David Roberts

David J. Roberts, LMSW, CASAC, became a parent who experienced the death of a child, after his daughter Jeannine died of cancer on 3/1/03 at the age of 18. He is a retired addiction professional and is also an adjunct professor in the psychology and psychology-child life departments at Utica College, Utica, New York. He is a volunteer for Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc, in New Hartford, New York and the chapter leader for The Compassionate Friends of the Mohawk Valley.

Dave has presented several workshops at national conferences of The Compassionate Friends and Bereaved Parents of The USA, in the past. Dave was also the opening keynote speaker at the 2011 national gathering of the Bereaved Parents of the USA in Reston, Virginia. He is also a featured speaker, workshop presenter and coach for Aspire Place.(www.aspireplace.com).

Dave is a contributing writer for the Open to Hope Foundation and The Grief Toolbox. He has contributed articles to several other grief and self- improvement sites and publications, as well. Dave has co-authored two books with Linda Findlay of Mourning Discoveries. One is on navigating grief during the holidays and the other is on pet loss. He is also a Huffington Post blogger.

One of Dave's articles” My Daughter is Never Far Away" can also be found in the book Open to Hope: Inspirational Stories of Healing and Loss.

Excerpts from Dave's article for The Open to Hope Foundation, called The Broken Places, were featured in the 2012 Paraclete Press DVD video, Grieving the Sudden Death of a Loved One.

Dave has also appeared on Open to Hope’s radio show, Healing the Grieving Heart show and their television show, Finding Hope After Loss.

Dave’s website: www.bootsyandangel.com is devoted to providing support and resources for individuals experiencing loss.

The Broken Places No Comments

I was watching a promotional ad on television recently for the show “Intervention” and saw a quote from Ernest Hemingway, which read: “The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” Actually, this quote is a passage from Hemingway’s novel: “A Farewell to Arms.” Hemingway was one of the great American writers of his time, who died in 1961 as a result of suicide. As an aside, Neil Peart of Rush wrote the lyrics to a hauntingly beautiful song called “Losing It”…

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Is it OK to Feel Joy During the Grief Process? No Comments

The journey after the death of a loved one is emotionally draining and physically exhausting, particularly in the early stages of grief (which I see as minimally, two years). It is also easy to feel some guilt because of the moments of joy we do experience during early grief. We may question whether it is ok to experience joy because of the thought that we are dishonoring our deceased loved ones. Those moments of joy will present themselves whether we want them to or not…

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Does Time Heal? No Comments

I discovered this quote from singer/songwriter Jack Johnson: And if they tell you love fades over time, tell them there is no such thing as time. His quote also got me thinking about the passage of time as it relates to our grief journeys. Many in our society believe that there is a set time period for resolving our grief. In six months to a year, it is generally expected that one should be “over” his/her grief and return to life, as he/she knew it. What is also implied is that there are practical solutions to the losses that we experience…

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Giving Guilt Its Walking Papers During Our Grief Journeys No Comments

My late mentor Don, was the first person who exposed me to creative and unconventional thinking. We used to have many discussions about work, family and life, in general. During one of our conversations I expressed guilt over an ill advised decision that I made. Don simply stated that “Guilt is a useless emotion.” In retrospect, I believe this was Don’s way of telling me that it was more important to learn from my life decisions, rather than beat myself up over them. From my perception guilt is triggered by…

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How to Help a Chemically Dependent Person Who Has Suffered a Loss No Comments

I have been employed in an inpatient chemical dependency treatment center in Upstate New York since 1986. One of the many issues that chemically dependent individuals deal with is loss. There are losses specifically related to their drug use (i.e. jobs, friendships, family) and losses related to death. For chemically dependent individuals, their adjustment to loss is complicated by their lack of sober coping and socialization skills. They typically deal with their emotional pain by self medicating with alcohol and/or illegal drugs…

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Do I Ever Stop Being a Bereaved Parent? No Comments

I was asked by a friend of mine if we ever stop being bereaved parents. My friend is also a bereaved parent. It was an interesting question, because approximately two years after my daughter Jeannine died, I decided that I didn’t want to be a bereaved parent anymore. The daily pain and suffering became too much for me. I wanted my life to be the way it was before Jeannine died. I stopped going to my parental bereavement support group and tried to not think about the pain of losing my precious daughter…

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