Our first real date was on Valentine’s Day 10 years ago. Many times in the five years since my partner died, I’ve flashed back to that day when we became, officially, more than just friends.
Identity is a funny thing. The way we think of ourselves, how we define ourselves, the story we tell ourselves about who we are, all of that comes together to create our identity. And yet we don’t always have a conscious awareness of our identity or even a loss of identity. It often exists in the background, like the soundtrack of a film. We aren’t consciously aware of it until something changes. Seriously, have you ever watched familiar movie clips without the soundtrack? It’s weird.
You can’t protect your kids from the pain of loss, but you can help build healthy coping skills
by Rachel Ehmke
Most young children are aware of death, even if they don’t understand it. Death is a common theme in cartoons and television, and some of your child’s friends may have already lost a loved one. But experiencing grief firsthand is a different and often confusing process for kids. As a parent, you can’t protect a child from the pain of loss, but you can help him feel safe. And by allowing and encouraging him to express his feelings, you can help him build healthy coping skills that will serve him well in the future.
Perhaps you have already read it – it’s on the best sellers list. It’s “Option B” by Sheryl Sandberg. Sheryl is a top executive at Facebook. Her spouse, also a high exec in technology, died suddenly in 2004, leaving her with 2 young children.
Losing someone you love is painful. Often, we may feel a mixture of happiness, sadness, angry and lonely emotions. These emotions might leave us in a dark place, and we may wonder if we will ever see the light. We question: when does the pain go away? Will I only remember the bad? What will I do now? Where do I start? Will I ever heal?
Sibling relationships are like no other. There is a commonality that does not often exist in other relationships. When a sibling dies, the loss can be overpowering. Siblings are often thought of as the “forgotten mourners.” Friends, neighbors, and other family members offer comfort and support to Mom and Dad, and often neglect siblings which can disenfranchise their grief.
This one is for parents trying to get a handle on how to understand what their child is going through after losing a brother or sister. Read on and let us know if this was helpful.
When a child loses someone they love and feel close to, they are often experiencing overwhelming emotions they have never had before and they don’t know what to do with them. Many times the adults in their life are going through the same thing at the same time and don’t quite know how to best support the children around them when they themselves are in such need of support. Children like adults will heal from their grief if it is shared with others and not kept inside tucked away like a volcano hotly smoldering
Grief is a highly personal and normal response
to life-changing events – a process
that can lead to healing and personal growth.
GRIEF IS NOT AN ENEMY
At my brother’s funeral a lady said, You seem to be doing so well.”
“No, I’m doing quite poorly, thank you,” I responded.
She did not give up, and said, “Well, you don’t seem to be upset.” I did not want to get into any discussion, but I had acted as if nothing had happened as long as I could – and I reacted.
“If I were doing well with my grief, I would be over in the corner curled up in a fetal position crying, not standing here acting as though no one had died.”
We are doing well with our grief when we are grieving. Somehow we have it backwards. We think people are doing well when they aren’t crying. Grief is a process of walking through some painful periods toward learning to cope again.
We do not walk this path without pain and tears. When we are in the most pain, we are making the most progress. When the pain is less we are coasting, and resting for the next steps. People need to grieve. Grief is not the enemy to be avoided; it is a healing path to be walked.
By Doug Manning, excerpt from
The Gift of Significance
As someone who provides support to the bereaved, I have had the honor of coming alongside a multitude of grieving individuals. Although everyone I see has a different set of circumstances and is unique, there are also commonalities. One statement I frequently hear from the newly bereaved is “I feel like I am losing my mind”. For me, this statement speaks to the intensity of emotion and the changes that can come along with grief.
As Bereavement and Grief Specialist, we are gatekeepers. Gatekeepers are persons who are in the position to recognize a crisis and warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide.