When my mother died, I turned to writing to make sense of it all. I'm hoping I can give solace to others in similar situation with an aging mother or father who for most of their life has been their only parent.
It's not easy to tolerate someone else's grief, but it's cruel to tell people how to manage their grief, or how long they should mourn, or in what ways. Loss should be respected, not stifled or judged.
This new grief is different. For one thing, it includes the loved one with the diagnosis. It also draws in the entire family into a prolonged crisis that some of our interviewees aptly described as "learning to live with death."
As one who has lost a daughter in her prime of life, I know how hopeless Christina's parents feel in their loss. What President Obama offered was to give Christina's young life a focal point for the whole country.
"Kayak." It was more than just a word. It was a message from my father to me: "Know what you're getting into." Know what you're getting into, when you get into a boat on the water, or into a marriage, or into a house or a job...
Many people say that after the death of a loved one, it is the first holiday season that is the most difficult, and that it gets easier from there; others, say that they continue to present a challenge to them even after many years.
At birth, we are like cartilage -- soft, flexible tissue. By the same natural process by which cartilage becomes hard bone, the soft, tender heart of an innocent child can become hardened by the circumstances into which she is born.