To manage our relationship to mortality and the overwhelming power of grief, we sanitize or sequester death and corpses with elaborate rituals and fierce taboos. But war explodes these boundaries and endangers the humanity of those we send to fight.
You might think that knowing what I know about death, God, Love and the Afterlife that I might not grieve. But I do because grieving comes from loving. You grieve whom love. Love and grief come together although they arrive at different times. You can't have one without the other.
Instead of thinking of it as her Papa leaving the earth, she urged her family to believe the idea that this wasn't his death, but rather the birthday of him becoming an angel.
Whatever the loss or circumstance, you can overcome it. You've got this. You just have to believe it, but that may not happen overnight. It might take time to convince yourself that you are moving in the right direction.
Many dying patients cling to a zest for life and a sense of humor that endear them to hospice workers.
Still it is difficult to face our own discomfort with death and offer support to someone who has suffered a loss if we don't know what to do or say in that situation. Here are some suggestions for offering your help to a grieving friend:
As we begin to lean on another Mother's Day, I can't help but reflect upon the impact my mom had and still has on my life. Even though she passed more than four years ago, there isn't a day that goes by that my mom's teachings doesn't permeate into my day.
As one of Dave Goldberg's friends put it, "Don't go back to life as it was. Pack more loving and more giving into it as Dave did and don't sweat the small stuff." And that is the truth we are left with at the end of this heartbreaking, yet soul-stirring day.
One of the common threads that all widows experienced were having to bear witness to uncomfortable comments. Sometimes, people do say the wrong things, and it stings.
His beauty was alight with happiness, kindness, and humor -- sometimes irreverent, bawdy humor. Behind his glasses his eyes were full of welcome and cheerfulness. And that smile! You can see it in videos of his performances, but it was no mere stage smile. It expressed his joy in life.
I remember everything I wore. The unfathomable dichotomy between inside and out. I was wearing my optimism dress leaving the fertility clinic that morning, carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders and a huge question mark in my belly.
It's one of the saddest things to lose a friend. Especially if the friend was an amazing human being. I still can't comprehend it. He will never again answer my texts nor will I find him at his office, happy, singing to the tune that was being played on the radio.
As I face the inevitable of not knowing when my father will pass, I know that because of him, I will be able to get through it. All that I am as a son, brother, father, and person is not something that will end because of his death. More importantly, because I am my father's son and the relationship I have had with him, I will carry it on in who I am.
It's been over a year since my father's death. In that time, I've struggled to remember him as a well person. He was healthy for my first 45 years of life and yet, hard as I try, I cannot reimagine him as whole. So dramatic was the scenery of his decline, it infected the memories that were amassed underneath.
We loved each other once, my soon-to-be-ex and I. We had wonderful times together. We traveled; we laughed; we made a family. It's OK to cry, it's OK to be sad and to talk about it and to ask for a hug. So, when I need to cry, I just let it out.
photo credit: Jarosław Pocztarski Even if you aren't a religious person or adhere to any particular faith, you can't really escape the whole Easter ...
To make room for loss, do what you can to open your heart and breathe the breath of life. The more you fill your heart with love and appreciation, the more space you make for healing and growth. Here are eight ideas:
As a hospice medical director I've been to a lot of funerals, but only one of them has been labeled "perfect" in my memory. Over the years I have made...
Somewhat recently a cardiac arrest survivor I helped to resuscitate was diagnosed with a terminal disease. This brought about the question, is it better to go quickly, not knowing the end is near, or is it better to have extra time on this earth, but know that you and your family may have to endure an end full of potential suffering?
Today Jack would've turned 16. Had he not been swept up by a flooding creek in a friend's backyard in September of 2011, Jack would be with his mom and dad, sister and cousins and friends tonight, celebrating his sweet 16.