Someone knee-deep in grief needs space and time to make sense of his or her feelings. There's no room for deadlines or expectations, particularly at the holidays, and on special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.
A coherent narrative helps us to integrate new information with what we already know, so that we can heal and move on. The only way I can formulate a coherent narrative about this tragedy is if all of us, collectively, use this event as a catalyst for change.
How do you celebrate the holidays in the wake of a national tragedy? How do you find life in the midst of carnage too horrible to imagine? Here's what you need to know, from the perspective of a parent who has lost their child from a catastrophic act of violence.
I knew my father could not sit at his computer to check my status updates and comments on his profile, but the mystery surrounding cyberspace and heaven seemed to fall on a similar plane. If an email can ostensibly travel through space, why couldn't my messages and posts reach my dad in heaven?
And so the days have been. It could all change tomorrow. I could be a grieving mom. I hope the day never comes. Dare I say, in a small way I grive with these moms. I am so sorry they have lost their babies. I am in awe of their courage.
Grief is a universal human experience that all of us will encounter eventually. Understanding what we can and cannot expect will help ease the process as it unfolds. Loss may change life as we know it, but the unknown is full of possibility.
Diseases and conditions that once proved quickly fatal no longer are. Instead, individuals and their families are increasingly likely to find themselves mired in a protracted process that only begins with a diagnosis.
The most important and compassionate thing we can do to help those who are experiencing loss is to acknowledge that the person is having this experience and help her give herself permission to go through the mourning process.