Monday, April 24, 2006

Support Systems!

I personally feel that having a support system is one of the keys in getting through the grief process.  Who are the supports in your life?  Take some time to identify the people, groups and activities which form your network of support and help give meaning to your life. 

When a person grieves, it can feel like the loneliest time in one's life.  It may feel like there is no one out there that could possibly understand what you are going through.  Having friends and family to rely on can help take the edge off of your grief. 

Who are the people closest to me?  Fill in these blanks:

Family Members:






Church Members:



What clubs, activities or support groups are available?

Church Groups:





Support Groups:

If you are in the New Jersey area you can go to  Or contact your local hospice for information on support groups in your area.  If you are in the Sussex or Warren County, New Jersey area, or Pike County, Pennsylvania area, there are Coping With Loss Support Groups that meet once a month. 

There are many other support groups in the Northern New Jersey area.  To have a list mailed directly to you, please feel free to e-mail or call.

Remember, it's never too early to get your support systems in place - think about it.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Interfaith Memorial Service

We would like to extend an invitation to attend our annual Interfaith Memorial Service, held on Monday, May 15, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. at Washington Alliance Church, Route 57, Washington, New Jersey. 

This memorial service is open to anyone in the community who wishes to commemorate loved ones who have died.  It will be an evening to remember, to gain strength and comfort.  There will be clergy from the Catholic, Protestant and Jewish faiths.  We will have songs, readings, and a candle-lighting ceremony. 

You  may send a loved one's name to be included in our brochure and to be read during the service.  As your loved one's name is read, you may come up to light a candle in remembrance of them.  It is a beautiful and honoring ceremony. 

If you would like to attend, and/or have a loved one's name included in the ceremony, please send the following to the Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center, c/o Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, 99 Sparta Avenue, Newton, New Jersey 07860, Attention:  Diana Sebzda:

Your name, address and telephone number.  Your loved one's name, their relationship to you and a phonetic spelling for pronunciation, if necessary.  If you wish to send a donation, that would be greatly appreciated and acknowledged. 

You may also call in this information at 800-882-1117 or e-mail at


Monday, April 10, 2006

Coping With Grief

To move through the grief, it is necessary to find healthy expressions of your feelings through mental and physical activities.  It is human nature to move away from painful stimuli, so people may become avoidant of their painful feelings in grief.  There are others who will tell you that you can only avoid the painful emotions for so long before they come around for a sneak attack.  It is very common to hear, "I was doing so well for so long, then all of sudden I became so emotional.  It was as if it came from out of no where." 

So what can you do to avoid the sneak attacks of grief?  Let your emotions fill you, honor and accept them, and let them go.  What are some ways to honor your grief and to let it go?  Exercise, Journal, Listen to Music, Write Poetry, Paint or Draw, Prayer or Meditation, Join a Support Group, or Volunteer. 

The key is to find "healthy" and "constructive" ways to let out the emotions. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Typical Grief Reactions

It has been said that grief can mimic insanity.  When you are in grief, it is certainly a turbulent time - on many levels.  You are not crazy, you are not going insane - you are grieving.  Here is a list of typical grief reactions:

Physical:  Headaches, dizziness, exhaustion, muscular aches, menstrual irregularities, sexual impotence, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, tightness, hollowness, over sensitivity to noise.

Affective:  Anger, guilt (including death causation, cultural role, moral, survivor, and recovery grief), anxiety, helplessness, mania, emancipation, relief, sadness, shock, yearning,  numbness, blame.

Cognitive:  Depersonalization, disbelief, confusion, idealization, preoccupation with image, search for meaning, sense of presence, hallucinatory experiences.

Behavioral:  Loss of patterns of conduct, interpersonal changes, withdrawal, avoiding reminders, over activity, crying, appearance of traits of the deceased, tiredness.


If you are viewing this journal, it may be because you have experienced a loss and need some help, advice or support.  Or maybe you know a family member or friend that could use some help or information.  It is my wish that this journal will meet your needs. 

We have helped those who have dealt with issues of grief, anticipatory grief, sudden loss, traumatic loss, pet loss and children's reaction to loss.  Some of our special projects include a Children's Art Therapy Program and Teen Grief Camp.  My intention is to post weekly informational articles and post some pictures.  I welcome any questions or suggestions for future postings.  I want this journal to be most helpful to you - so you can help me reach that goal by providing me your questions, comments and feedback.

Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice and the Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center are non-profit agencies that serve Sussex and Warren Counties in NJ and Pike County, PA.  Our offices are located at 99 Sparta Avenue, Newton NJ 07860 and 214 Washington Street, Hackettstown NJ 07840.   We would like to expand and extend our services through this journal and answer any questions that you may have, regardless of where you are located.  The Bereavement Center is funded through donations, so any donation, big or small, is greatly appreciated and will be acknowledged. 

Thank you,

Diana Sebzda, MA, LAC

Director of Bereavement