Monday, December 30, 2019

Keeping the Secret of A Terminal Prognosis: Afterword

[Reviewed and updated March 3, 2022]

Sharing tales of those we've lost is how we keep from really losing them.
  ~ Mitch Albom

A reader writes: As the daughter of the woman whose letter appears in your post Keeping the Secret of A Terminal Prognosis, I wanted you to know that just four months after she wrote those words to you, my beautiful mother died in her sleep of heart failure. My father woke up in the morning and found her gone.
She left us all letters, and in mine she left a link to your online forum, along with her log in and password. She wanted us to read all that she had written.

I want to let you and your readers know what she was like.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Understanding and Managing Grief and Pet Loss, December 22 - December 28, 2019

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

I found the one piece of her that didn’t get scattered. And I could have never guessed what it would be. My Bizarre Childhood Wish Showed Up in My Mom’s Cremains « Modern Loss

Helpful, current, reliable, and updated today : Coping with The Holidays: Suggested Resources 2019, « Grief Healing

Our problem is that my husband and I are rather amazed at how we are grieving over this loss. Pet Loss: Amazed At How We Are Grieving, « Grief Healing

Your feedback is welcome! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question, or share a tip, a related article or a resource of your own in the Comments section below. If you’d like Grief Healing Blog updates delivered right to your inbox, you’re cordially invited to subscribe to our weekly Grief Healing Newsletter. Sign up here.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Pet Loss: Amazed At How We Are Grieving

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay 
[Reviewed and updated June 16, 2024]

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.  ~ Albert Schweitzer

A reader writes: Just wanted you to know that your site offered a lot of insight into the grieving process when one loses a pet. My husband and I are in our 50's, with no children, but four cats and a dog. We recently lost our 10-year-old cat, very suddenly, to an unknown condition (perhaps a tumor) but somehow related to diabetes. She was in Intensive Care at a University Vet Hospital for two days but only went downhill to the point where the vets indicated that her prognosis was poor and that she would probably never recover. At this point we chose to euthanize her because she was in such pain and had labored breathing.

Our problem is that my husband and I are rather amazed at how we are grieving over this loss.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Hospice & Understanding and Managing Grief, December 15 - December 21, 2019

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

As the days get shorter and the holidays loom, everyone who is coping with loss looks forward to these days with dread and wonders how we'll ever find the strength to get through them. It may help to know that many helpful and informative articles have been written on this very topic, and as you will see at the base of this post, I've assembled a list of links to many of them. Coping with The Holidays: Suggested Resources 2019, « Grief Healing

The new free all-in-one “Coping with Grief” mobile app was designed and developed by a team of volunteers from the non-profit My Grief Angels. New Free "Coping with Grief" App With Latest Tech For Dealing with Death & Loss During The Holidays, « PRUnderground

By law, every hospice program out there must offer the same basic services, but what about areas in which hospice services differ? How can you be sure you’re choosing the best program? To help you figure that out, use the following questions and concepts as you explore different hospice resources. How to Choose a Hospice Provider « Solistic Hospice

Monday, December 16, 2019

Voices of Experience: Reflections on Helping The Bereaved: 7 Do's and 7 Don'ts

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 
by Jennifer Chiaramonti, MSEd, NCC, LPC

One who knows pain, can help others without gain.  ~ Abhijit Naskar

This morning I woke up from a nightmare. My heart was racing, and I was sweating and crying out with anxiety. In the nightmare, something terrible had happened and I was being pursued by dangerous people who were intent on doing me harm. To save my life, I had just one day to quit my job, pack a few things, abandon my home, and disguise my identity. I had to go to another state where I would be expected to start over with a lower-paying and less satisfying job, a new spouse (a man I disliked), and a home that didn’t feel like home. Any delay would cause the pursuers to close in.

