~ Articles about Journey
of Hearts ~
WebPage Helps Ease Pain of Personal
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 http://www.journeyofhearts.org.
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
"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
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
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
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 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
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:
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.