Blog

The Mourner’s Bill of Rights

A gentleman shared this with all of us at the monthly Grief Conversation and Support Group which I facilitate. As you read through these words, I encourage you to feel them out, what feels right for you? Take that which does and share it with others, especially your...

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Cups of Hope series – Echoes

Is it possible to understand another person's loss? Loss is one of those words with many definitions, perhaps as many as there are endings. While there are many ways to share compassion and to commiserate with or relate to other survivors, can we really "walk a mile...

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Memories

Today I was sitting in my chair, doing not much at all. Simply reminiscing I guess. I found myself looking at a few pictures that are placed around the room. A picture of my amazing husband and me, another shows my three sons as young men on the day the eldest got...

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What helps… expressing feelings through art

Guest post by Ari. What helps... expressing feelings through art After my son died I looked for ways in which to cope with the many feelings I was experiencing: sadness of course, but also guilt and anger. I couldn't sleep, walked the darkened house crying, wanting to...

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Q&A series – Why Are Holidays So Hard?

by Jan McDaniel Holidays happen all year round. But why are they so hard, especially after loss? The answer to that question is both simple and complex and lies within the human brain and our experiences. After a significant loss, everything is different, but sights...

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Just for Today…

Many years ago I was introduced to Reiki. This beautiful energy work changed my life in many ways. Something very profound, which has stayed with me and been very helpful to me over the years was learning about the Reiki Precepts written by Dr. Mikao Usui, the founder...

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Echoes

Guest post by Ari Echoes of you... The other day as I was walking home from work I “saw” you my son. You were in front of me by half a block but I could see clearly the backpack on your back, your hoodie over your head, your slouchy jeans. I walked and watched the...

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Gratitude – So Very Healing

When your heart is broken, it can sometimes feel as though nothing is right in your world. I get it! It's fair, reasonable and completely normal to feel that way. What I also know, is that in those moments of deepest sadness, it's been profoundly helpful for me to...

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Connect…

Guest post by Ari. Connect... When my boy died I was left with only photos and memories. I could still hear his voice, the sound of his laughter in the house, could still feel his hug. No-one hugged me like he did – both arms around my back, his head on my shoulder,...

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Welcome 2020

Today is the first day of 2020. Many have goals and plans and that's fabulous. I hope that your goals are exceeded and that your plans turn out beautifully. But what if your experience is different?   If you have a grieving heart, today may feel overwhelming. As...

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Q&A series: Why Can’t I Sleep?

Sleep. We need it, especially after traumatic loss, but it is often elusive. The stillness of night does not bring stillness when the mind is filled with turmoil and worry, thoughts of not only the loss but also circumstances that can be quite horrible. The nervous...

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When Relationships Change or End

I've heard and read, again and again, that when one is grieving, we learn who really cares about us - they are steadfast. Beginning and end of story. No exceptions. But what if relationships end? Does it mean that no one cared? While some friends remained close, the...

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Remember them …

guest column and photo by Ari I used to sit by my boy's photo and look deeply into his beautiful hazel eyes, wondering how on earth this had happened to him, to our family. There was nothing there that told me any secrets – they were bright and clear, crinkling around...

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Don’t take anything Personally

As you read the title about this message, did you find yourself saying 'Okay, but grief is different. Grief is intensely personal!' I get it. Really I do. At the same time, holding on to this Agreement has allowed me to hold on to more peace and sanity than I would if...

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Q&A series: When will stigma end?

I wish I could say the stigma surrounding death by suicide will end soon. I wish I could say everyone understands that people experiencing trauma and illness, stress, anxiety, and mental/personality/behavior disorders deserve our kindness and support. Maybe I can’t...

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Is it True?

We have an experience. It's often quite personal, especially when it pertains to grief. Thinking or sharing about our experience is telling our story. This matters so very much! Sharing our story helps us to process. Important stuff. Is our story true? By that I mean...

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When we Grieve a Pet

Are you a pet lover? If you've ever considered a horse, guinea pig, dog, cat or any animal your friend or even family then you well understand the special bond and steadfast love that exists between you and this amazing being. So why is it that so many are surprised...

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Reiki and Healing Grief

I'm grateful to say Reiki has been a part of my life for a very long time. I've called upon Reiki for day to day stress relief, for myself and others. Reiki has been there when my dog began having strokes as a young boxer of only 4 years old. I felt the energy radiate...

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Q&A: How do I honor my loved one?

At some point along the journey through grief, survivors often begin to find ways to honor the lives of the ones they lost. This is one of the ways to form a new connection with them, to share the love that was known and that still continues. This is also one of the...

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When Seasons Change…

Guest blog and photo contributed by Ari. In my beginning I hated when summer started. Seeing all the teens out and about, enjoying life, happy families at the park, nature's beauty in full bloom. Hated it all! When the warmth of summer gave way to the cool days and...

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You CAN Learn Resilience

Resilience. A noun which means to recover from change, adversity or challenge. Buoyancy. When we are grieving, it can sometimes feel as though there is no way forward. That this new reality has taken all of the air right out of us and left us flattened. That's...

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Decide to Heal, Again and Again and Again

When one is grieving it sometimes feels as though there are no options. Certainly much of the language that comes to mind and that we hear reinforces the belief that we are doomed to feel this pain forever. What if that's not true? Let's break it down a bit. The past...

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Welcome, Fall!

Seasons change. For those who have lost someone they love very much, the changing color of the leaves, once thought so beautiful, may bring additional pain. It is as if the very earth is calling to attention the fact that what once was shared can become a painful...

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Evidence

Guest blog by Jan McDaniel I've always been fascinated by old photographs and films. Last Spring, when a cough was keeping me awake at night, I watched several historical documentaries. I knew the people I was seeing in black and white film on the television screen...

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