I received a Christmas card today from a mother and child whom we know very well. There was a name missing on the card. It was of her husband Chris, and the father of the child.
Chris died during October this year of bowel cancer – he was 41.
The Christmas season is here. Families reunite [...]
Beyond the Bucket List
By Dr. Bill Webster
What’s on your “Bucket List?” The movie of that title featuring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman encouraged people to think about the things they would like to do with the rest of their lives. Often we arrive at what we want to DO by [...]
The unpredictable timing and odd combinations of emotions that hit you during grief can leave you confused and despairing. "My life was totally flipped upside down emotionally, in every way you could think of," says Sue, whose husband died.Your emotions not only hit hard, but they can also occur at [...]
Flashbacks and reruns of disturbing memories can be exhausting. For those in grief, the memories can hit you unexpectedly. Time will fade the bad memories, but be sure to make a conscious effort to remember the good."I would see him in my mind when he was really sick," says Sue following her [...]
You are not the same person you were before. Too much has changed within and without. Do not try to fall back into the same patterns because you will only struggle to fit into a lifestyle that no longer fits. In order to live this new life, you must first identify the areas of your life that you [...]
Although you have experienced grief, you may be hesitant to approach others who are bereaved. Not knowing what to say, you may tend to avoid them. There is no "right" thing to say. It is your heart of concern and love that you need to express. Be genuine. These suggestions will help you interact [...]
Grief is not an enemy or a sign of weakness. It is a sign of being human. Grief is the cost of loving someone.Since grief comes to everyone, why do some people seem to work through it better than others?"Some people think that going through the losses or crises of life are the exceptional times," [...]
by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.
Your baby has died. You are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death. It is an essential part of healing.
You are beginning a journey that is often frightening, painful, [...]
A popular T-shirt that made the rounds a few years ago had these words printed on it: “Be patient with me. God isn't finished with me yet.” You may want to visualize that T-shirt on some of the people who volunteer to help you, and some of those who [...]
What was once unimaginable to you must now be imagined. What once seemed strange and awful—what may still seem strange and awful—must now be given its place in your life. In one way or another, you’ve been told you are [...]
Valentine's Day, a day when love is officially celebrated in the United States, can be a day of increased pain and sadness for the bereaved. Many individuals report images of their heart being shattered or smashed as they describe the pain their loss has created. They find it hard to assemble the [...]
Every February, stationery stores are full of heart-shaped cards. Restaurants advertise romantic three-course dinners. It's a time to celebrate love. But for a person who has just lost a spouse or long-time partner, Valentine's Day can be one of the toughest days of the year. On Valentine's Day, [...]
New Years One Step at a Time
Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on,
with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
The loss of a loved one through death is a life–changing experience. What was [...]
Here it comes again — the Holiday Army — in its annual march against us. Some of its generals are called "Thanksgiving," "Christmas," "Hanukah," "New Year’s Eve" and "New Year’s Day." They are no respecters of the heartbroken and emotionally [...]
My Gifts to Me At Christmas
Here’s a gift list written by Cheryl McQueen, that we’d like to suggest to you.
Consider them gifts that you can give yourself.
My gift to me is:
to acknowledge that the anticipation of any holiday can often be much worse than the actual [...]
Gifts, Garlands, and Grief by Sandy Goodman
I remember our first Christmas after. It began the first week of November in 1997, three short months into our worst nightmare, but a lifetime into missing our child of eighteen years. He had died suddenly, one of those "in [...]
Loss in the Season of Givingby Laura Slap-Shelton, Psy.D.
How hard it is to be bereaved during the winter holiday season. The demands of the season for cheerfulness, socializing, and giving are intense even for those who are not in the midst of mourning. How is it possible to join in the spirit of [...]
Coping With Grief After Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Loss
We have all heard of Elizabeth Kubler Ross's Stages of Grief but I prefer to talk about layers of grief. As bereaved parents of babies, we quickly discover that our grief does not work in a straight line. Indeed in the early days, we [...]
