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WebPage Helps Ease Pain of Personal Tragedy
Tuesday, April 14, 1998
By Christine Louie
Aggie Senior Staff Writer

Anyone who has ever dealt with the loss of a loved one can attest to the difficulties of coping with the aftermath, but an answer to such problems may be found from logging onto

Created by UC Davis alumna Dr. Kirsti Dyer, the new World Wide Web page is intended to assist individuals in coping with the resultant grief and sadness associated with such events.

Dyer said she and her husband designed the website in an effort to help people through the transitional process of dealing with a loss or a significant life change and help them begin their lives again.

"Part of the goal for the creation of this website was to develop and teach a method which would help people cope with present and past losses and give them a simple tool to use to remember these coping strategies," the web page states.

As an ultimate tribute to many of the friends and patients that she has lost over the years, Dyer noted that she created the site shortly after the deaths of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa.

"From a physician's point of view, I had helped a lot of people and family and friends cope with moving or with bad things that happened within the family, and what I started realizing was that the common thread was the loss," Dyer said.

Dyer added that the concept of loss has a variety of ramifications and can take many different forms including the loss of a limb, a child, a job or a relationship.

With various links to pages that include poems, song lyrics and articles containing information that may help to ease the pain, Dyer noted that the song lyrics she has included on the web page have special meaning to her and have helped her when she has been depressed.

"I used a lot of words from music because I find music extremely powerful," she said. "They are doing studies that music helps people."

Dyer added that as a medical student going through residency, she underwent periods of depression and that she wishes such a web page were available to her during that time.

"I think (the web page) is a place that I would have liked to have had to go to escape to for a little bit of time," she said.

Inspirational quotes and suggestions of book titles also comprise various sections of the pages, each categorized into specific themes such as the Condolence and Deepest Sympathy page and the Emergency Pick-Me-Up page.

According to Dyer, the web page may be instrumental in helping those individuals who are homebound or who live in rural communities and do not have access to talking with a counselor. She added that studies have indicated that many cancer survivors are more inclined to "surf the web" during the night when they have insomnia.

"They may still be able to reach out and connect with the world through their computer," she said. "They might have enough energy to find a site, but they may not have enough energy to find a counselor," she said.

She noted that the scope of the web page is larger than any of its kind, geared specifically for coping with grief. She added that college students may stand to benefit from the using the page as well as many students who lose loved ones from relationships they have been involved in.

She said she hopes the web page will be beneficial to its users and added that she is still in the process of designing one last page that would link users into a list of 50 resources about such topics like arthritis and mental health.

The Aggie is the official school paper for the University of California, Davis. Their website can be found at: Leaving site.

This website was created to develop and teach a method that could help people cope with present and past losses by giving them simple tools to use to remember these coping strategies.

Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS
See the Emergency 911 Page for links to immediate resources
if you are feeling helpless, hopeless, overwhelmingly depressed, or suicidal.

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Last update July 20, 2002