Posts Tagged ‘bereavement’

When Grief And Guilt Prolong The Pain Of Loss

Posted on October 1st, 2014 by karen
Guilt and Grief

A zinnia means: I mourn your absence.

by Erin Barone

Sarah was 35 years old, with two small boys and a husband who abruptly passed away due to a brain tumor. While her husband Sam had complained of steady headaches, Sarah would blame it on stress from his job as a financial advisor and simply tell him to take some Tylenol.

After a few months of unrelenting headaches, though, her husband finally decided to see a doctor, whereupon he discovered that he had a brain tumor requiring immediate surgery. Sadly, Sam did not survive the procedure, dying on the operating table.

Since his death, Sarah has frequently made comments like “I didn’t choose this life for me, and I especially didn’t choose this life for my two little boys.” She also blames herself for having minimized the severity of her husband’s headaches, often stating, “I should have listened to him more, I should have told him to go to the doctor sooner, and then maybe they would have been able to save him before the tumor grew so big!”

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When Does Grief End?

Posted on August 27th, 2014 by karen

When Does Grief End

We are thrilled to re-post this article from Gemini Adams. She is an award-winning British writer, grief expert, and author of Your Legacy of Love: Realize the Gift in Goodbye. This piece originally appeared on Gemini’s website,


by Gemini Adams

It took me a very long time to integrate the loss of my mother. Perhaps this was because she died so prematurely, at just 48 years old, she was still a young person in the eyes of many. As for me, at 21, I was even younger.

We had only just learnt how to become friends — having battled through the highs and lows of my teenage years, just as we had come to see each other as allies, as women sharing similar challenges and interests — then she was snatched away. It wasn’t unexpected. Mom died from cancer and her death was a slow, long, drawn-out affair that took two and a half years, despite the fact that when she was diagnosed, she was given only three months to live.

The journey through grief was not an easy one. There were plenty of surprises, misty days, thunderstorms, and moments when the car slid down the road revealing a sheer cliff-face which had me frozen in a state of fear. But after a couple of years the bad weather cleared, blue skies burst through the monotonous grey, and there were occasional interludes of sunbeams, small but nonetheless brilliant.

Here are a few of the poignant ones:

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Explaining Death To Children

Posted on September 24th, 2013 by karen

Explaining Death To Children

by Linda Weatherseed

Talking with children about death is one of the hardest conversations a parent will ever have. After all, a parent’s primary instinct is to protect their children from suffering, and death is a scary subject, fraught with peril if misunderstood.

Parents frequently ask us how to explain the death of a family member to a young child. We tell them that it is very important to be as honest as possible, bearing in mind their child’s age. This is because a child’s ability to understand death depends very much upon his or her developmental stage. Preschoolers, for example, are unable to understand the finality of death. They believe that death is reversible and that the person who died can come back or can be visited.

One mother I recently worked with had an unusually difficult time trying to explain her husband’s sudden death to her five-year-old boy. She thought the news might go easier if she avoided using the word “died,” so she told him, “Daddy has gone to sleep.”

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Small Acts Of Kindness: Helping Our Friends Through Grief

Posted on July 11th, 2013 by karen


by Karen Keller Capuciati

There’s a stack of long-overdue sympathy cards piled high on my desk right now. I bought them weeks ago but haven’t managed to personalize any of the cards yet. Most likely, it’s the trepidation of not knowing what to say that has me frozen. What if I say the wrong thing? What if I’ve waited too long? What if sending a card now only stirs up painful memories?

I really know better than to think any of these things. I remember how comforting it was to receive cards and letters from friends and family after my dad died. In fact, after he passed away in July of 2006, I sat in the living room of my parents’ house and read through piles of cards, hundreds of them, it seemed, and it was just overwhelming to think about how many people cared enough to send along their prayers and well wishes. I went through the cards more than once, and the truth is, the written messages themselves weren’t that important. Just knowing that so many people were thinking of us, trying to comfort us in that painful time, was what really mattered.

It was that kind of compassion that meant so much to Kim and Mom and me. The simple email letting us know that the sender was thinking of us; the banana cake with caramel frosting that Mom’s neighbor made; the platter of sandwiches that was delivered to our door; the knowing smiles and warm hugs. It was the seemingly small acts of kindness that propped us all up during that difficult time. Remembering these moments of generosity and good will got us wondering about the various ways people show their affection and concern when a loved one has passed on, so we asked some In Care of Dad friends and contributors to share the things that helped them the most in their respective times of need.

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Healing From Grief: Getting Out Of The Tunnel

Posted on April 2nd, 2013 by karen


by Karen Keller Capuciati

“Somehow you wake up one morning and you realize, I’m going to be okay.”

These are the words of our family friend, Carol, as she looked back on the eight years since her husband Ernie died of cancer. But getting to this realization took time, and before she got there, she was feeling that nothing in the world was worth facing without the man she loved.

“It was my friend, Charlotte, who wouldn’t let me go into the hole,” Carol recalled. “When I wanted nothing more than to curl up in a corner and withdraw, Charlotte would insist on me getting out to do something — go for a ride, out to lunch, pick strawberries, anything but stay home. She wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”

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