Not every doctor gets an extended view of what his or her patients experience, and some who do fail to get the message. But one who did -- and has shared both the experience and its message(s) is a recently recovered friend and end-of-life issues colleague .
I did not think JFK would be different from any other airport I have traveled through in the recent months. Hey, look! They all have three letters: BOS, SFO, CLT, RIC, SBA, ETC. My famous battle cry, "How hard can it be?!?!" showed me just how hard it can be.
As my cousin Carol's condition worsened, she asked her own questions. "How do I want to be remembered? How do I handle my unresolved issues? What messages do I want to leave for my loved ones?" Together we embarked on a sacred journey filled with meaningful moments and a lot of hard work.
Melissa's experience compels her to now speak candidly to the public. She offers this frank advice and reassurance to grievers.
Even though people grieve in many individual ways and need different types of support, there are common feelings and behaviors that most people exhibit in a continuum. I found that emotional states after the loss of a spouse had enough similarities that they were worth examining further.
I walked to my mother's funeral on my own. There was no procession, no ride in a hearse; just a stroll from an empty hotel room to the crematorium, a functional brick outhouse circled by ornate grounds with small birds moving between the headstones.
It felt intensely natural to take matters into our own hands this way. American families had conducted their own funerals for hundreds of years. When had our loved ones been taken from us by the institutionalization of death?
Early in her bereavement, she kept hearing, "Oh, you're amazing." Rather than making her feel encouraged, it made her feel that she was not showing the traditional response, and thus she was not grieving correctly.
Weakness and vulnerability are not the same. In case you'd forgotten. It is sometimes helpful to remember this.
As children, my three siblings and I thought my Uncle Nick lived at a funeral home -- after all, anytime we assembled for a family event, Uncle Nick w...
I stopped there on the hillside and marveled at humans, at who we are: capable of war and love, memories and longing, life and loss. Over a hundred years ago, someone died and someone cried, and there I was standing on a hillside witnessing the pain and the beauty of love.
Unless it is a cultural taboo, do not shy away from mentioning the dead person's name or talking about the situation. If he or she had been arrested, you would use their name and talk about the details. A horrible thing has happened, and many people are hurting.
This is the one gem of light in the otherwise torturous loss of a loved one. Being conscious of this gift, allowing it and remembering it (for yourself and others) could be life changing during grieving, so spread the word.
LBL placed the drafts on the coffee table. This is where they sat for about a month, while life continued all around them. Tiny splashes of coffee appeared on them, as well as popcorn kernels. Every once in a while, LBL or Now Husband would say, "We should review these."
My brother, a real estate attorney who lived on New York's Upper East Side, was the last person I would have expected to tell me he thought he would go somewhere after dying, especially someplace as undocumented and wooey-wooey as the afterlife. Jack went only to places covered in The New York Times Travel Section -- London, Paris, Jerusalem.
For those whose life horizons are drawing near, the book teaches about how to let go, not just of life but of the people who will survive you. It speaks to finding your voice to be able to live as you need to, not how others may need you to be. It speaks to how to say goodbye in ways that give needed closure to a life, for all involved.
If we are breathing, it is an opportunity to help another, to do an act of kindness, to make a difference.
For all who have lived through these long, protracted battles, I dedicate Memorial Day to our spouses, our loved ones, who finally succumbed. But not with a fight. A national holiday to honor their true fighting spirit. And a way for us to always remember.
If you're wrestling with what to share or not share about your relationship, here's what you should know: The reality is, everyone has imperfect relationships.
My daughter is weeks away from celebrating her seventh birthday. We've experienced additional and unexpected deaths in the family since her paternal grandfather's departure. She often recalls our reading of the children's book that helped her understand the cycle of life.