Welcome Shadow Grief

While at a Mary Kay Cosmetics party, I was guided to my seat along the dining room table and prepared myself to be made over by a woman whose acquaintance I had yet to make. I didn’t mind being here, really, although it was tiring listening to her stale sales pitch drone on, feeling a little trapped among fourteen of my family and friends. And yet to my chagrin, I see the long list of items on the form next to me; items that I have enjoyed during my little make-over session. It is a list I intend to purchase.

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The Ladder of Loss

Respecting that all losses are worthy of their own individual grief.

“I just talked to our friend Jane, she sounded pretty down,” my girlfriend shared with me over coffee recently.
“Oh, did she say why?” I replied, not really thinking about it.
“She had a miscarriage over the weekend.” My girlfriend sipped her drink.
“How awful. I should give her a call,” I said, my heart sinking.
“Oh, I am sure she’s fine, she was only 7 weeks along. Yeah well… did you want to go shopping this weekend?”

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Parenting After Loss

Written by Sandra Courtney-Wherry

Experiencing the difficulty of parenting a living child while grieving for the one who has died.

It is 9:30 at night and I am sitting on my couch folding my two year old daughter’s laundry and sorting out clothes that she has outgrown.  I am also sorting out clothes that show the wear and tear of an active two year old’s play.  This makes me just like thousands of moms with toddlers that grow faster than we ever imagined.  But most other moms are not in tears, sobbing while they hold little pairs of jeans with grass stains.

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Confessions of a Bereaved Mother

Admitting that anger has been in the way.

When our daughter died, it was an unexpected thing. As word got out through us and through the grapevine that our daughter had died, the responses that we got from everyone were not always what we had expected.  Some of the people who we would have relied upon to be there when we were so broken and hurt were not there, and others who we had little or no expectation of stepped up and became our support system.  It was such a trying time, full of surprises and disappointment which I found so hard to cope with while our loss was so new.

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Reflecting on Life After Loss

Although I have experienced the loss of several people who were close to me, it is the loss of my daughter that marks the most dramatic pivot-point of change in my life.

This is not to say that my days are consumed by my grief and the loss of Rowan. They certainly used to be, but they are not anymore.

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Five Things NOT to Say

When learning that someone has just lost a child, people are often at a loss for the right words to say. Instead of simply saying “I am sorry.” there is often this strange phenomenon where people feel a need to quote a cliche, which does much more harm than good.

Here are some phrases to avoid when you learn that someone has just lost a child:

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The Dangers of Inhibited Grief

Part II of our series Understanding Unresolved Grief.

By definition, the word inhibited describes something that is being held back, restrained, or prevented. When framed within the parameters of normal grief reactions and typical bereavement behavior, inhibited grief could be described in the same way. But what does that mean for the bereaved person?

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Preparing for the Holidays

This month, it is important for each of us think about preparing for the holidays with our child in mind.  The opportunities and ideas here are separated out into four interconnected segments, allowing a 360° view of ways to bring your baby into the front of your mind (and others’ minds too) this holiday season.

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Grief – It Will Touch You Eventually

Intuitively, each of us knows that it is simply a matter of time before someone we love dies. Death is an undeniable part of life, and yet we are loathe to discuss it freely and openly. This lack of discussion does nothing to keep death at bay. We will still face the death of someone we love, and when that happens we will be dunked deeply – ready or not – into grief.

But if death is such a taboo topic, how will we cope? How can we deal effectively with the conflicting feelings caused by deep emotional loss? Read more

The First Anniversary of Loss

Here it comes, the dreaded anniversary.

You may be wondering, “How will I deal with it? If the stress today is this bad, how horrible will I feel on the actual date?”

As the first anniversary looms closer on the calendar, you may find yourself visiting the past, reliving the days of your loss, the deep sadness, and maybe remembering the shock of your loved one’s passing. We know the day is getting nearer, and it is the anticipation of special days that cause our mind to go back. Fortunately, many feel the anticipation of the date is worse than the actual date itself.

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