Wish You Could Fast Forward through Mother’s Day? No Comments

Have you ever wished you had a huge remote and could fast forward through something? A tedious conversation, or maybe the perky dental hygienist with a terrifying tray of metal weapons? I have. Mother’s Day isn’t supposed to be on that list, is it? For anyone missing your mother this year, or maybe you’re a mom missing your beloved child, you know what I’m talking about. It’s inescapable- hourly reminders of happy moms and children everywhere you turn. If you’re considering pulling the percale sheets over your head…

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What Does Grief Look Like? No Comments

When my brother Rod killed himself the grief itself made me feel like I was going crazy. One minute I was okay and calm, the next I was hysterical. If we are in the depths of loss and grief, the intense emotions and sometimes lack of them often make us wonder, “Am I all right?” or “Am I doing this correctly?” Most of want to know we are doing something properly– even grieving. Think about it, that’s why there are so many self-help and ‘how-to’ books. For many people, those books are hugely helpful because they help us know either what is coming next…

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Using a Deceased Loved One’s Expressions and Words No Comments

Long after they are spoken words stay in our minds. Your departed loved one may have had special expressions he or she used again and again. Maybe your loved one invented new words or silly, comical words. Thinking about these words brings back memories. My deceased daughter, the mother of my twin grandchildren, had a quick wit. She made people laugh and I appreciated her talent. When she had news to share she would say, “Here’s the latest and the greatest.” I didn’t realize this expression had crept…

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Celebrating the Birth of Triplets While Mourning Dad’s Suicide:  I Wish You Could Have Been There No Comments

I wish you could have been there . . . It was quite a sight. Three infant car seats with tiny faces and six wiggling hands and feet. We were going home, but my father would not be there to greet us. I had spent the last four weeks of my pregnancy in the hospital, and, during that time, my loving dad had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was gone, and I had three children to love. Although I had complete bed rest throughout my pregnancy…

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Passing on Your Loved One’s Values Helps to Keep Their Spirit Alive No Comments

On the first anniversary of our daughter’s death my husband and I held a graveside service in her memory. It was a brief service because the February temperature hovered around zero and the wind chill was fierce. Despite the weather 10 people gathered to remember her. I passed out a list of our daughter’s values. These simple, powerful values are her legacy. Today, as my grandchildren graduate from high school and prepare for college, I am reminded of my daughter’s values and how they shaped her life…

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Living a Mindful Life Is a Way to Cope With Grief No Comments

“Crisis impacts your writing,” the author said. “I wrote some of my best stuff when I was in crisis.” Though I had never met this local author before, I felt connected to her. Both of us were freelancers and both of us had experienced crisis. During our conversation we agreed that crisis made us more appreciative of family, friends, and the blessings in our lives. The memory of this conversation was tucked away in the back of my mind until 2007, when I lost my daughter, father-in-law, brother, and former son-in-law…

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Healing Your Broken Heart No Comments

As I read about the grieving process, I noticed many suggest we should do something nice for someone else. It’s hard to think of reaching out to another person when you feel so broken, but doing so opens our eyes to the fact that there are still good things going on in life and being a part of them will lift us up. It may be a temporary fix, but even a temporary fix feels good. No matter how simple or elaborate it may be, it always works. When you give, you receive. While working on my book, Brittany’s Rose, I had a truly heartwarming experience that I would like to share…

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Playing Hide and Seek With Grief: Recovering From Loss No Comments

The church service had just begun and the congregation and guests were greeting one another. A friend, who knew four of my family members died in 2007, approached me and asked, “How are you?”, “I’m good,” I replied. “How are you?”. Widowed a year ago, my friend replied, “Oh, I’ve found that grief hides. When you think it’s gone you find yourself crying.” I understood her comment. After losing my daughter, father-in-law, brother, and former son-in-law, there have been many times when grief reached out and…

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Reclaiming Personal Power and Painting a New Picture of Your Life No Comments

The other day I came across a rerun of Oprah Winfrey’s television show. Interior designer Nate Berkus was one of her guests. He was there to talk about recovering from loss, something Berkus knows all too well. Five years ago his life partner was killed in the tsunami that wrecked havoc on Thailand. When the date appeared on the calendar, Berkus would have an anniversary reaction and mourn again. In time, however, he came to think of the date as just a number. “I took back the power,” he explained…

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During Your Grief Journey Help May Come From Unexpected Sources No Comments

Like most mourners, you may be looking for practical help. Where do you find it? You may start by calling family members and friends. Your religious/spiritual community may be a source of help as well. The local hospital may have a grief support group. Bereavement communities on the Internet are also helpful. As I discovered in 2007, after losing four family members, help may come from unexpected sources. More than four years have passed since my daughter, father-in-law, brother, and former son-in-law died…

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