Tag: grief and loss

Send your child off to college and start something new

Every fall, I feel a tug back to the moment when my kids abandoned my ship and launched their own to go off to college. Oh, the heartbreak, the relative silence in the house, the too few people for dinner. Did I want them to stay home and continue to be their complex and intriguing... Read more »

The 12 things you should know about grieving

Just why I had to write a book about grieving escapes me right now. Do I really think I am the wise one who can enlighten the millions of us who are in grief at any one time? Is it hubris that I have appointed myself the guardian of new ways to look at this?... Read more »

Joy and sorrow can live in the same house: Lessons in grief from an Irish wake

I got caught up in an Irish wake recently when my husband and I stopped in to a familiar restaurant for a quick bite. We pulled up to the only two seats at the bar, ordered, and settled in to talk. Then we noticed the mounting noise – deafening volume, male and female voices, some... Read more »
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It’s Donna Day 2015: Her short and important life

Today is Donna Day. Never heard of it before? Well, listen up. Donna was a livewire, dancer, adorable girl who died. She died four years ago, at the age of four, after surviving brain cancer as long as she could. I know about Donna because her mom is Sheila Quirke, a well-known blogger known as... Read more »

Future forecast: Book comes out, author swoons

Expect a party on the day when the book I’m working on comes out. I’ve had the idea for years to write about the secrets I’ve learned about grieving, a little specialty of mine. The reasons I need to write it are: 1. I’ve been at it since I was a little kid – the... Read more »

How to choose a sympathy card: Thoughts from a grief counselor

I had to pick out a sympathy card yesterday, for some wonderful people who’d had an unexpected and devastating loss. So I went to Walgreens where I found a section full of flowery and reassuring messages: Celebrating the Home-going; A Journey with the Lord; Where there is sadness, love plants a garden… I found several... Read more »
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Breaking up is hard to do: I still miss my old house

Each life has one perfect house, if it’s lucky, one place that is just right for the time, that holds so many memories that it would take weeks to unwind them. It is a house of innocence, of not knowing what is coming your way, good and bad.  Mine was in the last town I... Read more »

My act of courage: A cemetery, a water tower, and overcoming grief

It was early summer, just before the fireflies come out. I grabbed my fresh-out-of-college daughter, hopped in the car, and headed to Minneapolis for a seminar on grief. If we were like everyone else, we would drive around the city, visit the mega-mall and other sights, and three days later, drive home. But we weren’t... Read more »

Grief at the Holidays Part I: Celebrating despite your grieving heart

I used to know that the holidays had arrived once I received a phone call from the local radio station, or a features reporter from the newspaper. “As a counselor, what insight could you offer for people who struggle through the holidays burdened with losses, disappointments, loneliness?” I would offer the standard fare – lower... Read more »
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Melissa missing Joan: Sudden death vs. long goodbye

I’ve been thinking a lot about how Melissa Rivers lost her mother, as a lot of my friends and clients have – suddenly, with no warning and no time to say goodbye. I’ve also been thinking of the way I lost mine – to Alzheimer’s Disease, slowly, over years, with plenty of time to say... Read more »