My husband, Greg, died four months ago. And I believe that I had the nightmare because last night I experienced a social interaction in which I felt pelted by rapid-fire questions about my plans now that I’m a widow. I wish I could say that this was an unusual experience, but in fact, several people have inquired in a manner that has felt like an interrogation. This uncomfortable questioning began almost immediately following Greg’s death, certainly within the second week.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Caregiving & Understanding and Managing Grief, December 8 - December 14, 2019

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

Grief takes on a life of its own for many people and though it affects thousands on a daily basis, each journey is different. Yet, the one thing all those grieving people have in common is that the journey feels like a walk down a winding path alone. What Grief Truly Is, « Yahoo! Lifestyle

Family caregivers pledge to fulfill their loved ones’ end-of-life wishes. But too often circumstances change, and they must break their word and guard against breaking hearts ― including their own.… The Health Care Promises We Cannot Keep, « Kaiser Health News

From your description of your grandmother's illness her body had entered the dying process. It was shutting down, unable to combat the disease that she had lived with for so many years. Would She Still Be Alive? « BK Books

Monday, December 9, 2019

Disenfranchised Grief: Another Bereaved Aunt Asks “Where Do I Fit In?”

[Reviewed and updated September 15, 2022]

Every society has conventions about grieving – rules that define for whom, how, for what, and for how long people should grieve. In our society the “who” is generally family: spouses, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren and siblings have recognized rights to grief. The grief of others often is not considered.  ~ Kenneth J. Doka

A reader writes: Dear Marty, I have never before emailed a stranger about something so personal but I wanted to thank you for posting your article, Mourning A Sister's Only Child: "Where Do I Fit In?"

Three weeks ago I lost my nephew. He was 3.9 years old. He was very disabled and had been fighting for life and defying doctors since he was 5 days old. I held him the day he was born. I gave up the course I was studying at the time to help care for his big sister who was 2 at the time. Ever since he was born I was constantly on call in case something happened. Often I dropped everything and raced to London to help my brother and his wife out because my nephew had been rushed to hospital.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Understanding and Managing Grief, December 1 - December 7, 2019

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

Few readers may realize how heavy a toll is taken by suicide during the years of high school, college, and young adulthood. Suicide in the Young, « AfterTalk Weekly

Yes. I know. I have a funny thing about time. And dates. I take time to reflect on time and what time is, or might be. It's About Time « Soaring Spirits International

This is the third story in a four-part weekly series on meditation, including its benefits for pain management, mental health and overall well-being. How Meditation Can Ease the Path of Grieving, « NextAvenue

Monday, December 2, 2019

In Grief: Self-Care As A Way Of Paying Homage

[Reviewed and updated July 11, 2021]

Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.  
~ Christopher Germer

A reader writes: It's been nine months since my wife and best friend of 57 years died. I still have my bad days, but I am noticing now that the good days outnumber the bad days. I spend a lot of time on the computer going to grief sites and reading everything I can get my hands on about grief. I'm still hiding in my shell but at least I'm trying to get back to the real world. It's tough, but I will win this battle and my beloved will always be in my heart, never forgotten and never said goodbye to. I just wanted to say thank you for all your help and God bless you.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Understanding and Managing Grief & Pet Loss, November 24 - November 30, 2019

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

You probably know a child who is grieving, or an adult whose childhood was punctuated by grief. Read this. Six Reasons Why You Should Focus on a Grieving Child « Modern Loss

In our culture the holidays, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas, emphasize family and friend togetherness. The absence of a friend or family member becomes more evident. Our sense of loss is more 'in our face' than other times of the year. How Can I Celebrate The Holidays When I Feel So Sad? « BK Books

The main thing we think of in mourning is the loss of the individual who’s died . . .  But there’s also a profound loss of SELF involved in mourning. i miss her, and i miss my self « Kay Bruner

Monday, November 25, 2019

Pet Loss: Negligence or Accident?

