brené brown, grief, today hoda jenna

Author, researcher and storyteller Brené Brown.

One of the most challenging things about dealing with grief is the feeling that it will never end. After losing a loved one or at the end of a relationship, we feel that something is missing in our lives and fear that hole could remain forever.

This feeling of sorrow can linger for months while we cycle through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

In extreme cases, people may be diagnosed with prolonged grief disorder in which they have intense feelings of grief that last all day and go on for many months. People with prolonged grief disorder may also have trouble in their personal, educational or work lives.

Psychological researcher Brené Brown shared her thoughts on the grieving process on “TODAY with Hoda & Jenna” recently and they may be of comfort to anyone dealing with loss. Brown is known in particular for her research on shame, vulnerability and leadership, and gained worldwide attention for her 2010 TEDx talk, "The Power of Vulnerability."


“How long does true grief last in the heart?” a fan asked Brown.

“As long as it takes,” Brown replied. “We live in a culture where people need us to move through our grief for the sake of their own comfort and grief does not have a timeline. It takes as long as it takes.

“And the best thing that we can do when we’re trying to support someone in grief is—my favorite question when I’ve got someone close to me who’s really grieving a lot is to say, ‘What does love look like right now? What does support look like right now?’” she said. “And sometimes they’ll hear, ‘You know what, can you run my carpool for me on Wednesday? Can I cuss and scream at you on the phone twice a week?’”

Brown said that she loved the question because “I don’t have the answer because not having the answer is the answer. It takes as long as it takes.”

How can people best comfort those who are grieving? Brown believes it’s all about being compassionate by understanding that all people have the ability to feel prolonged pain.

“There’s a definition of compassion in ‘Atlas of the Heart,’ from Pema Chödrön, the American Buddhist nun, that says, ‘Compassion is not a relationship between the wounded and the healed. It’s a relationship between equals.’ It’s knowing your darkness well enough that you can sit in the dark with others,” Brown said.

The grieving process is complicated and not everyone goes through the steps in the same order. After a long period of feeling better, some may also experience reawakened grief in which the pain crops up again.

The powerful point Brown makes is that people shouldn’t feel pressured to get over a significant loss in their life and that if the process may be taking longer than expected, they're still OK. In fact, avoiding grief may only make things worse.

If you are experiencing grief and feel it’s getting worse over time or interferes with your ability to function, consult a mental health provider.

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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Sandy Hook school shooting survivors are growing up and telling us what they've experienced.

This story originally appeared on 12.15.21


Imagine being 6 years old, sitting in your classroom in an idyllic small town, when you start hearing gunshots. Your teacher tries to sound calm, but you hear the fear in her voice as she tells you to go hide in your cubby. She says, "be quiet as a mouse," but the sobs of your classmates ring in your ears. In four minutes, you hear more than 150 gunshots.

You're in the first grade. You wholeheartedly believe in Santa Claus and magic. You're excited about losing your front teeth. Your parents still prescreen PG-rated films so they can prepare you for things that might be scary in them.

And yet here you are, living through a horror few can fathom.

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