Browsing All Posts filed under »Bereavement«

Ok, So Who’s To Blame?: Explaining Cancer to Yourself–Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 28, 2014 by


My friend’s son–somewhat of a haphazard student throughout high school–landed himself a spot in the class of 1996 at none other than Harvard University. I had to know more about this. “John,” I asked, “What do you think you did, maybe outside of school, maybe in extracurricular activities–I don’t know–that got you into Harvard?” “You […]

Complicated Bereavement: Mourning Someone You Never Really Knew

October 15, 2014 by


Well, I never really knew you ’til you said goodbye~Vince Gill If you want to know something about bereavement that slides from ‘normal’ to ‘complicated’ in a moment of revelation, due to unimaginable circumstances, you need look no further than to the mourning experiences of Julie Metz and Reeve Lindbergh. As you can see in my […]

Bereavement With Your Name On It: The ‘Unbereaved Bereaved’

September 5, 2014 by


In the totally bizarre way in which the world–and bereavement–works, sometimes you’re in the right (or should I say wrong?) place, at the right time, to be a mourner you don’t feel yourself to be, in a role you never wanted to play. Of course this is uncommon–and there is no literature on it to confirm […]

I Did It My Way: Different Paths to Adapting to Bereavement

August 22, 2014 by


I planned each charted course/Each careful step along the byway/And more, much more than this/ I did it my way . . ./I faced it all and I stood tall/And did it my way.” It was the year of the plague. I lost a client, a mere child, to leukemia. A long-standing client dropped dead […]

Faking Grief: When an Expression Reveals the Truth

August 18, 2014 by


My son–now a professor, an educator of today’s youth, a scientist in search of truth–was, in his salad days, a world-class faker. He particularly perfected his art when it came to faking illness in order to get out of school. Our growing skepticism spurred him to new heights of creativity, and his theatrics were something […]

Not ‘Normal’ Anymore?: Complicated Bereavement

August 14, 2014 by


I am not just the founding mother, but am also the most decorated member of my children’s fan club. At rallies I come equipped with buttons, balloons and noise-makers, wearing electric blue shirts with the kids’ names inscribed.  I’m a complete embarrassment, but I want my support known. Their spouses can’t hold a candle to […]

Interventions For Mourners–and Why Sometimes Research Can Be A Real Downer

August 11, 2014 by


“Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say.” ~William W. Watt I’m going to really go out on a limb here. Forthcoming: one of those big assumptions about humankind in general. Consider yourself  warned. Here it is: I don’t believe (you still with me?) […]

It’s Not a Broken Heart: The Biological Bases For Illness and Mortality Post-Bereavement

August 11, 2014 by


I have nothing against William Cowper. A wildly popular 18th century poet, greater poetic minds than mine–Samuel Coleridge, William Wordsworth–thought he was the cat’s pajamas. But when he leaves his subject base of nature and Christianity and steps his foot into medical theory, well, we have a parting of the minds. “Grief is itself a medicine,” […]

Loss of a Dream: Layers of Bereavement

August 10, 2014 by


“There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations.” ~ Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes Recently, within a span of 5 years, I found myself in the homes of two of the administrators from the local Jewish day school–and not for social visits. Rather I was there trying to offer what comfort […]

It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To–or How We Die

July 14, 2014 by


Kelly had been a real touchy-feely all her life, so her choice about how she wanted to go surprised me–but, as I reminded her distraught daughters, it was her choice that mattered. It’s become trendy nowadays to make our last days into something of a memorial smorgasborg. We’re encouraged to write poems to our grandkids, […]

‘Money Has Never Made Man Happy’: But. . .Therapy Has–Apparently 32X More Efficiently Than Money

July 10, 2014 by


  “Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.” ~ Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin knew a lot on an extensively large variety of topics –and pretty much liked to tell everyone about it at any opportunity. […]

“Who You Gonna Call?”: Others’ Prayers Impact On Illness, Redux

September 24, 2012 by


My mother likes to compliment herself on her cooking. “That was truly delicious!” she’ll exclaim, her mouth still full of her last bite of a fancy beef stew. “And I was able to make it during such a hectic day. It’s great to be organized.” Truth is, her cooking is great–but the point is that […]