[Reviewed and updated October 9, 2023]

Since human wisdom cannot secure us from accidents, it is the greatest effort of reason to bear them well.  ~ John Paul Jones

A reader writes: I read your piece on guilt but I still feel terrible. As I write this I am devastated by the loss of a baby lovebird. Only three hours ago I went to hand feed him and found he was gone. I had checked on him about an hour before that and he was sleeping. This little peach face delight was the only survivor from a clutch and what an unusual little bird he was. I started hand feeding him at only a few days old and I could see early on he was much different than any other baby I’ve ever raised. I have raised dozens over the years. This little one could perch and climb at a younger age than any youngster I ever had – and this is the root of my guilt.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Caregiving, Grief and Pet Loss, November 10 - November 23, 2019

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream these last two weeks:

Sometimes, holidays can be a very painful time for people who are experiencing their first (or second or third, etc.) special holiday without their loved one who has died. Pet Loss & the Holidays: 4 Things To Consider When Grieving During the Holidays (or any time!) « Animal Souls Matter

When we work with a counselor about the devastating loss of a loved one, we deserve to feel cared about, that we are in the hands of someone who is compassionate with us, non-judgmental, knowledgeable about grief, and is trained and skilled as a counselor. How to Choose and Work With a Grief Counselor for Pet Loss: What You Deserve and What You Should Expect  « Animal Souls Matter

A program at The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center called Honoring the Bond provides support for pet owners facing tough decisions. Ohio State program helping pet owners cope with grief hopes to expand across the US, « ABC News Cleveland

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Coping with The Holidays: Suggested Resources 2019

[Updated January 11, 2020]

A reader writes: I found your site while trying to get help dealing with the death of my sister, my best friend. I am 56, she would have been 54 next month. A monster called cancer killed her slowly and painfully. It will be 2 months next week and I miss her more every day. I don't have a memory of my childhood or adult life that does not include her. I cry more now than when she died.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Voices of Experience: Grieving through Songwriting

We're luckiest if we feel an empty space; the silence, the void that only you'd erase. Because with this, we had the gift of having you.  ~ Rachel Leycroft, Warrior

by Rachel Leycroft

My journey to this point has felt like the most profound combination of painful and beautiful. I battled severe depression for most of my life. Over the years, having never processed all of the pain I carried, the depression diagnosis began collecting some of its well-known companions: anxiety, OCD, anorexia and body dysmorphia. Some say that once we hit rock bottom, the only direction to go is up. Kristoff and I crossed paths when I began taking my first steps above rock bottom.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Caregiving & Understanding and Managing Grief, November 3 - November 9, 2019

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

The following excerpt is adapted from the book Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome by Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner, in which Soffer writes about communing over grief in a social media era. Data: Loss (and Found) on the Internet" « CBS News

Before she died, my mother asked me to find a support group – but there were none for twentysomethings like me. Could I start my own? On Millennial Grief, « The Guardian

Heart failure care is about more than just treating the heart. Drs Mandrola and Meier discuss the importance of treating the whole person with palliative care, and its distinction from hospice care. Palliative Care in Heart Failure: Manage the Person, Not the Prognosis « Medscape

Monday, November 4, 2019

In Grief: Coping With Infant Loss

[Reviewed and updated October 23, 2023]

I remember the people I love who have died even though it brings my heart deep sadness. Not to remember them feels like I'm living a lie and like they are dying twice. ~ Dr. Joanne Cacciatore

My husband Michael and I were just out of college when we married in 1965. Less than two years later we were mourning the unexpected death of our second son, who succumbed to an Rh incompatibility when he was barely three days old.

