Grief Watch

Grief Watch "Helping you, help others in their time of grief"
GRIEF WATCH is a ministry of Metanoia Peace Community, a congregation of the United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon. It is based at the 18th Ave Peace House, site of a variety of ministries focused on hospitality, community, peace-making, and care for the dying.
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RESOURCES: As part of its mission to the bereaved, Grief Watch and its companion program, Perinatal Loss, publish books, video productions, ceramics and other helpful resources aimed at persons who have suffered loss. These resources are distributed by mail order to hospitals, schools and individuals throughout the United States and beyond. The most widely used publication from Grief Watch is a unique, full-color storybook for children of all ages, entitled Tear Soup, co-authored by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen, illustrated by Taylor Bills. Also popular are a variety of ceramics, including the Remembering Heart.

Mission: The Grief Watch mission is twofold: first, to offer spiritual, emotional and other support to persons who are grieving, and second, to assist organized efforts which address the systemic injustices within our society which are the source of grief for persons who are poor and marginalized.

05/07/2020
Facing Struggles, One Day at a Time We are living in an uncertain time, filled with a growing number of struggles that w...
05/05/2020

Facing Struggles, One Day at a Time

We are living in an uncertain time, filled with a growing number of struggles that we are facing. We are coping with the stress and anxiety of a pandemic, of lock downs in cities around the world, and of lost wages and unknown future income. We are dealing with sadness and grief as the death tolls rise and leave many with missing pieces in their family and friend groups. We are experiencing loneliness as we isolate from those around us in order to protect them and ourselves. We are confused by the mixed messages that we receive from those are who meant to be looking out for us as they try to figure out what the best course of action is going forward. We are disappointed by the numerous events that we had planned that have been cancelled, both in the last couple of months and upcoming as we approach summer. And this is only a small portion of the common struggles that we are facing. So how do we cope?

The first article we share this month is by Donna Rothert called Smacking Sharks. A strange title for a grief newsletter for sure, but it really gives a visual on the focus of focusing on each issue as it comes at you, narrowing it down to one at a time. The second article, by Esther Perel, talks about additional stresses that we are facing, including prolonged uncertainty, ambiguous loss and anticipatory grief. By putting names to each part of our grief, we are better equipped to work through each piece. She also offers a number of suggestions of how to cope with these trying times. We wish you strength and peace in the coming months.

Read our full newsletter here: https://mailchi.mp/griefwatch/facing-struggles-one-day-at-a-time

04/29/2020
04/22/2020
04/15/2020
04/08/2020
Grief in Complicated TimesWe are living in some crazy times right now.  In Washington State, where Grief Watch has it's ...
04/07/2020

Grief in Complicated Times

We are living in some crazy times right now. In Washington State, where Grief Watch has it's office, the state has been for the most part locked down. I'm currently working on this newsletter from home, with my dog in my lap, and my kids playing video games together on the couch next to me. I am incredibly lucky to be isolated with my family. But there are other family members and friends that I worry about who are isolating alone. Even if we all manage to avoid COVID-19, how will this affect their mental health, how will it change the interactions between people going forward when this passes?

Humans are social beings. We crave the attention, support, interaction and the touch of other humans. Those of us on lockdown are missing out on the face to face, human touch interactions that we are used to. We are separated from our support.

If you are grieving, chances are you already feel isolated. And losing your usual support system only furthers your feeling of loneliness. And in some ways, most of us are grieving during this time. With so much change, with so many deaths around the world, with so many fears for the health of ourselves and our loved ones, it should be expected that an even higher percentage of people that we interact with are grieving to some degree too. So how do we support all of these people who are grieving, and even harder, how do we support them from a distance? And how do we get the support that we need?

This month, the first article that we share is about grieving during this complicated time. The second is about how to support others by really listening to those who are hurting. The products we are highlighting are ceramics and books that can provide a bit of comfort in these trying times. Take care of yourselves and each other.

https://mailchi.mp/griefwatch/grief-in-complicated-times

04/01/2020
03/25/2020
03/18/2020
There is No Guide for Grief If you are lucky enough to have never experienced a deep grief, you may feel like you have a...
03/11/2020

There is No Guide for Grief

If you are lucky enough to have never experienced a deep grief, you may feel like you have an understanding of how grief will go. You may think that when your heart breaks, you will journey through a predetermined set of stages leading you to a tidy destination and then it will be over. If only it was that simple.

