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~ About Loss, Change & Grief ~

Journey of Hearts was created for anyone who has ever experienced a life-changing loss. This website is for those who are ready to begin to the long up hill battle to regain their faith, sanity and security. By providing education, information and resources we hope to empower the grieving to work through the loss and give them the courage to succeed. To accomplish this one must sense the need to change, open their mind to change, assimilate the loss, face and work though the pain to ultimately learn to live again with the loss.

To quote writer Anne Morrow Lindbergh on courage, who lost her first born son in a kidnapping and murder that scandalized the country in the early part of this century:

It isn't for the moment you are struck
that you need courage,
but for the long up hill battle to faith,
sanity and security.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

An obstacle frequently encountered, during this up hill climb, is wanting everything to be the same as it was before the loss. This is impossible. Life is forever changed. After a significant change, life event, or loss, that person is forever transformed. Changes that may result from the loss need to be assimilated so the grieving person can start living again in a world without their loved one or one altered by the loss or life-changing event.

The Loss, Change & Grief section contains a various grief AIDE resources to help visitors to this site understand more about these topics starting with general information, how to recognize acute responses to grief, and recognizing the different complications of grief. This section also helps visitors to assess for the risk of suicide as well as identifying the warning signs and symptoms that may require further evaluation. Finally this section includes a variety of ways of coping in general and with the “blues” along with suggestions for helping adults and children who are grieving.

Each person's experience of loss will have subtle nuances that will make it unlike any other loss, but the commonality—the grief response with the intense feelings of loss, anger, depression, loneliness, fear, frustration, desperation, these are emotions that others will have also felt, endured and survived. To quote Helen Keller:

When it seems that our sorrow is too great to be borne,
let us think of the great family
of the heavy-hearted into which our grief has given us entrance,
and inevitable,
we will feel about us,
their arms and their understanding.
Helen Keller

A primary goal in creating this website was to provide an online healing place where those who have experienced loss can find resources to help them during the long up-hill grieving process. Many of the resources have been contributed by those who have worked through the grieving process following a variety of losses—loss of spouse, children, pets, loss of fertility, loss of mental function from Alzheimer's, loss of breast through breast cancer, loss of health, loss of home from flood or fire—and shared their experiences and insights.

Recovery begins when you have healed enough from your own loss and are doing well enough to be able to share your experiences or coping techniques with others who are experiencing the early phases of the transition and grief process. This continues the healing cycle.

Loss is a common experience that each person encounters during his or her lifetime.
It does not discriminate for age, race, sex, education, economic status or nationality.
Loss is a byproduct of being alive.
Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS

See the Emergency 911 Page for links to immediate resources
if you are feeling helpless, hopeless, overwhelmingly depressed, or suicidal.

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All material, unless otherwise specified, is © 1997-2003 by Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS of Journey of Hearts. Information on this site may be shared with others, but not in for-profit ventures without permission.
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Last update Sept. 11, 2002