Our baby David Luke Tousley was delivered via C-section on May 23, 1967, after what we thought had been a normal, full-term pregnancy. He died three days later, on May 26.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 27 - November 2, 2019

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

Such a difficult question to answer, “What is to come?” Dementia does not play by the dying process rules. There is no time frame we can put on dementia’s progression. What Comes Next? Dementia at End of Life, « BK Books

Research shows that as many as one third of seriously ill, hospitalized older people are receiving invasive treatments they don’t want at end-of-life, because no one has talked to them about their wishes for future care. To die well, we must talk about death before the end of life « PBS NewsHour

More companies are putting extra thought into their bereavement leave policies, one of the trickiest elements in any benefits package. Does Your Boss Have Your Back When a Loved One Dies? « The Wall Street Journal

Monday, October 28, 2019

In Grief: When Current Losses Trigger Past Abuse

[Reviewed and updated November 7, 2022]

The human race tends to remember the abuses to which it has been subjected rather than the endearments. What's left of kisses? Wounds, however, leave scars.  ~ Bertolt Brecht

A reader writes: The first anniversary of losing my beloved cat Abby was last month, and the first anniversary of losing my beloved Cleo is just five months away. I still feel totally lost. I still forget they are gone. To make matters worse, my father is in end stage of Alzheimers. All three of these losses have somehow triggered some old historical abuse issues. I just thought I was further along in this journey of life than I actually am.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Understanding and Managing Grief & Pet Loss, October 20 - October 26, 2019

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

Join us for a webinar discussion on when and how medication may be an effective support to help survivors along their grief journey. on December 3, 2019, 12 - 1:30 p.m. Understanding the Role of Medication in Grief Webinar « TAPS Institute

Overwhelming loss can leave us vulnerable and unable to cope. That's why taking care of yourself is so critical. Taming the Grief Monster « The Epoch Times

Twenty-four years later, I think about him every day. Every. Single. Day. It is not unpleasant. It is not painful. The scar over the huge chest wound is thin and tenuous, but it holds. This is grief. This is life. « Kevin MD

Monday, October 21, 2019

Pet Loss: A Young Teen Loses Two Best Friends

Image by ThePixelman from Pixabay 
[Reviewed and updated October 17, 2020]

The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief. But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.   ~ Hilary Stanton Zunin

A reader writes: I am 13 and recently lost my two best friends: a 19-year-old cat named Sandy, and a 3-year-old Guinea pig named Teddy. Obviously, my cat had been with my family long before I was born. I loved her as I loved a family member, because she was always there with a lick and a purr. Two weeks ago, she stopped breathing and we rushed her to the hospital. We figured she would come out ok and come home but she didn't get better. When I came home from school, I knew that by the look in my mom's eyes, she had to put Sandy to sleep. On Friday, my mom and I buried her with some flowers and a can of her food. Then, just when the huge hole in my heart had just about begun to heal, on fateful Friday, my Guinea pig took sick for the last time.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 13 - October 19, 2019

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

Loss of a spouse or a life-partner can occur suddenly or it can take a long time. I have witnessed people frequently debate which scenario is more comfortable with the survivors. The jury is still out. Anticipatory Grief – An Early On-Ramp to One’s Grief Journey, https:// « National Widowers Organization

Vanessa Poster describes how readers might take advantage of her virtual classes, her LIVE workshops in Los Angeles, or during the forthcoming Journeys of Hope, Healing and Health Bereavement CruiseVoices of Experience: The Write Way: Using the Written Word to Heal Grief « Grief Healing

When does grief end is a question asked by many. Here we ask back, have you stopped loving your person? Is there an actual end date for grief? When Does Grief End? «

Monday, October 14, 2019

Voices of Experience: The Write Way: Using the Written Word to Heal Grief

Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay 
Writing creates art out of pain.  ~ Vanessa Poster

Vanessa Poster is a nonprofit fundraising consultant, teacher, and poet. She is a member of the Los Angeles Poets and Writers Collective and has studied Method Writing with Jack Grapes for more than 20 years. She is a graduate of Stanford University with a Bachelors in Humanities and a Masters in Modern Thought and Literature. Following the death of her husband in 2015, Vanessa began using her writing to explore themes of grief, love and gratitude.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Understanding and Managing Grief, October 6 - October 12, 2019

