Life initiates some of us in an instant. The loss comes out of the blue. A relationship ends. A loved one dies. Someone we thought would be in our life forever goes away. Or the doctor tells us we’re going away. Other losses unfold slowly. Eating disorders, alcoholism, addiction — even Alzheimer’s disease — can hide in plain sight for years.
No matter what you face, you’re not alone although you may feel alienated from the world. Whatever your loss, other people have gone through it too. On the other hand, you’re unique and different. While others not in grief go forward full speed, your personal velocity changes. Full speed? Ha! You’re barely crawling through Life. It’s all you can do to get out of bed.
Welcome to the Club
You belong to an elite group, although you joined it involuntarily. From declaring bankruptcy to losing a child, whether the world ranks your loss big, medium, or small, and even if the loss happened to someone you care about but don’t know how to help — this site is for you. We moved to a new facility (template), one easier to navigate. During the process, I freshened content, adding new information and editing articles damaged by the move.
You can stay on the outside, using only public content. If you want access to the Members Only section, put away your wallet. You already paid a steep enough price. I lifted the requirements for registration about providing us with a valid telephone number and emergency contact. Registration became easy and non-threatening. There are no dues, fees, hidden costs, or agendas. All that’s required for membership is your commitment to not physically harm yourself or anyone else, and your agreement to hold this site harmless for your actions.
E-mails from us won’t ask you to buy products. Occasionally I send spontaneous E-mails to site members. People report they enjoy hearing from me this way. It’s not a newsletter. It’s like the E-mails I send to friends. If you prefer not to receive any communication from me, contact me at Melody@MelodyBeattie.com, explain that on the E-mail, or post a comment at the end of this article telling me that and I’ll cross your name off the mailing list.
The public section of this site offers stories, many anonymous, telling the raw truth about different losses. After decades of marriage to a good husband and provider, one woman finds herself living with a spouse who suffers from the effects of a series of strokes. She cares for an adult youngster instead of enjoying life with a brilliant man and equal partner — her husband. How does she live with this?
A man discovers his adopted son abuses alcohol and drugs. The father, a recovering alcoholic, now watches his son take the same destructive path that the Father took. This man also became the target for his son’s misdirected anger, hatred, and rage. His son doesn’t really hate his father; his son hates himself. What’s stopping this parent from packing his bags and leaving the hellish prison his home turned into?
After his girlfriend ends their relationship, another man discovers a gift she left him — genital Herpes. Will he ever have sex or find love again?
After years of suffering abuse at her father’s hands, a woman learns she didn’t cause her dad’s behavior. He suffers from the genetic disorder Huntington’s Disease, one of the worst diseases that exist. Now she needs to get tested to see if she inherited the gene. If she did, she’ll get the disease and everything that comes with it. How does she deal with her potential destiny? Can she muster the courage to get tested? Living the rest of her life knowing she has Huntington’s will destroy any happy moments she might have left.
The public section of this site offers these stories and others, and information about grief and subjects related to it. I added content to most articles to give you something to hold when you feel like you’re free-falling in a black hole.
You’ll find current resources for problem-solving whether you need money, counseling, shelter, or for almost any need. Our easy-to-read Privacy Policies, Disclaimers, and Code of Conduct discuss the rules for you, me, and this site to abide by.
I posted the introduction to the book The Grief Club: the Secret to Getting through All Kinds of Change and the Master List of Losses checklist from it on the public side, with Hazelden’s permission. I’ll post the other chapters (except Chapter 2) in the Members Only section. Chapter 2 covers Alzheimer’s’ Disease. Because of Alzheimer’s pandemic nature, I posted the chapter about it on the public side to make it available to a greater number of people.
The publisher allows posting of only one chapter at a time of the book, and prohibits any downloading, except for the checklist. They also prohibit reading archived chapters. By agreeing to these conditions, you can read The Grief Club for free.
