The Journey of Grief: Sad or Depressed? No Comments

It has been six months since my wife died. This anniversary passed almost without notice and then I felt guilty for not noticing. I have been up to my ears in alligators of late and somehow the date did not register. As would be expected, I have been sad ever since she died. Sadness is the normal and expected response to such a loss. Sad and lonely seem to sum up my days and especially my nights. I almost cherish the sadness. Not that I do not want to move past the pain, but the sadness…

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To Remember is Human No Comments

As I am now entering the tenth year of my journey as a parent who has experienced the death of a child, I realize that my perspective on many things related to life and death have changed. Today (3/3/12), I had this revelation about the expectations that we place on remembering. In this context, I am referring to those individuals who don’t acknowledge our children on those special days such as birthdays and angelversary dates. I started pondering this when a friend of mine (and one whom loved Jeannine…

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The Needs of Grief: No One Asked Me How I Felt No Comments

A group was studying the value of a listening ear. They had viewed the video we produced called The Power Of Presence. The discussion was open and almost everyone was sharing from their own experiences in either listening to someone or someone listening to them. I don’t know that an epiphany happened but one woman seemed to have a sudden revelation and shared it. he had worked as a responder for an ambulance company and was just finishing her shift when the call came that a bomb had exploded…

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Deceased Daughter is Never Far Away No Comments

Before my daughter Jeannine died in 2003, I was never one to believe in things that I could not see. My version of reality was defined by hard evidence, not by intuition or feel. Jeannine has given me signs of her presence in a variety of different ways since her death. As a result, my new reality has been defined more by what I feel and experience, then hard facts. With that in mind, I would like to describe one of my more memorable experiences following Jeannine’s death…

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Personal Growth Following a Loss: One Parent’s Story No Comments

According to Dictionary.com, Providence is defined as, among other things, the foreseeing care and guidance of nature over the creatures of the earth. Until May of 2002, I would have accepted that definition without reservation. I felt protected and maybe even immune from the tragedy that affected other individuals in society. Arrogance didn’t drive this perception; I just never allowed my mind to go to the deep, dark places where others already had been. However, providence did blink (mightily, I might add)…

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Just Let Me Be Sad No Comments

We live in a world where – if you have the means – pain and suffering are to be avoided at all costs. We are always looking for the next “quick fix” to alleviate discomfort with the least amount of effort required. In many cases, this means treating the symptoms while ignoring the root cause of the problem. In the United States, we live in a society so uncomfortable with emotional pain that when someone dies, society expects the outward mourning period to end once the funeral is over. When the bereaved…

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A Father’s Perspective on Grief No Comments

Since early 2003 I have embarked on a journey of enlightenment and discovery that has redefined me as a person and in the process has helped me become a more loving and spiritually centered person. There are days where I wish my redefinition of self hadn’t come at such a cost to my family and me. On May 26,2002, my then 18 year old daughter Jeannine was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer called alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a disease that affected her connective muscle tissue…

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The Fear of Forgetting No Comments

When my daughter died just after turning four years old, one of my biggest fears has been that she will be forgotten. But lately, I’ve been asking myself what does that really mean? What am I really scared of? The idea that she will be forgotten is actually two separate fears. The first is that due to the notion of “out of sight, out of mind”, friends and even family will stop thinking of her and, in essence, “forget her”. In reality, this is the natural course of life. I have beloved relatives and dear friends…

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The Needs of Grief: The Comfort Myth No Comments

Several years ago I met several times with five grieving families in a small town in Texas. Two car wrecks ten days apart had claimed the lives of their sons and daughters. That many young people dying in such a short span had the whole area in mourning. At my first meeting with a single mother whose daughter had died she told me almost in defiant anger that unless I could bring her daughter back there was no such thing as giving her comfort. I did not understand her then, now I find myself saying the same thing…

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Navigating the Ebb and Flow of Grief 2 Comments

At almost four years after the death of my daughter, I had thought it would be easier than this. In those early days and months when my grief made it feel like I simply couldn’t survive this loss, I saw others in support groups who had lost their loved ones many years before, and they seemed ok. They looked almost “normal” again. They told me it wouldn’t always be like this. They said you learn to live with the pain, and it would lessen over time. They said you will eventually find joy and happiness again…

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