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

For over three decades, students have shown an ever-increasing desire to learn about death. College Death Classes Are Gaining Popularity « Seven Ponds Blog

He suggested that I shouldn't be so terribly upset about the death of my dog. I disagreed. Losses come in many forms, and we can honor all of our feelings about them. Let me be upset. « Heart Callings

Craving sex is an awkward but deeply human response to one of life's worst moments. Yes, Grief Can Make You Horny « VICE

Monday, October 7, 2019

In Grief: When Child Loss Threatens A Marriage

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay 
[Reviewed and updated December 2, 2021]

It seems that the stress of a serious and prolonged illness in a child is likely to make a poor marriage worse, but it may strengthen the relationship in an already close marriage, thus balancing the statistics.  ~ Dora Black, The Dying Child

A reader writes: I lost my daughter 8 months ago and now my marriage is falling apart. My daughter was 19 and had a rare form of cancer that was very debilitating and caused her great pain. I stayed home to care for her and had to watch her get worse and then die.

I need to keep busy on the weekends and my husband (not her bio-father) thinks I need to deal with her death. I deal with her death every day I pass her room. I need to keep busy so I don't dwell on the "I should have" and the guilt I have when I feel the "I should have".

I don't know what to do, I have told my husband I need to keep busy and I would like to keep busy doing things with him so I don't feel alone.

My marriage is on the edge of ending. We fight every weekend and it is getting worse and just like my daughter I think this is going to be the death of my marriage.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Caregiving, Grief & Pet Loss, September 29 - October 5, 2019

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

Drawing on her own experience, JaneRVN explores the issue of taking time off when grieving for a pet, and how knowing yourself can help. Grief is Grief, « Vet Times 

When graveyards are the place your kids visit their dad, how do you reconcile a season full of plastic headstones and scary places? When Halloween is Real: Plastic Skulls and Real Cemeteries, « Refuge In Grief

My husband died six months ago today and today I found comfort in some simple little rituals that brought me closer to him. Mourning Rituals for 6 Months, « The Artful Caregiver

Monday, September 30, 2019

In Grief: Coming to Terms with Blindness

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay 
[Reviewed and updated December 7, 2021]

To be blind is not miserable; not to be able to bear blindness, that is miserable.  ~ John Milton

A reader writes: I am searching for some advice on how to help my wife come to terms with the loss of her vision. She was a student of language and literature and a painter. Now she is blind from a disease at the age of 32. We have two remarkable children ages 11 and 12. She is isolating herself more and more. The vibrant woman I have been married to for over 13 years is afraid to go outside or answer the door.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Caregiving & Grief, September 22 - September 28, 2019

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

Spousal caregivers are largely fending for themselves, according to a new study published in the June issue of Health Affairs. Spousal Caregivers Are a Lonely Bunch, « Seven Ponds Blog

Written after the death of her son, Denise Riley’s Time Lived, Without Its Flow finds radical and consoling ways to understand bereavement. Max Porter on the book everyone should read about grief: 'I felt changed', « The Guardian

Grief after non-death losses—like the voluntary “laying down” of one’s career—are often disenfranchised in our society. Today, I Chose Loss, « Grief Perspectives

Monday, September 23, 2019

Teen Grief: "People Criticize The Way I Grieve"

[Reviewed and updated July 3, 2021]

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.  ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

A reader writes: I'm 16 years old. My father died of cancer last week. We were extremely close, and at first I was handling his death very well. Now, as time goes by, I am beginning to miss him so much I can barely perform the everyday tasks without hurting. People criticize the way I grieve. I feel as if nobody could possibly understand the way I feel in the loss of my father. I am very young, and people keep telling me to be strong. Yet, when I am "strong," people question why I'm not grieving. A very dear friend of mine referred your website to me, and I thought that perhaps you could offer some advice to me on a more personal level.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Caregiving, Grief & Pet Loss, September 15 - September 21, 2019

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

A number of resources focusing on various types of trauma, separated into broad categories,: Coping with Traumatic Loss: Suggested Resources « Grief Healing

Mom Needs Hospice? Here are your questions to choose the right one... « BK Books

Misplaed your car keys? Keep losing your train of thought mid-sentence? As disorienting as these experiences may be, such forgetfulness in grief is normal.  64 Tips for Coping With Forgetfulness in Grief, « What's Your Grief?

