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Showing posts from 2020

Dreams That Feel Real Beyond The Veil Of Sleep

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I had the most lingering, fantastic dream last night that woke me up begging for more. Just before falling asleep, I felt Logan's presence as I have a lot this week.  It's like he has been needing his Mom lately and was trying to get my attention. I acknowledged his presence and told him I would try to reach out more often, as I have been pretty pre-occupied recently. Just before closing my eyes, I told him to visit me in my dreams. At some point in the night, I dreamed I was at the theater watching a movie with my parents and my daughter. When the movie was over and we were walking towards the exit, I said, " Where's Logan ?" I scanned the crowded theater and just then I saw him standing with a lady on the other side of the centre seats, as if she had been waiting with him until we had found him.  He was wearing a yellow t-shirt and he looked young - maybe in grade 5? When he spotted us, a big grin washed over his face and he ran over to us and directly into my a

Living in Two Worlds When Grieving

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 Our hearts are split into two, as we maneuver through one world, begging for the next. Our lives are intertwined through the fabric of time and space... and the universe beckons us forward. When you are thrust into a sea of grief, you aren't sure how to gain the footing you require to stand upon this Earth.  Your heart sees everything around you that has woven itself into your current life here... but there still remains a gnawing wonder of what it is like on the other side of death. Your loved one has transitioned into the "unknown" and you long for their presence, even when you are standing in the midst of your family and friends.  You are surrounded by those you care about, and your thoughts float off into the dark crevasses of the mind to explore where you also want to be. Over the years, I have discovered that this twinge of pain will forever be present in my life here.  I have one child on the other side, while the other is basking in all that life has to offer her

Bumbling Through Child Loss... Waiting For Signs

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 The road is rocky when it comes to losing a child. The path takes you to highs and lows, and you experience the wonderment  and detriment of life in the same breath. Over the last five years, I have learned lessons that I never would have experienced had I not been thrust into the label of a bereaved parent. I can honestly say that I likely would not have pondered the meaning of life and death so internally, if I had lived a life of certainty and basked within the traditional milestones. This is definitely not a journey I would ever want to repeat, but I am trying to understand what life is showing me... teaching me even. When you have something ripped out of your life in such an inhumane way, it startles your entire existence, and you are left standing there holding the bandage, as your wound bleeds all over the ground below you. You aren't sure what you are possibly going to do to survive the pain that is rushing towards you like a speeding freight train.  You simply stand in it

Surviving Birthdays Is A Never-Ending Battle For Bereaved Parents

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 When our loved ones are no longer here for special occasions, it can be a very  emotional time for those left behind. Finding a little solitude among the devastation in your heart, can gravitate you towards healing actions. Yesterday, I survived the 5th birthday without my son.  He should have turned 23 on September 21st, but instead, it was a reminder that he had been gone for five years.    As that day has come and went, I have taken the time to reflect on how I survived yet another milestone.  To be honest, I actually find the days and weeks leading up to a special occasion are more emotional for me, than the actual day.  It's like my brain begins to anticipate the upcoming date in anguish, or taunting thoughts about all that I don't have in my life.  Sometimes, it is difficult to push those negative ideas aside long enough to not be affected by their dire consequences of having a bit of a cry session. When the emotions get the best of me, I do succumb to their desire, and

Grief Is Different For Everyone & Our Journey Of Life Is Not The Same

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Grief can bring us into an abyss of suffering... or it can take us towards lessons  we never thought we'd ever understand. Dealing with loss is different for every individual who experiences its grasp on your reality. I feel compelled to write this explanation of grief, as not everyone will view death in the same way, nor understand others' reasons for doing what they need to do, to work through their own healing. I have come to learn that everyone's experience of life is drastically different, and no two lives will bare the same circumstances, or ways to handle the outcomes. We are all on a path of learning, whether we acknowledge that fact or not.  Some people may make their way through life without ever pondering or reflecting on past situations that could have been altered by the way they responded, or simply by looking at the bigger picture of their own circumstances.  This fact is certainly a frustration for an outside observer, who may be thinking they have the prope

They Are Still Here When We Call Their Name

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 For those who are suffering from the loss of a loved one, it appears on the surface that they are no longer with us. The physical connection is an overpowering obstacle to bear when someone we love transitions from this world into the next realm. It takes a willingness to learn about death from different perspectives, and a journey not many people want to take.  When faced with the loss of someone we love, we have never chosen a destiny filled with pain and sadness; however, our lives are submersed within this context by force. Our love lingers in our hearts, without a path to follow in the beginning of grief.  Only through understanding and research, can we discover what intricate details lie within the fabric of our existence.  We assure ourselves that we are not going crazy at exploring this side of our world, as our thoughts can be riddled with curiosity and wonder. Through reading and studying, it is possible to give notion to something more beyond this world.  If you have lost a

Why Do We Exist? Humans Have Been Asking This For Centuries.

