Voices of Experience: Delayed Grief

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too was a gift.
~ Mary Oliver

In the compelling account of grief delayed that appears below, a man describes what happened to him when his reaction to a significant loss was postponed for many years, rather than experienced, expressed, and fully felt at the time. Reprinted here with the author's permission, this story serves as a powerful reminder that, no matter when a death occurred or how long ago it happened, it is never too late to do the work of mourning. 

In October 1979, I lost my girlfriend Jan in a car accident. I was 18 and had just started college. She was 17 and a senior in high school. I came home for midterm break to the news – it had happened the night before.

Memorial Day

Source
And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
 ~ Lee Greenwood

The first time I visited our nation's capital many years ago, I was struck by the extraordinary size and power (as well as the sheer number) of the beautiful and moving monuments to be found there. In a sense, the entire city serves as a monument to dead people, not only to help us remember past presidents and famous historical figures who have died, but also to honor those soldiers who have given their lives in service to our country.

The beautiful video below was produced in 2010 by a young man looking to honor his grandfather. In the introduction to the piece, he writes, "Honor Air is an effort to charter flights to the National Mall bringing war veterans to see the memorials. Even though he served during WWII, my Grandfather who is 94 chose not to go because he didn't want to take the seat of a veteran who saw combat. Part of the reason I produced this piece was to bring the monuments to him."

Caregiving and Hospice, May 20 - May 26, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Understanding and Managing Grief, May 20 - May 26, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Coping with Pet Loss: May 20 - May 26, 2012

Best selection from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
  • Should Friends Attend Pet Funerals? http://j.mp/Kig7QV  The answer is Yes!! « The Family Plot Blog

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tips for Coping with Anniversary Reactions in Grief

A reader writes: My brother and I were like twins growing up: 14 months apart and inseparable. When I was 25 and he was 26, he died of cancer. At the time, I didn't grieve hardly at all, as I was raised not to talk about intense feelings much. So...I put a lot of these painful feelings away, and didn't realize until this past year, when I was going through other stresses, that there was even something called delayed grief. The pain has been overwhelming. I am going through counseling with a really good therapist who is helping, but I am dreading my brother's death anniversary date that is coming up next month. It is always an extremely difficult month for me. I am especially dreading it this year. I had been doing better lately but the past two days I started crying just thinking about my brother. I miss him so much. He was my best friend in the world and no one can ever replace him. On top of everything else, I have guilt feelings that I didn't do enough to help him get diagnosed earlier. It has been so many years since he died but it feels like just yesterday.

Caregiving and Hospice, May 13 - May 19, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Understanding and Managing Grief, May 13 - May 19, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Coping with Pet Loss, May 13 - May 19, 2012

Best selection from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Remembering My Mom on Mother's Day


My mother and me, circa 1949
There's a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where yours begins. ~ Mitch Albom

On this Mother's Day I wish to pay tribute to my own mother, Evelyn Cecilia Merritt, by remembering her and sharing with you the special person she was.

Born on March 27, 1916, she exchanged her earthly address for a heavenly one on October 6, 1993, at the age of 77.

Because she was there from my beginning, she is a significant part of who I have become, and I am grateful for all the gifts she gave to me.

Caregiving and Hospice, May 6 - May 12, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Understanding and Managing Grief, May 6 - May 12, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Coping with Pet Loss, May 6 - May 12, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Voices of Experience: The Labyrinth of Grief

A Labyrinth is a physical manifestation of a metaphor. Enter it and take a slow walk to the center of your Self, gather the peace you find within it and carry that back out to comfort you on your Journey.  ~ The Karuna Project

A labyrinth is a single path that twists and turns back upon itself in an elaborate circular pattern. Unlike a maze, which is meant to be a challenge and a puzzle to be solved, the path of a labyrinth is designed to guide the walker from entrance to center. It can be used in many different ways, but primarily the labyrinth is intended to induce contemplation and thought as visitors slowly make their way along its winding path.

In the lovely piece that appears below, the author uses the labyrinth as a metaphor for walking the journey of grief. It is reprinted here with her permission.

The Labyrinth of Grief

It is a labyrinth.
Those who grieve, walk its path
as it winds back and forth,
in and out, day after day,
winding back upon itself and out around its edge
then back to where the path began.

National Nurses Week 2012

Nursing is an art; and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation as any painter's or sculptor's work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body -- the temple of God's spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts; I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.  ~ Florence Nightingale

Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring
Often described as an art and a science, nursing is a profession that embraces dedicated people with varied interests, strengths and passions because of the many opportunities the profession offers. Nurses work in hospitals, emergency rooms, school based clinics, and homeless shelters, to name a few. They have many roles – from staff nurse to educator to nurse practitioner and nurse researcher – and serve all of them with passion for the profession and with a strong commitment to patient safety.

National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6, also known as National Nurses Day, through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. Visit the NNW History page to learn more.

I am especially blessed to be working with nurses (better known as earthly angels) at Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, Arizona ~ and during their special week, I hope you will join me in recognizing and thanking them for the very special work they do.

Related articles:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Caregiving and Hospice, April 29 - May 5, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
Enhanced by Zemanta

Understanding and Managing Grief, April 29 - May 5, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Coping with Pet Loss, April 29 - May 5, 2012

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
Enhanced by Zemanta
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...