Grief is messy. Grief is chaotic. Emotions can come out of nowhere and knock you to your knees. Grief is all-consuming and individual and, in its own way, beautiful. Grief has no clear path, and often no ending. And grief is a necessity in life, to honor the love that we have shared with those who are no longer a living part of our lives.

This month we share a couple of articles from authors who have been through the trenches of grief and want to help readers to understand that grief does not have to follow a specific path, and that grieving in your own way is healthy and understandable. And, though the grief may become a part of you that you will carry with you all of your life, it will get easier to carry.

There is No Guide for Grief - https://mailchi.mp/griefwatch/when-someone-you-love-is-grieving-4776970

There is No Guide for Grief

If you are lucky enough to have never experienced a deep grief, you may feel like you have an understanding of how grief will go. You may think that when your heart breaks, you will journey through a predetermined set of stages leading you to a tidy destination and then it will be over. If only it was that simple.

Grief is messy. Grief is chaotic. Emotions can come out of nowhere and knock you to your knees. Grief is all-consuming and individual and, in its own way, beautiful. Grief has no clear path, and often no ending. And grief is a necessity in life, to honor the love that we have shared with those who are no longer a living part of our lives.

This month we share a couple of articles from authors who have been through the trenches of grief and want to help readers to understand that grief does not have to follow a specific path, and that grieving in your own way is healthy and understandable. And, though the grief may become a part of you that you will carry with you all of your life, it will get easier to carry.

There is No Guide for Grief - https://mailchi.mp/griefwatch/when-someone-you-love-is-grieving-4776970

03/10/2020
03/04/2020
02/26/2020
02/19/2020
02/12/2020
02/06/2020
When a Someone You Love is GrievingMost of us have a desire to be a good friend. We want to be there for those we care a...
02/06/2020

When a Someone You Love is Grieving

Most of us have a desire to be a good friend. We want to be there for those we care about. We want to celebrate their wins, accomplishments, and milestones along with them. We want to be someone that they can turn to and lean on when they are in need. And when the day comes that we are in a bad situation, we hope that they will be there for us too. It's what being a good friend is really about, the mutual ability to depend on someone when the need arises.

Unfortunately, it is not always easy to know how to be there. In times of grief, especially, it can be hard to know how to support someone close to us. There are no right words to say, or easy fixes, for a broken heart. And as time passes following a loss, it can become even harder to know how to help.

In our first article this month, we get some suggestions from Litsa Williams (who has been both the griever and the friend) on how you can be supportive to a friend who is grieving. Then we share guidance on how to get a friend to open up to you from life coach Kim Giles. And we wrap up with a blog post from Tim Overdiek in which he breaks the uncomfortable silence that has settled between him and his friends over the months following his wife's death. If you are looking for more information on how to support a loved one who is grieving, I highly recommend the book, "There Is No Good Card for This", shown below. The other books and ceramics that we share below are all make great, heartfelt gifts for a loved one who is grieving.

https://mailchi.mp/griefwatch/when-someone-you-love-is-grieving

01/29/2020
01/22/2020
01/15/2020
01/08/2020
12/31/2019
12/24/2019
12/18/2019
12/11/2019
When Joy is Hard to Find - A friend of mine was waiting for a pain prescription for her husband following an oral surger...
12/04/2019

When Joy is Hard to Find -

A friend of mine was waiting for a pain prescription for her husband following an oral surgery the other day. What usually only takes a few minutes ended up taking over an hour. I jokingly texted her back as she was wandering around the store, waiting, that it was probably all the people stocking up on anti-anxiety and antidepressant meds before the holidays. But in all honesty, I was only half joking. I know I upped my meds about a week ago. The holidays can be stressful even on a good year. They remind us both of the blessings in our lives, and of our sorrows. They highlight those who are missing in our lives.

