Poems and Reflections

Ten Hard Truths About Grief

by Thom Dennis

#1 Some things are beyond our control

We would all prefer to live with the illusion that we are in control of our own lives, but a sudden change in the weather, an unwelcome diagnosis or a random act of violence reminds us that no one is the master of their fate. The truth is: In this life there is very little of real consequence that we can control. The challenge is to accept this reality and refocus attention on what is within our power to change. We can acknowledge our feelings and choose how we will respond to whatever life has thrown in our direction.

#2 There are consequences to being mortal

In our office there is a beautifully illustrated book called, Lifelinesby Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen. We use it to explain death to children. When it comes to grief, we are all little children needing comfort, reassurance, and gentle age-appropriate explanations. The sad truth is that people die. In fact, everything dies. Death is a natural part of life. As much as we would like to believe our parent, spouse, sibling, child, fried or loved one will live forever, they will eventually die. In the end, even you and I will die. It’s not fair, but it’s part of being mortal.

Continue reading “Ten Hard Truths About Grief”

adult child grief

The Road Less Traveled

by Peggy Sweeney

In April of 1975, my best friend died. Not only was he my best friend, he was more importantly my dad. He died suddenly; a massive heart attack. The paramedics assured us that he had not suffered. But the pain and suffering our family was to endure over the next several months was monumental.I remember thinking, at that time, how I wished I could ease mom’s hurt just a little. I wanted to give her the ability to forget for a short time her visions of dad’s last moments with her. Seeing him die before her eyes must have been so traumatic. Not being able to save him caused her much guilt. I felt so helpless. There was nothing I or anyone could do or say to fix the problem. He was gone. It was so final. I believe it was at that time in my life that I started on “the road less traveled”. In years to come, I chose the path that led me eventually to funeral service. Continue reading “The Road Less Traveled”

Holiday Stories, The Road Less Traveled

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. Continue reading “Support Someone Grieving During the Holidays”

Bereaved Parents, Poems and Reflections

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.

Continue reading “Growing Together”

Bereaved Parents, grieving dads, Illness, no surviving children

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. Continue reading “A Stepfather’s Journey (no surviving children)”

Poems and Reflections

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