Monday, June 24, 2024

In Grief: When An Ex-Spouse Dies

It is harder to accept the reality of loss if one is excluded from the dying process, restricted from the funeral rituals, inhibited from acknowledging the loss, or even given delayed news of the death.  ~ Kenneth J. Doka

A reader writes: I’m not really sure how to explain how I feel after losing my ex-spouse a month ago—especially since he died the same day I was having major surgery. Consequently, I’ve had quite a few complications from my surgery since I started taking care of my two teenage boys and their grief the morning after surgery when I got the phone call about their father. The funeral (which was put on by his new young wife) was about the last four years of his life and didn’t talk about our boys or even mention those years of his life. The people who spoke at the funeral described a man that the boys and I didn’t even know. Most people (at work and friends) don’t know what to say to me because they feel that I have no emotions about this since he was my ex-husband. It’s an uncomfortable subject for my current husband as well.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Pet Loss: Grateful for Comfort and Kinship in Grief

There are] two kinds of gratitude: The sudden kind we feel for what we take; the larger kind we feel for what we give.  ~ Edwin Arlington Robinson

A reader writes: Dear Marty, I want to express my gratitude to you personally for the comfort and strength you have given me and others like myself who have lost special companion animals. My cat of eleven and a half years died of kidney disease. We had him euthanized when the disease had progressed to the point where, although he still had his dignity and awareness, he was so painfully thin and weak that we knew he was very tired; he had "fought the good fight," and it was time to let him go. 

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Understanding and Managing Grief, June 2 - June 15, 2024

Best selections from Grief Healing's X feed this week: 

The hardest part of growing up? For me, it has to be watching my parents grow older. There’s this sudden realization that all things are finite and there’s an end to everything. Every time I think about this, the reality hits even harder. Coping With Grief: The Sight Of Parents Growing Old « Her Campus

Monday, June 10, 2024

In Grief: Widowed Mom's Drinking Alienates Family

Compassion for our parents is the true sign of maturity. ~ Anaïs Nin

A reader writes: My father passed away last July. My mother and he had a terrible marriage and only stayed together for the "kids," then couldn't afford to live apart. He passed away after a brief illness, but had made my mother's life very difficult. For the last 20 years, they just cohabited together with seperate lives - different bedrooms and even different tv rooms.

I did not have a good relationship with him (nor did my brother) - he was mean, selfish and just not a very nice person to us or anyone else. Nonetheless, I did and still do grieve for him. I also grieved for the father I never had, but I did forgive him before he passed away and was present when he died.

Monday, June 3, 2024

Mother Loss: College Student Feels Like Quitting

Some people succeed because they are destined but most because they are determined. 
 ~ Unknown

A reader writes: In my 20 years of living there was not a single day that I had spent without my mom. She was my world and I was hers. She was more like a best friend to me. She played video games with me, we went to trips together, she cooked food for me. It was like she was for me and I was for her. And then, within a matter of 3 days, I lost her. She was just 42.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Understanding and Managing Grief, May 26 - June 1, 2024

Best selections from Grief Healing's X feed this week: 

The disorienting nature of grief can create a sense of duality in our reality. Adapting to a new life without our loved one isn't easy, but it is possible. Many grievers report feeling as though they are in a parallel life with their loved one just out of reach. Why Your Old Life Can Feel Just Out of Reach « Psychology Today

Monday, May 27, 2024

Using Music to Move Through Grief

When you're happy, you enjoy the music. But, when you're sad, you understand the lyrics.  ~ Frank Ocean

People have known for centuries that music touches the human soul. We know intuitively that music affects us in profound and healing ways, both emotionally and physically, and present-day research demonstrates this to be true. In health care settings such as hospitals, clinics and hospices, music therapy is found to be remarkably effective in helping to calm patients, reduce stress, ease muscle tension, promote movement and manage pain.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Understanding and Managing Grief, May 13 - May 25, 2024

Best selections from Grief Healing's X feed this week: 

Patrick passed away less than two weeks before his 21st birthday. He even had his party organised. Instead, the family had to say their final goodbyes before Patrick could experience this coming-of-age milestone. A father's grief: 'There's always an empty seat at the table' « The Impartial Reporter

Monday, May 20, 2024

Coping with Bad Dreams and Nightmares in Grief

There are many who don't wish to sleep for fear of nightmares. Sadly, there are many who don't wish to wake for the same fear.  ~ Richelle Goodrich

A reader writes:  It's now been six months since my mother died. In many ways it seems like worlds and eons since then, but in some ways not at all. I really miss her and talking to her every few days, as was our old routine.  The problem I’m having is that I dream about her almost every night.  It's never the same scenario, except that she's always sick, like she was toward the end. Sometimes I wake up crying. This has been going on for pretty much the entire time since she died. Is this normal???  I think of her from time to time during the day, but not obsessively so. I'm able to function pretty well. So I'm wondering if this is normal and how much other people have a similar experience.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Pet Loss: When Prolonged Grief Prevents Bonding With Another Dog

The bond with a dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth can ever be.   ~ Konrad Lorenz

A reader writes: I know this is seemingly weird but possibly you can help. I am a 37 year old male and I still cry at night sometimes. Here’s why. Three years ago my beloved Copper had to be put down due to cancer. I got him as a pup 13 years prior and for the first 3 years of his life it was just him and I. (We lived on a farm.) I got Copper to try and get through a very difficult time in my life and looking back if it was not for him I probably wouldn't be sending you this message.