On Memorial Day, the entire country comes together in gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice made by our brave men and women of the armed forces. Grieving the loss of a loved one is an experience that many people in our country can resonate with. When a loved one passes, whether through combat, illness, accident, or suicide, it leaves a hole in the lives of those left behind. The impact of loss can reverberate across multiple lives and across generations. Honoring the life of a loved one, respecting their legacy, and remembering their presence is all a part of the grieving and healing process.
One thing to remember is that everyone deals with grief and loss in their own way. Grieving and healing is a very personal journey and one that each person will travel differently, and at different paces. However, if you are concerned that your or a loved one's struggle with grief is becoming chronic or leading to depression or hopelessness, please reach out. Restructuring a life after a loss is not easy, and although there may be dark and painful times, there is also support and love through the journey available to those who need it.
Here in Texas, the resources for Veterans and their families include:
The Austin Center for Grief and Loss, a wonderful local resource for finding solidarity and hope in grief. They have support groups for those who have suffered losses of parents, children, spouses, and loved ones.
Here at Austin STRONG: Relationship Building Center, Karen Goldsum is our bereavement specialist. She has experience helping guide grieving individuals and couples through the process of honoring, respecting, and remembering a loved one's life and legacy.
The Samaritan Center in Austin understands that the whole family serves. They offer a wide range of therapy for children, adolescents, spouses and family members.
Boots of Honor – http://www.pawsforreflectionranch.org/military-veteran-programs.html. A free program for veterans and families, partnering with animals to heal mind, body and spirit.
Cohen’s Veteran Network – https://www.cohenveteransnetwork.org/at-a-glance/ For veterans and families in need of mental health for low to no cost.
Lone Survivor Foundation – www.lonesurvivorfoundation.org Restores, empowers and renews hope for wounded warriors and their families through health, wellness and therapeutic support.
Operation Forever Free – www.operationforeverfree.org The mission of Operation Forever Free is to improve the lives of returning servicemen and women in the Dallas/Fort Worth area by providing comfortable, customized homes and living assistance suited to each person’s individual needs.
Train a Dog; Save a Warrior – www.tadsaw.org The Mission of Penny’s from Heaven Foundation’s Train a Dog Save a Warrior program is to unite wounded warriors, suffering with PTSD, with homeless, rescue shelter dogs, who are evaluated and deemed viable, to nurture a healing and rejuvenating bond between the two. Located in San Antonio.
Texas Veterans Resources – https://www.texvet.org/ Comprehensive website on veterans and families services in Texas.
For families who are remembering loved ones this Memorial Day Weekend, here are some of the most highly recommended books by psychotherapists and mental health professional on the subject of healing from grief and loss. This list comes courtesy of The Strategists article: Reading Lists (published by Dominique Pariso, 5/22/2019)
To all our heroes and their families on this Memorial Day. We salute you and we support you.
A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
This post was created by Austin STRONG: Relationship Building Center as part of May Mental Health Awareness month for 2019. The information on resources in this post was collected from the individual websites referenced.
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