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 It is an interesting question to ponder... our reason for being here. Do you have any inclination as to why you are undergoing the challenges of life? It appears on the surface that we are immersed in this thing called life, so we can explore our paths and opportunities, but perhaps there is more to the story? If we were living this life for no apparent reason, it would seem a little mundane and bothersome to experience turmoil, suffering, and emotional upheaval.  If that isn't the case, then why are we here? In my opinion, we are trying to learn something.  A variety of studies have been placed before us, and no two individuals will receive the same curriculum.  If I have already experienced one particular lesson, then there would be no need to repeat it (unless of course, I failed in my attempt at successfully learning the point of the situation). We must remember that others may undergo lessons similar to ours, but in no way is our test paper equivalent to the answers they woul

Your New Identity As A Bereaved Mother

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 After the death of a child, the world views you in a different light. The sorrow that surrounds the looks from other parents don't go unnoticed.  After joining the bereaved parents' club against my will, I noticed that people began to look at me differently.  It was like you could feel their sympathy at every encounter for the pain they knew I was enduring. I believe Emily Graham explained this best when she wrote the following: All eyes on me… wondering how I could possibly go on when they knew there was no way they could.  Time slowly passes. I’m known as the mom whose kid died.  There’s an awkwardness in our interactions – like you’re afraid it’s something you can catch.  I assure you it’s not. You’re not sure what to say. It seems the most comfortable thing to do is pretend nothing happened.  Yet, that doesn’t really work either.  I still feel all eyes on me.  When will she go back to normal? They say you should never let your loss define you. But, I am a bereaved mother.

A Moment Of Joy... Within The Journey Of Grief

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To some, it may not seem possible that one could live through  the loss of a child, and still experience joy...  I have been walking the struggle of grief since 2015, and in some moments I allow my thoughts to wallow in solitude of all that I have lost.  I let my stomach churn at the detriment of the future I must live, without the physical presence of my son... I wilt in desolation at the fading memories of times when my children were young, when the thought of death eluded me.  I had no clue what was in store, as I would have counted my minutes ever so slowly, had I known they would be short-lived with my son.  Eighteen years is a drop in the bucket of life, and every instance I spent with my son seems so obscure now, as the time forces its ugly prey against my mind.  He will forever be alive and content in my heart, even when age washes the details of our encounters ever so slightly as time erodes the miraculous moments we spent together. Not everything I have endur

The Hurtful Things People Say When You're Grieving

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... Even the best of intentions are misread by those who are grieving. When the supporters of the grieving just can't get  their words to match what's in their heart... It appears there are many people that are inept at trying to comfort the individuals who are suffering from loss.  There are times that others wish to speed up the process, or just sweep it all under the rug, like the death never happened. If you've been on the receiving end of someone's incapability to be truly empathetic, you may find it difficult to fathom that some people can be so selfish, when you need them the most. Many times, people just don't understand what grievers are going through, and they make comments that one should hurry up and move on, or that focusing on the death of their loved one, is somehow hindering their progress to "get over" grief.  It is unfortunate to be the one who is hurting and have to receive comments like this from their peers and

"Dads Hurt Too" - Remember Bereaved Dads On Father's Day

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He may look strong on the outside, but he too has a broken heart. Sometimes, we neglect to realize in our society that Fathers hurt, just as much as Moms. When planning your Father's Day activities this coming weekend, don't forget to reach a caring hand to those Dads who have lost a child.  Sometimes, we forget that men hurt too, and they are usually suffering in silence, as they have been taught to hide their true feelings. When a child dies, people tend to swarm around the Mother, as they just can't imagine what it would be like to give birth to a baby, only to lose it somewhere down the line of life.  In the background, the man stands silently, as his heart is bleeding all over the floor, and no one turns around to notice.  They may get a pat on the shoulder, as condolences are whispered, but they too are sobbing uncontrollably, even though their cries for help are usually buried amid masculinity. Anyone facing the loss of a child knows how deep t

How Gratefulness Has Helped Me In My Grief Journey

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I could look at the world and see all that is wrong, while I suffer in grief... ... Or, I could turn my attention to all that is good, and refocus my mind for a moment in time. When individuals are lost in grief, it is difficult to be able to focus on what is still positive in the world.  Grief takes you down a lonely path, that can be dark and fearful.  It can be immersed in negative thoughts that cause isolation. ... But grief can also become a time of great discovery.  When you are cast into the lowest depths of emotion due to the loss you are experiencing, the only way left, is to look up.  You may have spent months looking around at all the suffering, and you've plunged your entire life into a void.  Some people decide to remain in this stance indefinitely, while others try to crawl to the surface where the sun is still radiating, and life is good. It takes some effort to emerge from the cauldron of anguish, but once you begin on the ascent, you wil

The Hardest Question For A Bereaved Parent, "How Many Children Do You Have?"