While there’s much for the public, there’s more for members. We don’t allow solicitors or harassment. We’ll keep this site safe. People who come here have been through enough. They’re vulnerable. They need protection — not people trying to profit from their loss.
We do have a small gift store open for your convenience. It offers a select group of products related to grief. If you need a gift for someone, you can choose from one of our many floral affiliates. We also have affiliates who carry beautiful gift baskets, books related to grief, journals, scrapbooks, music, and movie CDs. If certain books, songs, or movies helped you, please share that information with us.
My favorite products are the hand-made Comfort Quilts. My sister-in-law, Pam, makes them from the jeans of a lost loved one. For the other materials, she uses colors and fabrics of your choosing from fabrics she knows last and work. Finally, for people who refuse to use a cane, the Gift Shop offers Diamond Willow Walking Sticks. The finishing touches to this unique wood are also done by Pam with the same care she puts into everything she makes. I link to a small website I made for her so you can meet her and my brother, Jimmy.
Workshops and classes will take place in the chat rooms inside. We welcome anyone willing to abide by our code of conduct to attend. But I need you to tell me what you want to learn. Most classes will either be free or have a nominal charge. This site’s goal is to heal, not produce income.
You can connect to my other website from here, Help Yourself at www.MelodyBeattie.com — an umbrella site; a new site going up this week about my new release, the miracle book. This site, at www.MelodyBeattie.org also has information about codependency — a subject closely connected to grief.
Please ask question, make comments, take part in forums, tell your story (over and over if you need to – obsession is a necessary stage of grief and allowed here). We invite friends of people in grief to take part in everything we offer. Read the articles for grieving people and articles with information that specifically applies to you, such as what not to say and how to be a supportive friend.
Over time, you’ll learn new techniques, including how to gain control over overwhelming pain. You have the power to take a break from emotions when the grief becomes too much. We respect each person’s process here. We won’t tell you how to grieve or that you’re doing it wrong or not quickly enough. This is a place where people in pain can honestly and openly be who they are. You’ll meet people experiencing loss like yours, and who don’t have to tell you they understand because you know they do.
Whether you’re going through a rite of passage such as empty nest syndrome, ending a relationship, or feel horrified by the effects of aging, you’re in the right place. We’re happy to tackle controversial subjects too, such as taking pain medication for quality of life and ability to function if you’re living with intractable pain. We’ll bring you the most well-informed and caring experts in each field as guest authors, speakers, resources, and links. If it concerns grief, you’ll find something about it here. If you don’t find it, ask and the information will soon appear.
For too long, grieving people have been the ignored majority. Society likes to pretend people in pain don’t exist or even worse, accuses them of feeling sorry for themselves or blames them for bringing their loss upon themselves . That won’t happen here. It’s time for people not living in the happily ever after to have a say and a place to say it. Check us out. This might be the place that helps heal your heart.
We make no guarantees other than no solicitations. We don’t do professional or pop therapy. But you’ll find the oldest healing elixir in the world here — Unconditional Love. Come in, try it on. See if it fits. Whether you’re new to the grief process or you’ve walked down that road for a while, the most important thing missing from this site is you.
Great news for GC members. We have restored the ability to have friends and send private messages within the site. Check all of the new features now available under the “member forums” tab.
Forums and Login – this tab contains all of the member forums as well as the space to register or log in to your account
My Account – this tab has all of your account information and is the place where you can change your password, add a bio, make status updates, and upload a profile picture
My Profile – shows your profile
My Friends – this page is a list of all of your friends on the site
My Mailbox – all of your private messages are here – click on the compose a new message to send a new PM, or click on an existing message to reply
My Wall – a “Facebook” style wall where you can see the status updates of all of your friends
Member Directory – this is a list of all of the site members so that you can find and add your friends. You can also add friends from inside the forum by clicking on a posters profile and then clicking “add Friend” under their profile picture.
Friend requests – this page shows people who have requested that you be there friend
We are very excited about all the new social features and hope they will be useful to you.