End of Life Support
Tonya Reed provides conscious, compassionate end-of-life support every step of the way.
Grief is often used interchangeably with bereavement, but grief takes on many forms. Grief can be caused by losses of various kinds including estrangement, financial or worldly, illness or injury, relinquishment and institutional, or death. Unresolved grief can contribute to depression, as well as physical illness, and even death. Research indicates that grief is a horrific, chronic stressor on the body, and studies of grieving people have shown that grief responses sicken and kill.
Modern culture dictates that people resume normal activities, quickly, after experiencing a loss. The presumption is that human beings should be able to quickly move on from the pain of their losses. However, people rarely “get over” the pain of their losses rapidly. This is especially true when one has experienced a succession of losses throughout their lives, which is the case for most human beings. Once the grief begins to affect the body it persists indefinitely with what can become acute pain gradually decreasing but, frequently returning in bursts.
Physiological Science of Grief
Studies related to the physiological science of grief started in the 1970s (e.g. Koller, Sherman, et al 1976) when the Veterans Administration (VA) began looking at elevated rates of sickness and death among the spouses of veterans who died at VA facilities. Current research by Finkbeiner (2021) shows that “cardiovascular disease, infections, cancer and chronic diseases like diabetes” increase in intensity shortly after the death of a spouse or child. “Within the first three months they are nearly two times more likely to die than those not bereaved, and after a year, they are 10 percent more likely to die” (Finkbeiner, 2021).
Particularly in modernized societies, large percentages of grieving people do not thoroughly address their grief but move on with their lives. Scientific studies indicate adverse effects on our mental and emotional health, but also, individuals run the risk of becoming physically sick. Pathological and biophysical disorders can ensure and when mental, emotional and physiological ailments escalate persons can also become socially isolated (Finkbeiner 2021).
Koller and Sherman (2021) indicate, “A 2019 assessment on the psychological and physiological health of 99 bereaved people, three months after the deaths of their spouses was conducted. Those who experienced higher levels of grief and depression also had higher levels of the immune system’s markers for inflammation. A 2018 study of 65 bereaved spouses found that those who had higher levels of markers for inflammation also had lower heart rate health.”
Koller, E.; Sherman, R. et al. (1976). Psychobiology of normal and abnormal grief. US Veteran’s Administration Grant. (Internal VA publications only.)
Finkbeiner, A. (2021, April 22) The Biology of Grief. New York Times.
About Tonya Reed’s Grief Counseling Work
Employing knowledge, education, and certification tools derived from several leading, 21st century neuroscientists, Tonya Reed supports people in alleviating grief.
She uses various technologies from Consciousness Research to support client empowerment. For those intending long lifespans as well as those who are unexpectedly faced with one’s own mortality (or that of a loved one), Tonya helps the dying grieve their losses while supporting the living to recover from various forms of grief, and to thrive more optimally in their lives.
Tonya supports clients in experiencing the joy of living, and when the time comes… the beauty of dying.
If you would like more information, please contact Tonya.
Please watch these videos with talks by Alan Watts.
Acceptance of Death – Alan Watts
“If you are afraid of death, be afraid. The point is to get with it, to let it take over – fear, ghosts, pains, transience, dissolution, and all. And then comes the hitherto unbelievable surprise; you don’t die because you were never born. You had just forgotten who you are.”
Alan Watts on Death and Loved ones
“The disappearance of our memory in death is not really something to be regretted.”