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Healing Our Grief, Healing Our World
Vol. 3, Number 4November-December 2003

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

What's New at GriefandRenewal.Com:

Dear Reader,

As the holidays approach it is an important time to reflect on our emotions and needs in order to plan for healthy and supportive holiday activities. I was honored to be asked to talk about coping with the holidays for the television show, Crossing Over, John Edwards show in which he helps people connect to the spirits of friends and relatives who have died. Whether one believes in this possibility or not, the need for resolution and connection with those we have lost is never stronger than during the holiday season. This yearning brings back memories both wonderful and painful and can lead to a increased intensity of feelings of loss, sadness and anger. Look for this segment of the Crossing Over show on November 26. Check your local television schedules for the channel and time.

GriefandRenewal is focusing on coping with the holidays for November and December. Take a look at the website for further information. As part of this focus we are asking readers to write in their thoughts and experiences on coping with grief during the holidays.

The work of helping widows in other countries continues and is perhaps greater than ever as more and more widows are being created through violence around the world. The fate of these women rests on their and our ability to insist on equal rights for women everywhere. We have featured an article and revealing photographs by Dutch journalist, Karjin Kakebeeke, about her journey to Vrindavan and the women she met there.

Look for new feature articles on recovery from grief and on building the life you want by a Life Coach and an article by a woman who found prayer to be a key means of coping with grief in her life and the life of her family.

Please consider buying a holiday gift at the GriefandRenewal Store. We have gathered items from widows in India, a video about dreams and death, a comprehensive book on widows in India and healing tapes.

We look forward to receiving your articles, poems, essays or information on grief and renewal. Contact us at info@griefandrenewal.com. You will retain the copyright to anything published by GriefandRenewal.Com.

Remember the love you hold in your heart during this holiday season. It has a strong power to heal.

Wishing you peace and hope,

Laura Slap-Shelton, Psy.D.

Quotes of the Month
"Grief is as much a lament for the end of love as anything else."
Lynn Caine, Widow
"There is no greater grief than to remember days of joy when misery is at hand."

Featured International Article:

"Waiting For Salvation"
by Karijn Kakebeeke

[Reprinted with permission of the author. Copyright belongs to the author. This article can not be reprinted without express permission from the author.]

Evicted from their home or with no other place to go to, many Indian widows leave for the holy city of Vindravan to never return. As a place where charitable institutions provide them with a means of living, places like Vindravan have become India's modern answer to sati, the funeral pyre on which widows were thrown in former times. Today however, it is no longer only widows who come to Vindravan.

"Are you going make me dream? What will it do?" asks the woman who is dressed in white and crouched barefoot next to a pile of cow patties, her skin thick like leather and wrinkled before it ever reached old age.


enlarged view

a hot month in Vindravan -- a small town about three hours on the road from Delhi to Agra -- the sweltering heat brooding on its presence since the early morning hours, pressing against your skin like a hot oven glove. A wind of the finest sand blows through town here in the evenings, leaving the leaves on the trees a dusty green.

For rest of article please click here.

ABOUT COPING with Grief during the holidays to info@griefandrenewal.com. We will post them!

Featured Grief Article:
"Help for the Holidays: Ideas for the Bereaved"
by Laura Slap-Shelton, Psy.D.

8 Ideas for the Approaching the Holiday Season

1) Stay connected to your feelings

2) Think about what will be helpful for yourself and your family in the present.

3) Incorporate memories of the person into your holiday traditions.

4) Do not feel guilty for how you feel.

For the rest of this article click here.

Featured Book
The Empty Chair: Handling Grief on Holidays and Special Occasions
By Susan J. Zonnebelt-Smeenge, Robert C. De Vries, Smeenge Zonnebelt
[Order from Amazon.com]

The Empty Chair shows readers who have lost spouses, children, parents, siblings, and friends ways to incorporate new traditions on special days like anniversaries, holidays and birthdays, create memorials that honor and affirm your loved one's life. The book encourages readers to rebuild their individual sense of identity and rediscover or discover for the first time a new sense of joy in the holidays. The authors, both of whom have experienced their own significant losses offer emotional support, spiritual guidance, and descriptions of others personal experiences. The book provides both practical tools and a reflective approach to coping with the holidays. Susan J. Zonnebelt-Smeenge (R.N., Ed.D.) is a clinical psychologist at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services. Robert C. DeVries (D.Min, Ph.D.) is professor of church education at Calvin Theological Seminary and an ordained minister.

Gift From Within

So many people are suffering from traumatic grief, a form of grief complicated by the devastating effects of Posttraumatic Stress Syndrome. This award winning site provides extensive information and support for individuals suffering from traumatic experiences and loss. At least 20,000,000 Americans have experienced some forms of PTSD. Gift From Within was founded to help provide this support. It provides articles, an online support group, and other online services. Gift From Within sells educational video tapes about PTSD.

To Contact Us, Submit an Article, or Submit a Link, send e-mail to info@griefandrenewal.com.

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