Coping with the passing of a loved one

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Not everything happens for a reason’: The magic words to say when everything’s going wrong

Tim Laurence, a journalist and psychotherapist, has written a very insightful article where he discusses how much it’s really possible to help someone who’s grieving. He argues that it’s very important for us to be very careful what we say to people dealing with personal pain — the empty phrases we’re accustomed to offer can often hurt rather than help them despite our best intentions.

Tim himself knows what he’s talking about, having suffered huge personal loss at a young age. We think his insights are therefore well worth considering. Take a look.

15 December 2015

How Do Broken Hearts Commemorate Father's Day?

I ask you: how do breaking hearts face Father's day, without a father to honour?

19 June 2015

Life after losing a wife: My son's smile is the only gift I need on Father's Day

Calendar dates and milestones are difficult for me since my wife was killed.

Birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries and Mother’s Day will no doubt always be times when our three-year-old son and I feel her loss most acutely. But I’m determined never to let Father’s Day be a sad day for us.

I have a father, a father-in-law and I’m a father too so it’s a day to be happy and grateful for everything I still have. I look at my life with so much love in my heart for my son, William, and I’m at my happiest when I see him smile.

19 June 2015

Signs of Depression Due to a Death in the Family

The death of a close family member can be devastating and feelings of depression are among the most common reactions. Distinguishing between the depression phase of a normal grieving process and the onset of clinical depression can be complicated. According to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Counselling Centre, factors such as the quality of the relationship, the amount of “unfinished business” and feelings of guilt, as well as the personality of the bereaved can lead to different ways of coping with grief.

13 May 2015

Easter can bring renewal to grievers

A “New” Time

Easter represents a time of rebirth and newness. This holiday comes in the springtime when nature so mercifully replaces the old with the new. The season brings forth endless shades of green in the trees and fresh fields painted with brilliant wildflowers. Even neighbourhood lawns and gardens come alive with vivid colour. The energy of spring is almost tangible. It’s evident all around you, what was once cold and dead has become warm and vibrant with life.

More than Coloured Eggs

02 April 2015

When daughters grieve the death of their mothers

What is not appreciated about the death of a loved one is that “Death ends a life but it doesn’t end a relationship that lives on in the mind of the survivor.” Some studies have shown that mourners hold onto the relationship with the deceased with no notable ill effects.

30 March 2015

16 Tips for Continuing Bonds with People We’ve Lost

With decades of grief theory that focused on closure, acceptance, and moving on, it is no wonder that so many grievers feel self-conscious about maintaining ties with their deceased loved one after a certain period of time. They often have a peanut gallery chiming in with their ideas about what is healthy and what isn’t, telling people they need to ‘let go’ and move forward. We posted a few weeks ago about the continuing bonds theory of grief. If you read the post hopefully you know that when it comes to grief theory, oh the times they are changing.

20 March 2015

How to Help the Grieving Teenager

After Princess Diana died in an automobile accident, many people wondered how her two teenage sons, William, 15, and Harry, 13, would deal with their grief. "Please give them a cuddle and clear your calendar," advised a London columnist in an open letter to Prince Charles.

10 November 2014

Letting Go of Lost Loved Ones

Death is a part of life. We don’t always like to admit it, but it’s true.

The people in our lives probably are not always going to be there forever, so the question is, “How will you handle the death of someone when it happens?”

I believe that death does not necessarily have to be a negative thing in our lives. Sure, it often comes with sadness and grief, but that’s human.

However, depending on how we think about the people we lost, we can often turn death into a positive experience overall.

10 November 2014

Loss of an Adult Sibling

Disenfranchised Grief

When adults lose a sibling, they often feel abandoned by society. The sympathy goes to their parents, or the sibling's spouse and children, but brothers and sisters are supposed to "get over it" quickly so they can comfort others or replace the lost sibling. This is one of the reasons why adult sibling loss falls into the category of "disenfranchised grief". Bereaved individuals are encouraged to feel guilty for grieving too long.

12 September 2014

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