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Posts Tagged grief

A Full Life Well-Lived

My mom passed away from complications of breast cancer 29 years ago. My brother died five years ago, after a battle with severe depression. Last month my dad’s heart failed while he was out for a drive. Though he was revived and brought to the hospital, he

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Pregnancy and Infant Loss: Grieving Well

Losing a baby is a tragedy. Whether it’s during pregnancy, or from unexpected complications after the baby is born–the significant grief and pain need to be addressed. If not, they’ll likely resurface, wreaking havoc on our mental health. Definitions and statistics vary for pregnancy loss. The Mayo

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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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Retroactive Grief

Over the past few weeks I’ve watched friends stride through different rites of passage. Some sent their child to away-camp for the first time. Others released their youngest into the realm of college. I’ve not reached either pinnacle yet. But I recognize them to be fraught with

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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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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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