Monday, September 16, 2019

Pet Loss: Keepsake Yarn Spun From Pet Hair

[Reviewed and updated October 17, 2020]

Not everything worth keeping has to be useful.  ~ Cynthia Lord

A reader writes: Please tell me I'm not crazy. I have a jar full of whiskers my cats have shed, of all my babies over the years. I swear, if I could only take one thing out of my house and had to give everything else away, it would be the fur and whiskers from my cats.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Caregiving & Grief Tweets, September 8 - September 14, 2019

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:
5 Myths about Grief You May Believe, « Psychology Today

The NIH just appointed a dentist and a biologist to lead the NINR (National Institute of Nursing Research). Non-nurses aren't qualified to evaluate grants for nursing research! Please join in asking the NIH to recall these two appointments and appoint nurses now, « The Truth About Nursing

Chasing My Cure: A Doctor's Race to Turn Hope into Action: After nearly dying five times, a young doctor learned to treat himself, « STAT

Monday, September 9, 2019

Voices of Experience: Why Are We So Afraid to Cry?

By Sarah Neustadter, PhD

Tearless grief bleeds inwardly.  ~ Christian Nevell Bovee

“They” say “the only way out is through.” And it’s fucking annoying and cliché. But it’s true. The grieving is a crazy journey. Madness. Insanity. Never-ending, in some ways. But it is also transformative, if you allow it and shape it. Your shell’s been cracked open and something new is emerging. If you go in there and live it, experience it like your life depends on it (and it does), I guarantee that when you pop out the other side of it, you will be different. You will feel things in new ways and experience life from a perspective you never thought possible. You might not want to hear it, you might not see it or believe it, and you certainly don’t want it, but I invite you to feel it as fully as you can. Your power is in there. Claim it. Get what’s yours.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Caregiving & Grief Tweets, September 1 - September 7, 2019

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

Aid in Dying: A Podcast with Lewis Cohen « GeriPal

Facing Loss: When Hope and Grief Co-Exist, « What's Your Grief?

A thank you from doctors to nurses, « Kevin MD

Monday, September 2, 2019

In Grief: Teen's Driving Results in CADI (Causing Accidental Death or Injury to Another)

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 
A reader writes: Two weeks ago my nephew was involved in a terrible auto accident. He was driving at night during a heavy thunderstorm when one of his rear tires blew out. He lost control of his car, skidded off the highway and ended up hitting a tree. His girlfriend was in the passenger seat and did not survive the accident. My nephew is only 17 years old and is not handling this well at all. I am worried about him and don’t know what I can do to help. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Caregiving, Grief & Pet Loss Tweets, August 25 - August 31, 2019

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

Times Like These, I Wish You Were Here, « What's Your Grief?

The Grief of an Overdose Death — and How You Can Support Someone Grieving a Substance Use Loss, « Center on Addiction

Managing Grief in the Workplace, « Thrive Global

Monday, August 26, 2019

In Grief: Re-Visiting Past Losses

[Reviewed and updated November 1, 2022]

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. ~ Søren Kierkegaard

A reader writes: I lost my youngest brother to an unfortunate incident a little over 20 years ago. We were stopped at a rest area and Dave was bitten by a
rattlesnake. I remember it as if it were yesterday. The memories are so painful that I can’t even stand the sight of snakes. If we go to the zoo my children are upset with me because I refuse to go anywhere near the exhibit. But it still is so fresh in my mind. The following year after my
brother’s passing my mother was diagnosed with cancer of her intestines.
In the 1980's there wasn’t a lot that could be done. Within a year she
was gone as well. I know I should be over this by now but it still hurts
very much.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Caregiving, Grief & Pet Loss Tweets, August 18 - August 24, 2019

