A Watershed Event: Suggestions to Help You Deal With a Loss No Comments

Sometimes it takes a watershed event for us to burrow beneath our public self and into our authentic self for answers. The way we interpret and cope with our life changing happenings, weather a loss of “self” or a loss of a loved one, is relative to that authentic self image. If life is stomping you into the ground or if life would prove to be a mouthful to big to chew there are numerous avenues of help open to you. With the cobwebby lives most of us lead every one of us have at some time or another been knee deep in hopelessness…

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How Death Affects Us And What We Can Do 1 Comment

Death is inevitable, irreversible, universal, and always unpredictable. Accepting this, you would think everyone would be equipped with first hand knowledge on how to deal with a death that invades your family circle. If you were to think that, then you would think wrong! When you were in those first twelve years of school, were you offered a subject titled grief? No. You didn’t have the subject of grief sandwiched between math and English. When death claimed a schoolmate, did anyone come in to talk with you about the death?…

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Moving After the Death of Our Daughter No Comments

Several years after the death of our daughter, we finally made the decision to move to a new house. A new house our daughter never lived in, and never will. We left an old house where she lived her entire four short years. A house where she spent countless hours playing, eating, sleeping, dressing up, making mischief, making us laugh…the list goes on. But it was also the house where she died. It was the house seared in our memories on that horrible day where our lives changed forever in a way we wish…

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The Letter No Comments

It was August 30, 2006 and there it was. The article on fatal off-campus house fires was on the front page of that day’s edition of USA TODAY. I had been so pleased to receive a call, some three weeks earlier, from a reporter working on the story. They had done extensive research on all the fatal off-campus house fires across the country since 2000, and the article would run just in time for college students moving into off-campus housing for the upcoming school year. It was everyone’s hope that this article would keep other college kids from making the mistakes of…

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To Have or to Hold—Letting Go of Rummage and Grief No Comments

It’s rummage sale time of the year again in our township. This is more than just a weekend de-cluttering project…it’s an EVENT! Big time! Our entire township hosts the event every year at the same time and it’s become notorious for bargains, socializing, and clutter control. Hundreds and hundreds of people swarm the streets for 2-3 days and bargain for every imaginable item. It’s about repurposing someone’s obsolete items into something perfectly useful for another period of time in someone else’s home…

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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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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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Learning How to Smile Again No Comments

When my daughter died, the pain was so overwhelming, the thought that I could ever feel any ounce of happiness again seemed ridiculous. In those early days of grief, the mere idea of being happy didn’t just feel impossible, it felt wrong. During the first year after her death, I recall an evening when my husband insisted I sit down with him and our three boys and watch a funny show on TV that we had watched regularly as a family for years. My husband was able to recognize that in the wake of their sister’s death, our boys needed life to return to as “normal” as possible…

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Learning to Dance in the Rain No Comments

The loss of a child is beyond comprehension for those who have not experienced it; no words can adequately describe the pain and agony that tears through your body. Most parents consider the possible death of their child as the worst fate imaginable; however, unless they are faced with the unfortunate circumstances personally, it is impossible to fully understand. Outside of those who have experienced it, many have no idea how common loss of a child actually is. Before losing my daughter, I was completely unaware of the vast number of bereaved parents all around me…

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