22 01, 2020

The Many Losses of a Grieving Person

By | 2020-01-22T23:16:56-08:00 January 22nd, 2020|Grief and Healing, Perspective|7 Comments

The loss of a loved one is tremendous. It is the greatest loss.  Yet, there are other, smaller but significant losses that often follow a person in grief. There is the common experience of a period of hibernation or withdrawal from normal social activities. But, bereavement sometimes changes our orientation to society altogether and without our permission. Widowers who used to find themselves often out with other couples may suddenly find themselves neglected. For many bereaved people company decreases or evaporates altogether. The truth is, it is hard work to grieve and it is hard to be with grievers - [...]

25 04, 2019

When Your Grief is Invisible: Infertility and the Grief Experience

By | 2019-04-25T17:36:18-07:00 April 25th, 2019|Child Loss, General, Perspective|1 Comment

This week is Infertility Awareness week. Infertility has an invisibility to it that few other griefs do. When someone dies, people notice. But what if there is no body to bury or no name to say? What if the loss is invisible? Infertility has both male and female victims and is a term applied to women who can get pregnant but not sustain the pregnancy. So the little lives that are lost to infertility either exist only briefly or in the hearts of the people seeking to create them. Let's face it, our society struggles enough to talk about tangible [...]

29 08, 2018

Living in Light of the Boundary of Death: A Story of Land and Water

By | 2018-08-29T10:13:36-07:00 August 29th, 2018|General, Perspective|0 Comments

I recently read a new book called, With the End in Mind where the author, Kathryn Mannix, described at the end how she moves through life with hope and openness despite her daily job of sitting by deathbeds. She spoke about dying in a way I had never heard before - not dramatically or fearfully or even calmly, her words held conviction and peace. At the end of her book she writes that death is a "mandated temporal boundary that makes time and relationships priceless." And she is comforted by that. She goes on to say, "Awareness of the temporary essence [...]

31 08, 2017

The Compounded Grief of Premature Deaths

By | 2017-08-31T06:43:25-07:00 August 31st, 2017|Child Loss, News, Perspective, Seasons of Life|0 Comments

There are no easy deaths - there are no situations where the grief experience isn't difficult, complex, and sad. That said, there is a generally accepted threshold where lives are deemed as having been "lived, good and long." When 90 year olds die, we grieve but we do not grapple with a sense of injustice. But there are some (too many) deaths that are non-sensical, tragic, and far too soon. I think of the anniversary of 9/11 and the tradition of reading of the names of those that died - it gives me chills every time and is a witness [...]

23 07, 2017

My Favorite Advice About Time

By | 2017-07-23T23:13:13-07:00 July 23rd, 2017|Inspiration, News, Perspective|0 Comments

I recently finished a podcast called S-Town that featured the true & tragic story John B. McLemore, an astoundingly brilliant horologist - that is, someone who has studied time. The narrator and John begin to discuss sundials together and I learned that most sundials feature a latin inscription about time. Some of them stole my breath, Hora fugit, ne tardes. The hour flees, don't be late. Festina lente. Make haste, but slowly. Lente hora, celeriter anni. An hour passes slowly, but the years go by quickly. Sic vita fluit, dum stare videtur. Life flows away as it seems to stay the same. Ultima latet [...]

27 04, 2017

Stop Saying, “This happened for a reason.” A De-Bunking of Christian Narratives on Death

By | 2017-04-27T00:14:41-07:00 April 27th, 2017|Inspiration, News, Perspective|0 Comments

Ok, so I am going to get slightly religious in this post - it's a necessity in this case and it's no big deal. I try to remain neutral in my writing but I feel this topic calls for a bit of background and religious context. Here goes ... I am fluent in "Christian-ese". After 25 years of growing up in a church with an evangelical background I can tell you with fair confidence that Christians are like everyone else when it comes to control - they need it. One of the crazier things I hear said about death (particularly the deaths that make [...]

22 03, 2017

Stop Saying “Don’t Give Up.” Please.

By | 2017-03-22T06:53:13-07:00 March 22nd, 2017|Community, Perspective|0 Comments

We say a lot of things to grieving people that under normal circumstances would be fine, hopefully even encouraging, but to people facing a life or death situation, a trauma, shock or loss, these can be the most backward and unhelpful things they could possibly hear. Our discomfort, our desire to bring ease, our inability to fathom what they are going through, and our inherent inability to keep our mouths shut are all common reasons that lead to us saying things we never would have if we'd thought about it. I've talked about this before and doubtless, will talk about it [...]

12 02, 2017

Transforming Painful Days into New Traditions

By | 2017-02-12T20:06:35-08:00 February 12th, 2017|Inspiration, Perspective, Seasons of Life|0 Comments

A Table for 1 on Valentine's Day Holidays/birthdays/anniversaries ... there is always one of these days looming around the corner it seems when we are in the throws of grief. Days that used to hold so much joy and fun and now hold anxiety, dread and loss. How do we cope with these painful days that hold traditions and decades of memories? What do we do on Valentine's Day when our Valentine has died? I want to talk about how we can be intentional about transitioning parts of these days into new traditions. As I thought about what to write for Valentine's Day, another tough [...]

19 10, 2016

Look & Laugh, but Don’t TALK About Death: Halloween & Death Exposure

By | 2016-10-19T06:33:42-07:00 October 19th, 2016|Community, News, Perspective|0 Comments

Before you think that I am anti-Halloween because of the ideas expressed below, I want to say that Halloween is actually my very favorite holiday. I love the community feeling of the night, of children scampering off in sweet costumes knocking on the doors of their neighbors and being treated with candy. It's a holiday I celebrate with friends and family every year gathered around a bonfire in the front yard, eating chili and sharing coffee with the weary parents that come by. It's special, festive, and magical to celebrate with friends and strangers by the light of a fire. But [...]

17 08, 2016

“But, it’s been 10 years …” Grieving a Long Ago Loss

By | 2016-08-17T07:00:05-07:00 August 17th, 2016|Ceremonies, News, Perspective, Seasons of Life|0 Comments

 || This month I am sharing a unique experience I had at a grief workshop where a 10 year old loss came flooding back to me in a deeply profound and changing way. I'm excited to share it with you! But, it's been 10 years ... As I've shared in my previous posts, I attended the Association for Death Education and Counseling Conference earlier this year. I've always left these conferences with pages on pages of notes and ideas to bring back to you and when I saw a session focusing on remembering, I knew I needed to go ... not for [...]