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

Daughter fights mom's wish to go on hospice, « INFORUM

My Friend Is Dying and Doesn't Want Me to Contact Her, « The Atlantic

Pet Loss: When Guilt Overshadows Grief, « Grief Healing

Your feedback is welcome! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question, or share a tip, a related article or a resource of your own in the Comments section below. If you’d like Grief Healing Blog updates delivered right to your inbox, you’re cordially invited to subscribe to our weekly Grief Healing Newsletter. Sign up here.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Pet Loss: When Guilt Overshadows Grief

[Reviewed and updated October 9, 2023]

Grief is not as heavy as guilt, but it takes more away from you.  ~ Veronica Roth

A reader writes: My sister told me about you and your wonderful dedication to helping those suffering the loss of a furry companion. I thank you for your dedication and compassion that we can find in very few people with whom we come in contact on a day-to-day basis.  The guilt that I suffer right now, along with an intense sense of loss and sorrow, is not related to euthanasia or questions like, "Why am I feeling this way?"

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Caregiving, Grief & Pet Loss Tweets, August 11 - August 17, 2019

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

Unmentionables [in Grief], by Ken Doka, « Journeys

5 Benefits of Grief Journaling, « What's Your Grief?

The questions surgeons need to ask their seniors before surgery, « Kevin MD

Monday, August 12, 2019

Voices of Experience: A Physician's Personal Lessons From Loss

Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay
By Dr. Caroline Macari, with Foreword and Afterword by Una Harrington

Originally published as Grief in the ED - Personal Lessons from Loss, Dr. Macari's story first appeared on the WRaP EM blog and is reprinted here with permission.

Foreword: In early 2019, I travelled to Sydney to take part in the NSW ED Wellbeing day. While I was there, I heard this honest and poignant story from Dr. Caroline Macari. The effect this story had on those in the room was palpable. There was such power in her message that I asked if she would publish her story. She kindly agreed and has written her story down here for WRaP EM.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Caregiving & Grief Tweets, August 4 - August 10, 2019

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

"One Lone Tear", Dementia at End of Life, « BK Books

How to deal with grief, pain and anxiety after the mass shootings, « Today

In Grief: Mourning The Murder of An Abusive Father, « Grief Healing

Your feedback is welcome! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question, or share a tip, a related article or a resource of your own in the Comments section below. If you’d like Grief Healing Blog updates delivered right to your inbox, you’re cordially invited to subscribe to our weekly Grief Healing Newsletter. Sign up here.

Monday, August 5, 2019

In Grief: Mourning The Murder of An Abusive Father

[Reviewed and updated February 11, 2024]

A girl’s first true love is her father.  ~ Marisol Santiago

A reader writes: My eccentric father was murdered in January. I can't deny that he was an angry, abusive person, but I also knew he loved me. I learned to draw boundaries with him and we developed a deep connection in the past few years as I helped care for him. My family is worried/angry because they don't think I should be so "upset" by his murder. Of course, I understand what they mean, but I was closer to him than they were and I was able to forgive him, mostly. At least I was able to forgive him enough that I could see the wonderful, amazing things about him, too. And anyway, I can't help or deny how I feel! So I am trying to keep this part of myself hidden from my mom and siblings, mostly to spare myself the annoyance caused by their well-meaning interventions.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Grief & Caregiving Tweets, July 28 - August 3, 2019

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

Alone, together: the comfort of a pet when you’re grieving, « Sue Ryder

How To Help Children Handle Grief After The Death Of A Parent, « HuffPost Life

‘Like Being in an Ocean’: The Many Stages of Grief, « Web MD

Monday, July 29, 2019

In Grief: No Sense of "Collective Closure" After Dad's Death

Image by Ian Lindsay from Pixabay
Reviewed and updated July 28, 2022]

When words are inadequate, have a ritual.  ~ Author Unknown

A reader writes: As soon as they learned that my father had died, the most beautiful flowers and lovely cards from friends and relatives around the country began to arrive at my door. Knowing that so many people are there for me and that all of them care means so much to me.

