"You're Strangling Me"

This story has been in the writing for a year. I tried getting it out in different classes, but it took the feminine genius of Cigdem and Jena of The Inky Path to create the safe place to write from the heart. And now I have the courage to share my journey. If you have a story – and we all do – write it. If folks don’t get it, that is not on you. Write for you, write your heart out. “You’re strangling me.”“Not now, please not now” I begged the bewildered voice in my head....more

Farewell Grandma

Last week I got a phone call I knew I would have to face some day: My Grandma Francisca had died.Stuck on the other side of the world the only contribution I could make to her funeral were a bunch of flowers and a few heartfelt words. It didn't feel like enough, not to mark such an extraordinary life, and had there been more space on my Interflora card, I would have filled it with these words.My grandma was an extraordinary woman, born and raised in a time of chaos:...more

Hello, Grief, I thought you'd pissed off already

There are milestones in the year – birthdays, anniversaries, special times – which were celebrated in life and which are then necessarily commemorated after the death of a loved one.It is these milestones which remind me every year that I am not in control of the grieving process.Being one used to being in control of herself, events and others, this size does not fit well on me....more

There Is No "Normal" When a Baby Dies

I have read a lot of commentary about what happened last week when Fox News contributor Alan Colmes attacked Republican Party primary Presidential candidate Rick Santorum and his wife Karen for the "crazy" way they dealt with the death of their son soon after his birth in 1996. Political views and party affiliations aside, I believe what Mr. Colmes did was out of line on so many levels and felt sick as I learned about the incident....more
Having lost our daughter only 4 months ago, I am over sensitive for sure. However I am glad I am ...more

What DO You Say to Grieving Friends?

Advice for Helping (Not Harming) Friends in PainFirst, I think you should say what's in your heart and what honors their loss.*You're so sorry for their loss.*What can you do....more

How to Help Grieving Friends

Grieving is an intensely personal journey. There may be stages but they don't often come in order or stay in a neat line. They leap around in surprising and unpredictable ways. Friends want to help, to say the right things but often end up feeling they can't get it right. As someone who recently went through the horror of the sudden and senseless death of my brother, I remember the well-intentioned and loving ways people reached out. Our responses and needs are different in the first mind-numbing days and months....more

Moving Mind and Body: Can Exercise Heal Your Grief?

When you are grieving, you are never alone, but always profoundly lonely. How do you move ahead, find healing and comfort? I found a clue in literally moving forward, one foot at a time, in a little 5k:          The horn shrieks. The scruffling scrum of New Balanced-hooves beats apace. I am shuffled, lost. How can I be among so many and with no one at all? My solitude, my grief, are at once perfectly metaphorical and literal. I cannot stand the human race. I ache with aloneness, in this throng....more

Tweeting a Funeral: A Step Too Far or a Space for Comfort?

When I first heard that my friend Lori, from Write Mind Open Heart, was going to be "live tweeting" the funeral of the husband of fellow blogger Melissa, from Full Circle, I had mixed feelings. Though I knew that Lori had gotten Melissa's permission and blessing to do so, my initial reaction was cynical and I questioned if tweeting during, and specifically about, a person's funeral was taking the role of social media in bereavement too far. However, I tried to reserve further judgement until after I had a chance to read Lori's tweets and see how the whole thing played out. ...more
This is a really interesting post and brings up an issue which will become more important as ...more

Thanksgiving, gratitude, and carving that vessel a little deeper

Well, I was all ready for Thanksgiving this year, turkey bought (check) menu planned (check), husband home (check) -he’s been travelling a lot - and plenty of goodies in the house.  Even had plans for hanging out with friends (check). Then, it happened.  The food was great, the company was fun, but by the end of Thanksgiving day I felt completely and totally empty – despite being full of food.  Sad…and empty.  It’s been a tough year, my mum passed away and then a best friend passed away suddenly two weeks after my mother’s funeral.  I thought I had spen...more