When working with families and friends of people who have been murdered I find that the operative verb is never died but was killed . . . Being killed is seen as different from dying; it's unnatural, a form of theft, an act of taking something from you and your loved ones. What is taken is a person's life and all of its promise for future joy and happiness, companionship, and accomplishment. It is the most precious commodity one can steal and the greatest loss one can suffer. ~ Helen Fitzgerald
A reader writes:I’m writing this letter in hopes of finding some peace. It will be three years next month that my son was murdered. He was only 18.
In order to get from what was to what will be, you have to go through what is. ~ Unknown A reader writes:My husband has advanced-stage lung cancer, and I have to face the inevitable that he will die soon. It’s been 8 months; we’ve been married for 20 years. I’m sure that it’s normal, but the thoughts that are running through my head are driving me insane. I keep envisioning myself starting relationships with other men. I feel guilty like I’ve already moved on with my life. It’s survival instinct too, because I can’t support my kids on my own and I’m trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I love my husband dearly. I want to be focused on the present. How do I do that?
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
~ Aldous Huxley A reader writes:We know my dad is dying of cancer but apparently he still isn't aware of the truth. I don't find this to be right. I believe he should be told so if he has things he would like to say or do he can say or do them. I don't find that my stepmother is being fair with him. She has been a tough one to deal with during all this. She doesn't even tell us girls what is going on with our father. I was angry with her for this, but I have accepted that this is just her way for whatever her reasons. My stepbrother has called to tell me that hospice is dropping more and more hints, the signs of his end are more obvious, and it is really only a matter of time now. My sister and I have decided to visit him for the last time and say our goodbyes. Is there something you can share with me on coping with this being the last time I will probably see him alive? Should I say something about him not going to pull through this one?
Is it appropriate, you may ask, for people to memorialize a cherished
Some may think that conducting rituals, funerals or memorial services for dead
animals – and setting aside special days to remember them – is a frivolous
waste of time and money, and those who engage in such practices must be
eccentric and strange.
But the fact is that elaborate funeral arrangements and lasting memorials have
been used to honor beloved departed pets for thousands of years.
To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness. ~ Oscar Wilde
A reader writes:I have a dilemma that I am hoping you can remedy. Three years ago, my father passed away and two months later my mother was diagnosed with cancer. To make a long story short, my sister and I stayed upbeat and positive for our mother's sake, but she kept having one thing after another until finally she was deemed terminal. We took care of her with the help of Hospice 3 days a week, but were her sole caregivers until she passed away last April. We cried when our father passed away, but quickly stopped grieving when Mom was diagnosed.
It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch. ~ Anonymous
People I've encountered in my practice as a grief counselor are often shocked to discover how devastated they feel when their pets die. Statements such as “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I didn’t feel this bad when my grandmother (acquaintance, friend, relative) died” are common. And so the question arises, Why do so many of us feel the loss of a companion animal so intensely—and is it normal to feel this way?