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I Have Gained An Angel [Feb. 14th, 2011|07:03 am]
Wanting Memories

I have recently set up a website called I Have Gained An Angel. This website is an online grief and support forum for people of all ages who have suffered loss in their life.

I, myself, have suffered the great loss of my mother last March, and found that speaking on support forums and to friends online was easier personally for myself to express my emotions. I am only twenty-one years old and wasn't ready for the massive responsibilities which were thrown upon me, and these friends helped me endlessly to cope with my loss.

This is what sparked my interest in starting my own support group. I Have Gained An Angel is a safe place for teenagers to the elderly, with easy to navigate discussion boards and a chance to help others at the same time as helping yourself. After all, who else knows how to help us better than one who has suffered the same loss?

At the moment we are a small group and are promoting around to collect more members and heighten the support network that the site provides. Our current members have had a great deal of input with the running and content of the site, something that we aim to continue so that it can continue to provide the best support for those who join.

If you would like to know more information about the site, please contact me on ihgaa@live.co.uk, or even visit the site for yourself at www.ihavegainedanangel.com
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(no subject) [Jan. 20th, 2009|01:22 pm]
Wanting Memories

Hi guys,

I'm working on a documentary about young people who, due to parental loss, have had to assume leadership roles in their families.  If this applies to you and you'd be interested in taking part, please read on.  Thank you for your time.

Are you adapting to a new family situation and the responsibility of raising your siblings that was unexpected? Are you still figuring out how to adjust? Then MTV wants to hear from you. We want to know how you work through all the everyday struggles of being left to take charge because you have suffered parental loss. This show is really about kids who have come together under amazing circumstances to support eachother. If you appear to be between the ages of 18-28 and have 2 or more siblings that you are now the guardian of, then please send us your story and contact information to raisingmysiblings@mtv.com

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Interesting [Nov. 16th, 2008|11:34 pm]
Wanting Memories


Email Picture
Genaro Molina, Los Angeles Times
STUDY: Women who lost a mother or sister to cancer were examined.
'Complicated grief' affects the brain differently
Genaro Molina, Los Angeles Times
STUDY: Women who lost a mother or sister to cancer were examined.
Researchers unravel a mystery about why this type of mourning triggers a part of the brain linked to feelings of reward.
By Elena Conis, Special to The Times
July 7, 2008
What's new: Grief activates a part of the brain associated with feelings of reward in people with so-called complicated grief, the psychiatric term for sadness that persists long after a person has experienced a loss.

The finding: A team of neurologists and psychiatrists at UCLA have shown that the pattern of brain activity in people who suffer complicated grief is markedly different from that seen in people whose sorrow lessens with time.

In people with complicated grief, reminders of a lost loved one trigger activity in the brain's nucleus accumbens, a region that's also active when a person experiences feelings of reward.

How the study was done: The researchers studied 23 women, 11 with complicated grief and 12 with noncomplicated grief, all of whom had lost a mother or sister to breast cancer in the last five years. "Grief is really difficult for these women, in part because they really identify with the lost family member," says study author Mary-Frances O'Connor, associate professor of psychiatry at UCLA's Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology. The grief is often compounded by the fact that having a relative with breast cancer increases one's own risk of the disease, she adds.

Each woman in the study shared the story of her mother's or sister's death with the researchers and provided them with a picture of her lost loved one.

The researchers made a series of slides that contained the photos paired with words taken from the women's stories, such as "tumor" or "memorial" -- as well as a series of control slides that depicted images of strangers and neutral words. A functional MRI (fMRI), which detects blood flow through the brain, measured activity in the women's brains as they were shown a succession of slides.

In both groups, brain areas associated with feelings of physical and emotional pain were active when the women looked at pictures of their lost mothers or sisters. But in the women with complicated grief, the nucleus accumbens was also active when they saw their loved one.

Why it matters: The finding initially struck the researchers as "bizarre," O'Connor says, because it almost seemed to imply that the grief was somehow pleasurable. It made more sense, however, when viewed in the context of research that has shown the nucleus accumbens is activated when a person is presented with something they want -- that is, a reward -- and they begin to crave or yearn for that reward.

In fact, the women whose nucleus accumbens was active in the study were also more likely to say that they longed for the deceased. Activity in this brain region confirms that some grieving people physically yearn for a lost relative long after they're gone. Ultimately, the findings may help guide counselors and psychiatrists who treat those suffering from complicated grief, attuning them to the bereaved's sense of unfulfilled longing.

What we still don't know: The study is the first to compare the brain activity of people with complicated and noncomplicated grief. It suggests a neurological explanation for the persistent sadness that occurs in roughly 10% to 20% of people who experience a loss. But there's much about the physical aspects of grief that researchers have yet to uncover -- other brain regions, for instance, may also come into play. And the current study only begins to suggest new treatment approaches to complicated grief. More neurological, psychological and epidemiological studies undoubtedly lie ahead."
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hello [Nov. 16th, 2008|11:03 pm]
Wanting Memories

[Current Music |moments- emerson drive]

Bienvenidos, welcome. I wanted to know if there was anyone else out there and if there was, I want to try to figure this out with them. First I had to be strong, then I was mad at God, then there was no god, then there had to be a god, then I wanted to be back with her. Odd thoughts like that have made me consider and attempt suicide more than I'd like to think. and if you're in that same place as well, maybe a community here could be our hope.

I don't like to count years, for I'll realize in a moment that I've been alive longer now than I even knew her but here goes:
8 years
on December 23rd, it'll be nine. I only knew her for five years. But she was like a second mother, a sister, a best friend. She was my Aunt. From the ages of five to ten I had her love and now... now I just hope she would love me still, were she alive.

Complicated Grief is a state when grieving has either become debilitating or has been occurring unusually longer than it should. I think I'm here. I might be getting better- and that scares me to death. Despite everyday requiring myself to make a conscious effort to be happy, I sometimes don't want to- not ever. I'm afraid of the pain going away and forgetting even more- her appearance, her smell, her voice. I don't want the memories to fade. I still cry when I think about her. I cry when I her words related to her death. I still sometimes think about going to be with her. She is my angel.

Like I said- I don't know if there's anyone else out there- but if you are, Welcome.
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