Have we done what we need to do to protect the people closest to us who will be left behind? Are our spouses, our children, or are partners prepared to make important decisions on our behalf, and have we given them clear instructions for doing so? I
Sometimes the hardest thing is to face the death of who we believed ourselves to be throughout our lives. Shedding the façade, peeling off the disguise, owning our choices, speaking our truth and being fully seen for who we are can be the most daunting death of all.
Welcome to Week Five of Bereavement Boot Camp. You have probably noticed that as time goes on, the subject matter and the challenges get a little tougher -- but then again, so have you.
Just because someone is struggling with new and potentially overwhelming challenges doesn't mean the tenor of your relationship with your friend has to change. Allowing her to continue being that friend can be its own form of compassion.
In Simon's case, the grace, respect and love with which he portrayed his mother transcends technology. It is his words, and the sentiments behind them, that resound in our hearts. He is writing a love poem to his mother, and power to any poem that has a readership of 1.2 million.
Sometimes we use travel too much as an escape, but what is it we are exactly trying to escape? Unfortunately, our lives, and from things we cannot change. However, it is important to have a good, happy place to come back to.
I'm not much one for crying. But this morning I did, as I watched Irish poet Seamus Heaney's funeral, and heard his last words. Words he sent to his wife minutes before he died. 'Noli timere' -- don't be afraid.
Today, I am paralyzed, unable to undertake the demands of life that Labor Day both harkens and delays: writing I've put off, doctors' appointments to schedule, kids' summer homework assignments to check. She would be doing these too. Instead, today I am going to her funeral.
Welcome to Week Four of Bereavement Boot Camp. We are now at the halfway point, which is when people will usually do one of two things; either give up out of frustration or dig in with even more determination. Now is not the time to quit!
When Jack asks about death, we try not to fall on one side of that thin, gymnastics balance beam between telling him the truth appropriate for his age while still making him feel safe. We answer only the question he asks. But how does one make a 3-year-old feel safe about death without lying? I don't feel safe about death. I'm 39.
Death is the great universal in all our lives. We are all going to die. How will we do it? A deep search for ultimate meaning will touch a large number.
You don't pick and choose who these people are in your life, but when you find them, keep them. Cherish them. With them, you can forgive any guilt or worry without a single expression.
Grief is uncomfortable. It is foreign. It is an ill-fitting garment that pinches you in all the wrong places. You can feel like you've shed it for a while, and then it can unexpectedly wrap you up like an unwanted sweater in July.
Welcome to Week Three of Bereavement Boot Camp. This week, we are going to take an honest look at how proactive you have really been on your Healing Journey, regardless of the kind of loss from which you are recovering or when that journey began for you. Remember that as with any part of Boot Camp, this only works if you are honest with you.
So as I swam a route out towards Second Reef, around Cress, through kelp, past the largest Calico seabass I've seen and a lobster sitting on a sandy patch among the sea grass (the reefs are booming), I found something...
I held him in my arms on the side of the road, sat with him in the ambulance, and heard those unforgettable words in a small hospital waiting room. "We did everything we could." And just like that he was gone. He was 52 years old.