Still, all of this is so very, very odd-feeling, and I hope you can help me to understand why. My step-mother arbitrarily decided that, in her opinion, my father didn't know enough people in their town to make having a funeral or memorial service for him there "worth the effort." She had his body cremated virtually instantly, and she says we'll probably scatter his ashes over Long Island Sound sometime this summer.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Pet Loss, Grief & Caregiving Tweets, July 21 - July 27, 2019

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

Why the Death of a Pet Can Feel Worse than Losing a Human Loved One, «

Kate Bowler: How to Speak to Someone Who's Suffering « The Atlantic

WWRMD - What Would Rhoda Morgenstern Do? « Thrive Global

Monday, July 22, 2019

Pet Loss: Sibling's Insensitivity Causes Family Discord

Medicine to produce health must examine disease; and music, to create harmony must investigate discord.  ~ Plutarch

A reader writes: Two years ago my husband of 50 years died in his sleep, suddenly and unexpectedly. We have three grown children who live near our home, and for that, I am truly blessed. Our eldest son is single, our daughter is a single parent with a 16 year old son, and our younger son is married with two boys, ages 5 and 2. Both my husband and I were brought up in homes that never had pets and nobody ever asked for one. We raised our three children in homes with no pets and nobody ever asked to have a pet. So we do not know pet protocol and, of course, we’ve never experienced the death of a pet. 

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Understanding and Managing Grief, July 14- July 20, 2019

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

Grief-Sensitive School Initiative, « New York Life Insurance Company

6 Ways to Support a Grieving Teen, « Modern Loss

Traveling with Grief, « The Artful Caregiver

Monday, July 15, 2019

Voices of Experience: Surviving Complicated Grief

Sydell with her husband Rex, 2013
By Sydell Weiner, PhD

The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief ~ but the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.  ~ Hillary Stanton Zunin

Even though she is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Sydell Weiner writes that when her husband died nearly 3 years ago, "I fell apart. I was fortunate to find a 'Loss of Spouse' group at the Gathering Place, a service provided through Trinity Hospice at Providence Little Company of Mary. No sooner had that group ended, that a workshop called 'The Write Way' began. It provided guidance on how to use writing as a way of healing and working through grief. I have a blog on my website which had one or two counseling articles, but they were soon replaced by a series of blog posts that allowed me to express feelings too raw to talk about." The following post is taken from that series, and is reprinted here with Sydell's permission.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Pet Loss, Grief & Caregiving Tweets, July 7 - July 13, 2019

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

Crossing The Rainbow Bridge: Signs That The End Of Life Is Near, «

He Trots the Air, « Outside Online

In Grief: "I Didn't Want My Mom To See Me Cry," « Grief Healing

Monday, July 8, 2019

In Grief: "I Didn't Want My Mom To See Me Cry"

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
[Reviewed and updated October 18, 2021]

Tears are words waiting to be written.  ~ Paulo Coelho

A reader writes:  My mom always told me I was overly sensitive. If someone in my family was ill, she wouldn't tell me because she knew it would make me cry. She hated to see me cry and always told me so. When my mom was in the hospital I did not want to upset her, so I would not let her see me cry. I held back my tears. I did not want her to know how scared I was because I did not want her to be more scared. I didn't even cry in front of her until the last day and she was already gone. Even when she was breathing on the machine, until her last breath, she didn't see me cry for her. I did not want to upset her. I did not want her to suffer ever. Mom always did the right thing. I wish I would have done a better job for her. Yes I did love on her and tell her how much we all loved her, just should have done everything different.