by Brandy D. Anderson
You can’t describe what true grief is to someone who is lucky enough to have never experienced it. It’s an isolating and desperate feeling, one that is difficult to live with, but it helps to know there are others out there who understand some of what you’re going through. Here are the four most supportive grief pages on Facebook, each with active and comforting communities in which to share your sorrow:
About: “Grief: Everything you’re feeling is normal. Sharing pics, quotes, laughter, tears, even curses. For blog: www.griefspeaksout.com xo.Grief is a normal response to death or loss. There are no stages of grief – it is more like a roller coaster. The challenge is to make this emotion one that inspires rather than deadens us: to be alive with grief. If someone you love deeply dies (or a pet) the truth that goes underground is that this person is missed and longed for forever. We celebrate our beloved dead by being as full of light as we can…to balance the difficult and the dark. We do it together as a community who understands. xo
Mission: “To offer support for all grief warriors. To combat the idea that there is a timeline for grief. To share pictures, stories, poems, techniques. To laugh, cry, curse – whatever is needed to surround the hurting with happy moments and the feeling of understanding.”
This is a loving interactive page where people share their grief, stories, and photos of loved ones lost. The admin(s) is particularly attentive and supportive, and reposts uploads from members, always with an additional message of peace and love at the beginning. People post birthday wishes to those who are gone, they post photos of loved ones who recently passed away, as well as quotes to help people know that there many others out there who feel the same.
One recent quote: “When the one you share your life with dies, they die in a million different places, in a million different ways. They aren’t just missing from the life you had. They are missing from all the life that is yet to come.” Another one: “But I think, maybe, there is some validity in accepting that a part of you went with the person who died, and a part of them stayed with you.” There are also some more uplifting posts like apples laid out in the shape of a heart against a straw background, little glimmers of hope to help break the darkness. The members of this page seem overwhelmingly supportive and often comment with messages of love whenever someone posts a picture of a loved one gone too soon.
About: “Angie Cartwright is the founder of National Grief Awareness Day, occurring on her mother’s birthday of August 30 of each year. Angie has experienced the pain of profound loss many times in her life starting with the loss of her baby sister when Angie was just a small child, the loss of her newlywed husband from a tragic car accident at age 21, and the loss of her mother from an accidental overdose in 2010. Learning the hard way that grievers are often misunderstood, Angie is committed to help change how our culture understands and views grief. She expertly coaches and comforts people all around the world through social media, her website, and her Grief Release Course, to help thousands of grievers find solid footing once again.
Mission: “To reach out to our fellow grievers. To provide a place to feel how you need to feel. To be able grieve and heal in your own way, and in your own time.”
This is an incredibly open and tolerant page that is sometimes difficult to find when it comes to dealing with fatal overdoses or suicide. Grief The Unspoken is for everyone who has lost loved ones regardless of the cause of death, but Cartwright, the admin, has shared that her mother died of an overdose and she talks about this epidemic. A recent post states: “Hello everyone, today being Overdose Awareness Day, I thought I would ask those who have lost loved ones to an overdose to share their loved one’s pictures and stories. We lost our beautiful mother to a drug/alcohol overdose in 2010 and I’ve lost several friends as well. I honor them today and all of you as well. Our loved ones are more than how they died. All my love.”
In a society where overdose and suicide aren’t often talked about, this is a wonderful haven for those who have had loved ones die from these horrible causes. Cartwright does a lovely service for the so-often marginalized crowd and it’s truly touching to see the responses to these posts. There are quotes to offer consolation in knowing you’re not alone: “Grief is the LOUDEST SILENCE I have ever heard.” There are also helpful healing posts like this one: “ƸӜƷ˜”*°•.•.¸ღ¸☆This´is called the nightly journal. We will be posting it every night. It’s like writing in your journal before you sleep, or you can’t sleep. Under this post you can leave your journal entry. Tell your loved one about your day. Get something off your chest. All my love to you my grieving friend..Angie Cartwright (: .”
About: “The Grief Toolbox offers tools for finding hope along this journey. Please visit and join our community at www.thegrieftoolbox.com. These tools include information and inspiration from authors, speakers and artists. An outlet for you to share bereavement gifts, thoughts and memories. As well as books memorial website, support groups and grief related products. The Grief Toolbox is a single place to find all of these resources and others while being a community where all grievers can learn and share.”
Mission: “Having been down this road, we want to give back. We want to reach out to those who are earlier on this road and help you to find the tools that you need to work through your grief journey.”
There are all sorts of resources for people located on this site and through their website. They post a lot of bittersweet quotes, such as today’s flower meme, “Sometimes when I say I’m okay I just want someone to say ‘No, you’re not’, Give me a hug and understand.” Another one: “The rest of the world does not understand you have left this world and everyday I still see your presence in my life – and I always will – Glen Lord”. More examples: “A broken heart/ When hidden from the world/ Is not given the chance/ To be friended/ To be loved/ To be healed/ Share your heart/ Even if it is in pieces”.
The admins will repost questions and/or comments from people seeking advice with how to deal with their grief. Helpful short articles are also posted here, such as “Relationships and Grief: Supporting One Another” which discusses the different ways men and women often grieve. Another helpful piece they recently posted is “Understanding grief is another expression of love”: “Knowing grief is the continued expression of love lets us understand that we do not have to “give up” or “let go” from the one who died. We can realize that we are not forced to forget or leave the person in our past. We live with the comforting thought that we carry loved ones into our future. Knowing grief is love is an empowering insight which does not eliminate the struggle of grief, but it can make the intense battle against the loss shorter and less difficult.”
About: “HealGrief is a web-based organization, providing bereaved individuals a platform to transition their grief into a healthy grief recovery. HealGrief helps individuals through the grieving process from the moment a loved one dies. Recognizing that community is no longer defined by geographical boundaries, HealGrief starts by taking the place of the traditional obituary notice. Users create a funeral notice, disseminate it to family and friends around the globe and gain instant comfort as friends and family begin to share their condolences, light virtual candles and share memories, transforming the funeral notice into a celebration of the decedents life. All of the functionality, information and resources are completely free-of-charge and unlike others, HealGrief will not require a fee to sustain a memorial. Individuals, even years later, are lighting virtual candles and sharing thoughts and memories, almost as if they were actually writing to their loved one.
Mission: “HealGrief is dedicated to support the bereaved by offering a virtual location, without geographical boundaries, where individuals and a community can communicate death, connect, mourn and heal, while celebrating a loved one’s life. Our commitment is to provide an understanding of grief by increasing universal awareness and education, while offering resources to support a healthy grief recovery.”
HealGrief is a wonderful resource for not only memes, quotes, and sharing, but also because they provide a place to help mourners contact others and to set up memorial pages without charging them like most other similar sites do. A post they shared today reads: “Celebrate the life of your loved one: In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. – Abraham Lincoln”. Another quote shared: “My first thought in the morning is always you.” There’s a quote by C.S. Lewis: “I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process.”
Another recent post: “One of the crucial factors in healing from grief is the support of other people. Although the idea of a support group may feel intimidating, it often provides comfort from being in a community of others who have some understanding of the depth of your grief” with the accompanying quote: “In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine. – Maya Angelou.” One of the most uplifting grief quotes was posted a few days ago: “We will never be the same as we were before this loss, but we are ever so much better for having had something so great to lose.”
— “The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.” – Cicero —