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"How Many Children Do You Have?" This was the worst question I faced when I was a newly bereaved parent. A simple question from a fellow stranger, who was just trying to  make "small-talk" and they come out with a loaded question that hits us like a brick. During my early days of child loss, I dreaded this question, every time I met someone new.  It could have been a casual meeting of shooting the breeze with a stranger in a line of people, or walking into a new insurance office just to get a quote... It was always the same type of dribble that scared me the most.  My mind was plagued with worry, as I sat there hoping they wouldn't ask me, in fear that I would burst out crying in the middle of our first encounter. In the beginning, I struggled with this question, as I wasn't sure how to answer or the alternative of getting into a whole explanation of why I say 3 instead of 4... is that right, or do I acknowledge the 4th and give a litt

When Grief Escalates At Bedtime

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Many people that are suffering from the loss of a loved one will be able to distract themselves during the daytime hours due to regular routines, work, and hectic schedules. Nighttime can become a challenge for those struggling with the death of someone close to them. When you settle in for the night, your mind has an opportunity to begin wandering, as you are no longer bombarded by the activities of the day.  Perhaps, you've put the children to bed, or the pets are resting for the evening, and the house becomes eerily quiet... your brain begins to taunt you about the emptiness in your heart, and the pain of your loss. Often, when we are not being distracted, our minds tend to focus on everything that is going on in our personal reservoirs of experience.  We begin to replay episodes that are being stored within our unconscious awareness, as they rise to the surface.  This seems like a common occurrence, as the day drifts off into what should be a peaceful transit

When Grief Has You Running For Escape

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It is easy to hide from the world... but is it healthy long term? When grief comes knocking at your front door, all you want to do is slink back into the safety of your home and lock the outside world away. When we are dealing with the death of a loved one, the external world continues to revolve through their regular routines, and pleasures while the grieving heart is leaking all over the floor of our homes. We learn that society is not too comfortable with the reality of loss, and many tend to shy away from the person who is falling apart inside the isolation of their retreat.  The emotions are intense and many find that their friends and family can't handle the turmoil of dealing with someone so out of control of their own reactions. The early days of dealing with the death of someone we love, leave us in a state of confusion, fogginess, and loathing because no one understands the devastation we are feeling.  These are truly non-judgmental aspects of walki

What Should You Eat When Grieving?

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Your body continues to require nourishment during the suffering of loss. Blocked emotions can interrupt the signals from your body to stay healthy during grief. eBooks on Food When you've lost someone dear to you, it is easy to get into the habit of not being aware of what foods you are consuming.  Some people will lose their appetite, and not eat regularly, which causes not only weight loss, but lack of much needed energy that propels you through the grieving process. On the flip side, some individuals who are struggling with grief, may turn to food as a comfort, and their intake of sugars and carbs becomes excessive.  This not only leads to an increase in body fat, and weight gain, but also can lead to more emotional upheavals when your body is not getting the nutrients it needs. It is pertinent that you consume a variety of healthy foods, even when you are feeling low, so that your body doesn't spike from one extreme to another.  It is helpful if y

Grief Is Full Of Feelings Of Stress - Learn A Quick Technique To Release Stress

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Using Mindfulness to Reduce Feelings of Stress   If you are experiencing low energy, headaches, racing thoughts, elevated emotions, or feelings of despair, you may find releasing the stress from your body will bring you back into balance. This simple technique will help you move from the first person experience to one of an observer to your thoughts, feelings, and actions.   - The first step is to close your eyes.  - Take a long, deep breath and focus all of your attention to the air coming into your lungs, lingering for a second or two, and slowly begin to release your breath, as your shoulders drop and the tension releases. Do this at least 3 times in a row or for as long as you wish.  - Now, picture a river in front of you... you can see the ripples in the water, as the current flows in one direction.  - Every item in your mind becomes an object floating down this stream... you can picture each thought, feeling, memory, experience you've had as a se

Is Death Really The End? Can You Heal From Grief?

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Calming the heart is a never-ending process. Grief will always be a part of us... there is no journey that ever truly finds a finish line. The feeling of loss and emptiness from losing a loved one will remain, no matter how many years pass. You may be surrounded by joy, love, and happiness, and still there is a void that looms over your existence, as a part of you has disappeared from this realm.  You can be grateful in one breath, and breathless from sorrow in the next instance.  It is a feeling that we learn to live with... an adjustment to our way of life that somehow correlates within our adaptation to the way we now live our lives. Peace and serenity can exist alongside of sadness.  It takes some self-analysis, and examination of our inner core to be able to reside in a world of conflicting aspects, but it is possible.  You will be able to experience great ambitions and expectations, even though a part of your life is completely erased from the path it had