solution to managing it.

What are some positive coping skills? ›

Good Coping Skills
  • Practicing meditation and relaxation techniques;
  • Having time to yourself;
  • Engaging in physical activity or exercise;
  • Reading;
  • Spending time with friends;
  • Finding humor;
  • Spending time on your hobbies;
  • Engaging in spirituality;

What is positive coping? ›

Positive coping strategies are any actions you take to manage and reduce stress in your life, in a way that isn't going to be harmful or detrimental in the long term. People who use positive strategies are not only better able to tackle challenges and bounce back from tough times, but they are also much happier.

What is the best kind of therapy for grief? ›

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) This approach to grief counseling focuses on helping the client identify negative thought patterns and replace them with more positive thoughts. Some negative thought patterns can make it difficult for a person to process their grief.

What is healthy grieving? ›

Healthy grieving means finding a new place in your life for the deceased. You will never forget them, and the goal of healthy grief is not to forget about it, move on, or get over it. The goal is to establish a new relationship with the deceased, one that involves treasuring memories and an enduring connection.

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