Grief in the Workplace
How does one respond to a fellow employee after they have experienced the loss of a loved one? Do you go about “business as usual”? Do you acknowledge their loss? What’s best? In our Resource Library is an excellent video called, [...]
GENESIS: For the BereavedThe death of someone you love is the beginning of one of the most painful times of your life. You feel like you have lost your anchor, you have lost direction, and nobody cares.Grief is a natural response to the loss of someone or something of value.We grieve the loss of [...]
Anticipatory Grief: What is it?by John Kennedy Saynor"When you think of it, much of life is spent anticipating events, both happy and sad, that are about to happen. This is true when we learn that someone we love hasn't long to live. What many people don't understand is that when we learn a loved [...]
When Your Spouse Diesby John Kennedy Saynor Unfortunately, the time comes in most spousal relationships when one dies. Whether the relationship was good or bad, the loss will be significant. Don't be surprised to find yourself grieving over someone you may not have loved. If that is [...]
The Road Not Taken
~John Kennedy Saynor~
The late Robert Frost penned the following words in his poem “The Road Not Taken”
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference.”
Many people [...]
DO let your genuine concern and caring show.DO be available... to listen or to help with whatever else seems needed at the time.DO say you are sorry about what happened and about their pain.DO allow them to express as much unhappiness as they are feeling at the moment and are willing to share.DO [...]
My Christmas in Heaven by Pamela Marie Graul-Gwizdala
I wish [...]
Fixing a Hole: Grieving With Other Menby Tom Golden, LCSW
There I was dripping in sweat, the kind that rolls down the side of your head and innocently into your ear. The still summer evening was allowing me to hear my own breath and my own thoughts. I was determined to make this a great [...]
HELPING THROUGH THE GRIEF
"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with [...]
We've shared our hearts, full of holiday cheerand shopped for presents for loved ones this yearthe house is dressed up with garland and lightsthat sparkle and shine through the holiday nightsBut even with all of this holiday blissthere’s someone we lost that we terribly missand as this [...]
The holidays are stressful times but even more so when grieving a loss of a loved one. This article provides helpful points on how to get through the holidays when grieving.
Dealing With Loss During The Holidays By Joanne Koegl When we have lost a loved one, the holiday [...]
To the Child in My Heart
O precious, tiny, sweet little one
You will always be to me
So perfect, pure, and innocent
Just as you were meant to be.
We dreamed of you and of your life
And all that it would be
We waited and longed for you to come
And join our [...]
Adapting to the Loss of a Loved One: Three Tips on how to CopeBy Wendy Bridger
Have you ever sat down and played a piano where one of the keys wasn’t working? Or made cookies and left out an ingredient? Perhaps you’ve started listening to a favorite CD, and just [...]
I need to talk about my loss.
I may often need to tell you what happened - orto ask you why it happened.
Each time I discuss my loss, I am helping myself face the reality of the death of my loved one.
I need to know that you care about me.
I need [...]
My Wish List
I wish you would not be afraid to speak my loved one's name. They lived and are important and I need to hear their name.
If I cry or get emotional when we talk about my loved one, I wish you new it isn't because you have hurt me; the fact that they have died has caused my tears. If [...]
If there were no rain,
fields would become parched and brittle,
and many creatures would die.
If we could not cry,
All our emotions would eventually dry up too,
And soon we would not laugh either.
Our tears cleanse us.
Our tears heal us.
They make us whole.
Tears are important to our [...]
Here is a poem that captures the qualities of someone who helps during difficult days, someone who is part of the group of people in your life who can help you through a difficult time.
When we honestly ask ourselves
which persons in our lives mean the most to us,
we often find it is those [...]
There is a Journey
You are beginning a journey. Certainly not a walk in the park kind of journey. This journey will be long and treacherous. It will demand all of your will and strength and change every emotion, every thought process and every belief system you posess.