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Probably most of us have experienced loneliness at one time or another. Maybe it was our first time away from home, or traveling somewhere away from family and friends. But what surprises many is: Loneliness has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not you are alone. It is possible to be lonely in a crowd. It is equally possible to be alone without being lonely. There’s a definition of loneliness by Robert Weiss that I find helpful. “Loneliness is the sense of isolation that is caused by the absence of a needed relationship.” When someone dies, we feel so terribly alone … that is the isolation, or as someone aptly described it, the “unwanted individuation”. And the cause of that is the absence of a needed relationship. When we feel lonely we are saying “I had a relationship with that person. I needed it, wanted it, counted on it, and now that it is no longer here, I miss it … and indeed, I wonder how I can go on without it.” And that is a very important point. We can have all kinds of other relationships … family, friends, church, community … but this is the relationship we …

300 Words with Dr Bill

Memories Every life tells a story, and after someone dies, we want to continue that story and try to make it a good one. But sometimes that is difficult. Shortly after my wife’s funeral, people seem unwilling to talk about her or the situation. I understand most had good intentions, concerned that mentioning the death or even her name would upset me, open a can of worms, or make the situation worse. But three months after she died, I began to wonder if my wife had ever existed. There can be a conspiracy of silence … and that is not what we need because we don’t want our loved ones to be forgotten. What helped me most was the opportunity to TALK about her … not just about her death, but about her LIFE. Grief invites us to remember, not to forget.  But sometimes, memories after a death or an illness can be difficult and incredibly painful, and you might find that it is just too hurtful to “go there.” Yes, you may have many wonderful memories of the person’s life, but the reminders of their death can often be very raw. But while we may be sad that about …

I have never been one to back away from a challenge. That hasn’t always worked out as well as I hoped, but I have never regarded anything as a failure … just as an opportunity to learn something that doesn’t work. John Wooden, the famed basketball coach said, “Success is the sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing that you have done your best.” So, in my determination to do my best to engage more on Social Media, I am introducing several new initiatives. The first will be a daily inspirational thought which you will find on Twitter at @drbillwebster, which will appear on the front page of the website under “Tweets.” Next will be a series of mini posts on our new Facebook page which will be entitled “365 days in a Year of Mourning” which will be a short article on how we can understand grief and what we can do to help ourselves or someone going through grief. Finally, “we have the technology, we have the equipment, we can re-build him. “ (If you recognize that quote, you are dating yourself!!!)  Anyway, all that to say we are planning to start our webcasts in October when I …

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    Specialized resources for grief professionals and caregivers.