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Healing Our Grief, Healing Our World
Vol. 6, Number 2November 2006

Giving Thanks to the Helpers

Welcome to the GriefandRenewal.Com Newsletter. Please feel free to share this newsletter.

Dear GriefandRenewal.Com Reader,

As the 2006 holiday season approaches with Thanksgiving in the lead, my thoughts turn toward giving thanks to all of the trauma workers, healers, and helpers whose compassion and dedication make it possible for us to survive our personal grief and tragedies. Many of us are both the recipients of such help and the givers of it. In this issue we recognize and give thanks to the fire fighters, police, EMTís, doctors, counselors, clergy, volunteers, organizers, aide providers, and human rights activists who face the tragedies and horrors suffered by their fellow human beings on a daily basis. Two DVDís are reviewed below, one describing the incredible response to 9-11 by trauma workers and volunteers from every walk of life and from around the world. The second video discusses the important issue of compassion fatigue, and how to prevent and heal it. Compassion fatigue is what happens when a trauma worker becomes worn down and exhausted.

Also in this issue Rose DesRochers discusses the larger meaning of thankfulness during Thanksgiving. John Velke III shares his own story of grief and how it led him to help others create written memorials for their lost loved ones. Finally, a group of Somali widows has contacted GriefandRenewal.com, and their information is provided as well.

GriefandRenewal sends best wishes to everyone for a healthy and healing Thanksgiving. This year consider giving special thanks for the trauma workers and personally thanking the trauma worker/s in your life, even (and especially) if that trauma worker is you.

Yours in healing and hope,

Laura Slap-Shelton, Psy.D.

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Answering the Call: Ground Zeroís Volunteers

"I looked over at my partner and I said, 'Look at these amazing people.' We looked and I felt the presence of a higher power, I really did." You will feel this too when you watch Answering the Call, Ground Zeroís Volunteers.

To read more about this film, click here.

When Helping Hurts: Preventing and Treating Compassion Fatigue

Do you have compassion fatigue? What happens to the people who spend their days working with trauma victims? Are they somehow immune from being affected by the traumas and tragedies they witness? When Helping Hurts, a beautifully produced educational DVD about compassion fatigue, emphatically answers, NO.

To read more about this DVD, click here.

Featured Essays

Thanksgiving Thoughts: Thankfulness in Times of Trouble
By Rose DesRochers

Thanksgiving is a time for food, celebration, and fun. Every year on Thanksgiving, families gather around the table to enjoy a meal and give thanks. But for some folks, Thanksgiving can be a lonely time. Many adults spend the holidays feeling isolated and depressed.

To read this essay, click here.

Everyone is Worth Remembering
By John Velke, III

I am not an expert on grief. In fact, what little I know comes from personal experience and surfing through some of the on-line websites devoted to the topic. A little more than a year ago I lost my father to cancer, and although death did not sneak up on him and take him by surprise, his passing made me contemplate my own mortality, and more importantly, it caused me to reflect on the many ways my father influenced me. It did not take me long to realize that once I was gone some of the memories I had of him would be lost unless I wrote them down.

To read this essay, click here.

North and South Somali Widows Group (NSSWG)
By Halima Ali Ainte, Chairperson and Laura Slap-Shelton, Psy.D.

Recently, I was contacted by Halimia Ali Ainte, Chairperson of the North and South Somali widows group (NSSWG). The Somali widows face very serious problems of survival and need emergency funding. The majority of their husbands were killed during the war. The widows themselves have been raped and tortured, and left with no way to take care of themselves and their children.

To read this article, click here.

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