In this newsletter, we highlight some items that make good gifts for those in your lives who are grieving, and we share articles written about how others have survived the holidays following the death of a loved one. They tackle topics such as how small changes can soften a little of the pain, how old traditions can help us feel closer to those who are missing, and how to decide whether or not sending holiday cards out is right for you this year. We hope that by reading the experiences of others, it will help those who are grieving to navigate their own paths this season.

https://mailchi.mp/griefwatch/when-joy-is-hard-to-find

11/26/2019
11/20/2019
11/13/2019
Grieving on Thanksgiving There are so many ways to handle grieving on Thanksgiving.  Whether you set a place at your tab...
11/05/2019

Grieving on Thanksgiving

There are so many ways to handle grieving on Thanksgiving. Whether you set a place at your table for a loved one, light a candle, go through the motions pretending that everything is normal, or hide out and skip Thanksgiving altogether... you are not alone. Grieving is hard. Especially on the holidays. And we all have our own ways to cope with our grief.

This month we share an article written by a mother who received a bit of news that she was thankful for just before Thanksgiving a few years back. She writes a touching letter to the recipient of one of her young daughter's heart valves following her daughter's death. Then we share an article that talks about three steps that can help you to survive Thanksgiving this year if you are grieving.

https://mailchi.mp/griefwatch/grieving-on-thanksgiving

10/30/2019
10/23/2019
Parenting Angel BabiesWhen we become parents, it becomes a part of our lives forever. It doesn't matter how old our chil...
10/22/2019

Parenting Angel Babies

When we become parents, it becomes a part of our lives forever. It doesn't matter how old our children are, whether our children have become parents or grandparents, or whether our children never lived a day outside of the womb. Once we feel that parental connection, it never goes away. Every day, as long as we live, we hope for their happiness and peace, we work to honor who they are, and we constantly keep them in our thoughts. And while not all parents get to parent in a way that is easy to understand and see, that doesn't mean that it isn't a part of their daily life.

In the first article this month, we share an article by a mother who is parenting two children (one 10 years old and one forever a newborn). She talks about the differences in how she mothers them both. Then we share an article by Donna Rothert about how the loss of a baby affects the dynamic of a family, and how infant losses are often overlooked on family trees and timelines. We have shared many articles by Donna over the past four years, and are happy to announce that her her first book, At a Loss: Finding Your Way After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death, was released at the beginning of the month. You can find more info below.

https://mailchi.mp/griefwatch/lessons-in-grief-1755817

Lessons in Grief With kids starting back to school again, we got to thinking about life lessons.  The kind of lessons th...
09/02/2019

Lessons in Grief

With kids starting back to school again, we got to thinking about life lessons. The kind of lessons that change who we are, and how we see the world. Lessons in how to survive grief. Lessons in how to pick up the pieces and keep moving forward when it feels like our souls have been shattered. Lessons that most kids do not learn in school, but will affect each of us at some point over our lifetime.

This month, we share articles from a couple of authors who have made it through the darkest of grief places, and continue on while forever carrying their grief with them. We hope the lessons that they have learned will help give you greater perspective and strength if you are grieving as well.

https://mailchi.mp/griefwatch/lessons-in-grief

Address

2116 NE 18th Ave
Vancouver, WA
98685

General information

SUPPORT GROUPS: In Portland the program also sponsors several local “Brief Encounter” groups for bereaved parents who have lost children through miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death. Grief Watch also hosts regular meetings of Parents of Murdered Children Suicide Bereavement Support and AIDS support. OTHER DETAILS: The name of the Grief Watch program is inspired by the New Testament story in which Jesus, filled with agony and grief in anticipation of his own death at the hands of his enemies, chides his companions who have fallen asleep during his ordeal. Jesus says, “Could you not watch with me for one brief hour.” (Matthew 26:40) In the light of this story, the aim of Grief Watch is to be fully present with persons as they move through the pain of their grief. Pat Schwiebert is founder and director of these two programs, which are staffed by professional volunteers who live in the 18th Ave Peace House, and other salaried employees. Non-profit income from the sale of resources, in excess of the programs’ needs, is frequently gifted to other non-profit organizations whose aims are consistent with the Grief Watch mission. Though the program was created by, and resides with, persons who live in a faith community and operate from a faith perspective, its materials and personnel do not proselytize or promote any particular religious way. FOR MORE INFORMATION about Grief Watch, Perinatal Loss, and/or Metanoia Peace Community please contact us!

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 14:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 14:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 14:00
Thursday 09:00 - 14:00
Friday 09:00 - 14:00

Telephone

(360) 433-2527

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