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I Want To See You Be BRAVE

by Nina Bingham

I’ve never publicly promoted music before, but the first time I heard songstress Sara Bareilles sing, Brave, it was an extraordinarily painful moment for me. Everything in the room faded; it seemed Sara and I were the only ones left. She was singing the words I had wanted to say to my daughter. Tears ran down my face and literally brought me to my knees.

My daughter had just committed suicide, and while she was an extraordinarily bright and exotically beautiful girl, at age 15 her introverted personality and severely depressed brain wasn’t brave enough to accept the help she’d been offered. She was so much sicker than any of us ever suspected. Read more

Healing Grief (video)

Please Be Patient, I’m Grieving has been released! from Gary Roe – Author, Speaker on Vimeo.

Support Someone Grieving During the Holidays

by Kim Meredith

We greet one another with “Happy Holidays!” but for some it’s not. Those who have lost a loved one during the year may find there is little to cheer.

Widowed at age 40, I couldn’t face my first Christmas without my husband, David. My 10-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter and I accepted my youngest sister’s invitation. We packed up the stockings, gifts, and holiday treats and headed for her charming country home in upstate New York. We returned two years to spend the holidays with her family.

The fourth year, we tackled the seasonal festivities at home by ourselves. Knowing I could not recreate the past, I started a new tradition. The kids decorated in their own style a second, smaller Christmas tree in the sunroom. Their creativity provided lots of laughs. Read more

Small Gestures with Great Love: Supporting the Bereaved Throughout the Year

by Dianna Vagianos Armentrout

It is December and I am approaching my third Christmas without my baby girl. People tell me that I have to “move on” and “get over” the tragedy of my newborn’s death. These people have never held a still baby. They have never been pregnant with a baby that would die, but they have lots of opinions. The bereaved do not need opinions. We need truth.

My truth is that I am forever changed by my daughter, Mary Rose. Her brief life has broken my heart open – shattered it so that I am no longer the woman who naively thought that her second pregnancy would guarantee a second healthy child. The pain that I have experienced – walking through grief thick as molasses – has allowed me to help others going through an unspeakable loss. I started a blog and wrote a book about my pregnancy to comfort others. Mary Rose lived for one hour, and in that one hour transformed me and my beliefs about motherhood. Even without my living baby girl, I am her mother still. Read more

How To Combat Holiday-Related Stress And Depression

by Jane Moore

Holiday time can be stressful for many people, and when the stress and anxiety turn to depression and suicidal thoughts, it can be difficult to reach out for help. So many of us feel low around the holidays but are afraid of being a burden to others, yet that connection is so important during this time. That’s why it is imperative to know healthy ways to battle stress and anxiety as well as the best ways to prevent those feelings and keep them from being overwhelming.

Between shopping for gifts, finding time to spend with family, cooking, cleaning, and fitting in work and/or school, the holidays are hard on anxiety sufferers. The best way to combat the negative feelings and stress is to plan well, treat yourself with kindness, and surround yourself with supportive people. Here are a few tips on how to do just that. Read more

Growing Together

by Cathi Lammert, RN

• Your relationship as a couple is the most important relationship. Let it take precedence over all others.

• When a baby dies, the grief affects both of you at the same time. Other stresses in a relationship usually do not impact both individuals simultaneously. Therefore, your closest support is not always able to respond to you because he/she is trying to cope with his/her own grief.

• Each person in the relationship will grieve in individual ways. Learning to understand your partner’s ways may take some time and may be difficult.

Read more

A Stepfather’s Journey (no surviving children)

by Glen Nielsen

I am going to describe my journey as a stepfather over almost two decades, from August 1980 to the present. I am a step-parent who has experienced the death of a child. My story may be different from many of yours in that the death was a long-term illness, which, while it had some very difficult aspects, also offered some unique opportunities for really developing a very close relationship and for closure. Read more

How Long Will It Take?

How long will it take me to get over the feeling of sorrow?
A lifetime.
How long will I continue to feel guilty?
As long as it takes you to realize you did nothing wrong.
How long will it take me to get over my anger?
As long as it will take you to stop blaming yourself and others, and realize it was  the combination of unpredictable happenings that occur in one’s lifetime.
Why do friends give such horrid advice?
To cover up their own inability to handle the situation.
Will I ever be happy again and be able to laugh?
An emphatic YES!
How long is long?
As long as it takes for you to go through the process. Each individual has his or her own time-table, but it is up to you to make the decision when to start healing.

~~The Compassionate Friends, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Those We Often Forget (young sibling grief)

by Jennifer Radosevich

Shining in bright yellow lights, it read, “The Bereaved Parent Club.” Every night, my dream of the club was always so vivid. Upon each morning awakening, I knew it was not a dream, but the reality my life had become. Read more

How Do You Breathe? — The Life I Didn’t Choose

It was the question I asked the bereaved mother that came to my son’s funeral. It was the question a mother asked me as we stood by her granddaughter’s casket, surrounded by family and flowers. And it is the right question. Because when the breath leaves the body of your child, and you look down […]

via How Do You Breathe? — thelifeididntchoose