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”

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”

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)”

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