Nearly 6 years ago my firefighter husband, Captain Thomas Araguz, was killed in the line of duty. While this was a horrific tragedy, the torture continued as my marriage was voided and all of the support that most widows of fallen heroes receive disappeared.
As someone who appreciates both the anomalous and the scientific, I view these devices as early, perhaps naive attempts to demonstrate some solid proof of life after death, which left hordes of believers in their wake.
How can you get back on track? It's difficult to know your own truths, but that has to happen first.
Yes, it has come to this, occasional weeping behind sunglasses in dark corners of an upmarket Colorado ski town in between envy inducing photos of adventures posted on my social media feeds that belie these not so happy moments.
Even when that heart's been ripped from your chest, it somehow keeps beating, reminding you you're alive.
Jake, Lori's 34-year-old only son, was killed on September 19, in a charity bicycle race for cancer. By any standard, the world would have called Jake brilliant.
Can't I be even a teeny bit resentful that I do all these good deeds, behave in all the right ways, and God (whatever and whoever that is) didn't see fit to save my son's life?
He sighed again, and there was something of an apology in it. "I am sorry you have to do this," he told me. I pulled my phone from my pocket and called the vet. He said to come whenever I am ready. I said "a few hours," to give the kids time for their goodbyes.
I dare you to walk into the restroom of most medical facilities and turn around the handsoap to look at the ingredients. More often than not tricolosan, an antibacterial, is listed as the active ingredient. Is this trivial? Does the fact that triclosan is often listed as a endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) really matter? Or can we ignore these difficult to pronounce chemicals?
This year, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) put out a revolutionary report about improving quality of care at end of life for all Americans, including children. Despite these important advances, we still have a long way to go in ensuring that palliative care becomes a human right for all.
Death is not nearly as frightening or sad as you may have heard, but you'll have to trust me on that until you get to know Death more intimately for yourself. I encourage you to strike up a friendship of your own, perhaps by volunteering at a hospice or nursing home. If you're not sure this is a good idea, here are five reasons to get comfortable with Death:
I lost far more than my mother in the year following her death. The whole year feels like life kept punching me repeatedly in the face, then kicking me with a steel toed boot when it finally had me down on the ground. I navigated my way out of that mess by figuring out what brought more good to my life than bad.
I can be both a wife to a man on this earth whom I love, and the widow to a man I fulfilled my vows to -- a man I will always love. I often have people ask me if I ever stop missing him or thinking about him -- especially since I'm re-married now. The answer is simple. No.
I awoke with an unexplainable fullness in my heart. A sense of peace and comfort flowed through me. For a split second it felt real, but upon emotionally stumbling out of my grogginess I realized that it was in fact a dream. A magnificent dream.
What do you do when the unthinkable happens to a close friend? When one of the things most feared by all comes true? A loss - especially a sudden one - brings on feelings of incredulity and disorientation in all who know and care for the persons involved in a tragic occurrence.
Fast death takes your breath away. Being with those who have experienced the loss of a loved one by sudden, traumatic injury, takes an immense skill set and not just a credential like FEMA 101.