When I am talking with someone who is grieving, the conversation often turns to the signs they have received from their loved one, letting them know they are still around. They range from the subtle to the incredibly direct.
One woman said she saw her husband approach, felt him kiss her on the cheek and heard his voice telling her that he loved her. Most are not that clear. One woman told me that she had wanted to plant flowers at her husband’s grave. The cemetery’s…
It is said that in order to heal from the pain of grief, we must grow beyond our loved one’s presence in our life and that this means we leave behind the life we once had and move forward to create a new one. It's true that we find our lives have been changed and we will never be the same person we once were. However, we do not heal from leaving our loved ones behind. We heal from bringing them with us.
Some people are afraid that in moving forward, they…Continue
The Christmas season is here. This cannot be denied. Stores are decked out in their holiday finest. Christmas tunes accost us everywhere we turn. Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph are showing on the television. We can get our yearly fix of It’s a Wonderful Lifeon Turner Classic. Yet somehow we don’t feel in the holiday spirit. We just cannot get…Continue
I recently read a quote from Queen Latifah that said, “I think the most important thing I've learned from the death of my brother, is to not stop living. As my Aunt Elaine says, 'You never get over it but you get through it.' I know for a fact that my brother would not want me to stay right there, stuck in that misery. If the person who you lost loved you like you loved them, there's…Continue
Added by Nancy Weil on December 2, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments
“Grief is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.” This was something I heard at a recent grief support program. Read again these words and consider their meaning. We tend to approach everything as if there is something we can “do” about it. We want to fix things that are not right in our lives or in the lives of those we love. It is difficult to accept that there are some things that cannot be repaired. We are taught that if we work hard enough at something, we can have whatever…Continue
Added by Nancy Weil on November 9, 2011 at 11:30am — No Comments
When our loved ones die, we ponder the imponderable. The “whys” and the “what-ifs” consume us at times. We pore over days and decisions in the past that we cannot change. We feel as if the world should stop for a moment to mark the passing of our loved one. We wonder why everyone just seems to be having a normal day when our days are anything but normal. …
Added by Nancy Weil on November 1, 2011 at 10:00am — No Comments
26.2 miles I walked for a man I never met. Yet I felt him by my side encouraging me as the hours passed and the challenge grew harder and harder. “Keep going,” he urged. “The pain you feel is nothing compared to the pain of cancer that I suffered from.” Jack was right, of course. Battling cancer was a far greater fight than anything that bright October day brought to me. My pain was…Continue
Added by Nancy Weil on October 4, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments
Grief changes you. A widow said that she no longer knew who she was and that she was getting to know the “new” Sarah. You cannot go into such a deeply emotional loss and just pick up where you were before the death occurred. You are forever changed, but that does not have to be a bad thing. As you rebuild your life and discover your “new normal,” you may discover aspects of yourself that…Continue
Working as director of bereavement support for a group of cemeteries has changed the way I look at life. Each time I am with a family that is experiencing the loss of a loved one, it reminds me to examine how I am living my own life. Socrates wrote, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” He has a point. So I will access my inner philosopher and expound on the virtues…Continue
A riddle: Everyone has one. It has taken your entire life to create. Yet you don’t always use it when you most need it. What is it? Your spiritual toolbox.
What is a spiritual toolbox? It is a set of activities that you use to bring comfort and motivation. For some people, reading a book or exercising always lifts their spirits. For others going shopping or chopping wood…
Imagine that you are in a small enclosed placed sitting on a cold, hard floor in total darkness. The heat begins to climb as you wonder how you will be able to take a breath. The fear begins to rise from within and all you can think about it how to escape. And you are aware that you have put yourself into this place precisely because it scares you.
This is the situation I found…
It sneaks up on us at the most unexpected times. It doesn’t take much to send us there: an inappropriate comment, too much to do and no energy to do it, someone cutting in line ahead of you or walking off with your drink at Starbucks. Your day is going smoothly and suddenly, a curve ball. You begin to get tense, feel your emotions welling up. The stress begins to build and you wish you…Continue
Added by Nancy Weil on July 12, 2011 at 5:30pm — No Comments
Everyone wants to be happy. In fact the Declaration of Independence gives Americans the right to pursue happiness. It is not guaranteed, but we can chart our own path to joy. At times when life becomes overwhelming, we may feel stressed and unable to rise to the level of cheerful delight. However we all know people that no matter the circumstances always seem to have a smile on their face and a joie de vivre. How do they get there? How can we achieve this same satisfaction …Continue
The above title may seem inappropriate to some. “Death is not funny,” you might think. The idea of laughing at a time of loss seems antithetical to the emotional upheaval that you may be feeling. Yet a recent collaborative study that investigated the relationship between laughter and grief found that it is perfectly understandable to laugh at a time when you least feel like…Continue
Added by Nancy Weil on June 27, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments
I have studied and offered healing techniques to those who grieve as a way to help ease the daily pain that is the companion of loss. Recently life created the unwelcome opportunity for me to witness the power of this process from the inside out. We all will suffer a loss during our lifetime. Each loss carries with it different circumstances, but there are still some strategies we can use to help us cope and heal.
Here are some steps you can take to help you navigate…