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Posts Tagged death

Who They Were

She was a mother of three who shared her faith wherever she went. He was a father of two who collected friends wherever he went. She was no stranger to trauma: an alcoholic dad, two divorces, a victim of rape, and breast cancer. To look at her,

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On Loving, and Losing

My family and I lost two friends recently. For the sake of protecting their identities, I’ll call them Cheryl and Paul. They died rather young—Cheryl after a drawn-out battle with cancer, and Paul went suddenly, his heart failing while he slept. Both losses spurred stinging tears and

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Three Years Gone, and Yet You’re With Us

Dear Jim, Three years ago this summer, you warred with the cruelest of enemies–depression. He was a sinister thief of your thoughts. He tried to make you unrecognizable even to those of us who knew you best. He made it difficult for you to eat, sleep, and

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On Being a Mom Without a Mom

My mom died of breast cancer when I was 15. At first, I missed the short-term comforts she brought. No more Chinese-takeout dinners on Friday. No more special trips to Canada or Florida. Soon I missed the lack of love and attention. I grew to believe that

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What the Living Can Learn From the Dying

Kara Tippetts, a wife and young mother, died recently. I didn’t know her. Like many, though, I feel as if I did–from the words she shared in her book, on her blog and in her radio interviews. Tippetts, 38, was a warrior. She lost a battle with

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Staying Healthy After Losing Someone to Suicide

In the days after my brother’s suicide, my cousin asked me how often I found myself sighing. She said, “When I’m too tired to cry, I sigh. I sigh a lot.” After the exchange I noticed my own frequent sighs. According to one study, sighing serves as

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Suicide and Its Unrelenting Stigma

Suicide is an earthquake. Sudden, jolting and catastrophic, it ruptures the lives of those it leaves behind. The aftershocks ripple into subsequent generations. We spend years navigating our emotional landscapes, seismically realigned by chasms of guilt, confusion and regret. We build bridges when we share our grief,

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“You Are, I Am”

Six weeks before my brother died, I had a dream. The ultra-realistic sort, where you stir swearing it happened. I’d gone to visit my sister, Lisa, in Texas. Her house had morphed into what looked like my grandmother’s old home in Ohio–a blurring of lines characteristic of

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Grieving at the Holidays

When I learned that my brother had ended his life, I stood clutching my then-4-year-old son’s hand. I crumpled to the hardwood floor outside his play room, clinging to his tiny frame like a life raft. I let out small, staccato chokes. “Get up, Mommy! You’re laughing,

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The Upside of Early Loss

How Losing My Mom Prepared Me for My Brother’s Suicide* What could be good about my mom dying when I was a kid? Not much, I thought — until I lost my brother last year. My mom has been gone for 25 years. She lived with a

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