Ellen Gerst's Blog (49)

Looking For Answers

I found a good way to work through grief (and other issues) is reading the wisdom of others.



Personally, I read a great variety of books, articles, etc and take bits and pieces of each – the ones I feel would be a good fit into my life and belief system. This helps me to formulate a plan on how to move forward and makes me think about the types of new thoughts I want to incorporate in my daily life.



One of my favorite books is The Way of the Wizard, Twenty Spiritual… Continue

Added by Ellen Gerst on November 10, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Making New Traditions

In my last posting I talked about the one year anniversary.



Other tough days may include your loved one’s birthday; a wedding anniversary; and those difficult holiday times that are fast approaching.



No doubt about it ~ there are going to be changes in how you celebrate.



The best advice I can offer is to have open and honest communication with your family and friends about their expectations, the changes you envision, and how you plan to implement the… Continue

Added by Ellen Gerst on October 26, 2009 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

Death of a Loved One: Coping with the Anniversary

The word anniversary takes on a whole new meaning for anyone grieving the loss of a loved one. Although an anniversary date is any meaningful date to you and the one you’ve lost, the hardest anniversary date is usually the one that commemorates the day of the death.



For me, the anniversary date of the death of my late husband was never as bad as I thought it was going to be. Early on, each year, it would be the couple of weeks that led up to the anniversary that always knocked… Continue

Added by Ellen Gerst on October 13, 2009 at 7:00am — 6 Comments

Is There A "Right" Time To Stop Wearing Your Wedding Ring?

Many widow/widowers may wonder when is the proper time to remove an engagement ring and/or wedding ring and, after doing so, what should be done with them. The only possible response to this question is -- do whatever makes you feel comfortable.



As there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there is also no right or wrong thing to do with your rings or a time frame that needs to be followed. You may choose to wear your rings for the rest of your life, or you may choose to remove them… Continue

Added by Ellen Gerst on September 30, 2009 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

A Letter From A Bereaved Child to His/Her Remaining Parent

When one loses a spouse (and in turn a child loses his/her parent) the depth of the grief may be so profound and the pain so deep, communication between the survivors may falter. Consequently, parent and child may each have a hard time really hearing what the other needs.



I would imagine, if a child had the wisdom to recognize his/her actions for what they truly are and the words to express his/her emotions, the following might be what would be said.



Dear… Continue

Added by Ellen Gerst on September 16, 2009 at 7:00am — No Comments

Listening to What A Bereaved Child Needs

When my late husband committed suicide, my first thought was the impact on our children. How was I possibly going to tell them about this great tragedy that had befallen them, as well as try to eke out some meaning to it? If I didn’t understand it, how could an innocent 10-year old and 15-year old comprehend the idea that their father left this life of his own volition?



There wasn’t a good explanation, but I did try to get them to see that it was about their father and… Continue

Added by Ellen Gerst on September 4, 2009 at 7:00am — No Comments

Have You Been Deserted By the Deceased's Family?

My late husband came from a family of three boys. His brothers, twelve and eight years older than him, always idolized their baby brother. Why is it then, that shortly after his death, these two men disappeared from the life of the family that their beloved brother left behind?



Unfortunately, I don’t think this is an uncommon occurrence, although it certainly is always a painful one.



Not an excuse, but as a possible explanation, I believe family members may be so mired in…

Continue

Added by Ellen Gerst on August 23, 2009 at 8:30am — No Comments

The Best Advice I Received

I was widowed, at the age of 39, by my husband taking his own life. There was absolutely no warning, and no note was left. Needless to say, my sons, 15 and 10 at the time, and I were devastated. Early on, through my fog, I realized, as horrible as I felt at the time, one day in the very distant future I would be able to come to terms with my loss. I was, however, not quite so sure how my sons would be able to handle this inconceivable blow. I could go on with my life, find new… Continue

Added by Ellen Gerst on August 12, 2009 at 7:00am — No Comments

Welcome to Lost & Found: Finding Your Way

Welcome to Lost and Found: Finding Your Way, a new column that will be a mixture of the practical and spiritual components of grief recovery. As the majority of the readers of this site, I, too, have experienced great loss. However, this great loss has been the impetus for seeking and finding a renewed passion for life. Those two sides of the same coin will be the overriding theme of this blog.



If you have lost a loved one, I would like to offer my condolences to you. You are about… Continue

Added by Ellen Gerst on July 31, 2009 at 6:00am — 3 Comments

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