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The things I plan on posting here will be things of interest to me & maybe you too!
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September 29, 2014

The gifts you have to offer to a grieving parent...

Your ear: Having someone who will simply listen is often exactly what a grieving parent needs. You may feel like you need to have answers, but often just having the opportunity to talk things out can help someone organize their thoughts and feelings.

Your desire to understand: Some don’t always listen with the intent to understand. However, being understood is exactly what a grieving parent needs, especially when they are feeling misunderstood by others in their life.

In my opinion, seeking to understand someone is one of the best way to show them you care. Simply restating what you think they’re saying shows you are present and engaged, lets them know that you aren’t making assumptions, and can even help them to better understand themselves.

Your ever enduring presence: Grieving parents will still be hurting months, even years after a death. Usually, the casseroles and messages of concern stop rolling in after a few weeks.

For this reason, the check-in’s that happen after a grieving parent have essentially been left alone will send the message that you understand their pain is enduring, and reminds them you will be there for them in the long-term. Make it casual, send a card or an e-mail, that way they can choose not to respond if they don’t feel like talking. Don’t take it to heart if you don’t get a response and follow their cues. If they don’t engage with you it’s probably wise to give them a little space.

Non-judgment: After a certain period of time people start expressing opinions on how they think a grieving parent is coping – it’s taking too long, you’re trying too hard, you’re not doing enough, you don’t seem to care.

Remember, we all cope differently. Try to avoid passing judgement about whether someone is coping in a good or bad way, unless their coping mechanisms are potentially harmful to themselves or others.
When it comes to the complexities of supporting a grieving parent, this post only barely scratches the surface.

What other gifts do you think should be added?

September 26, 2014

4 Years & 5 Months...

How dare it be over 4 years since Greggy died! It feels like yesterday, the pain is still just as raw... I think about my sister-in-law who lost her dughter to suicide on 7-10-14... It really is still raw for her... She just got her daughters autopsy report and it hit her & her husband like a ton of bricks. How dare we both lose a child, in the same family! My shrine for Greggy is now for Sarah too. I feel so bad for her parents & brother. Life is so precious and we need to tell our loved ones that we love them now and not to wait until they die...

We all told our child that we loved them, before they died...
I told Greggy in a text the night before and Trish told Sarah the night before as well.

Me & Greggy
9-2-1991 --- 4-26-2010
Forever 18

Sarah & Trish
7-24-1991 --- 7-10-2014
Forever 22

September 10, 2014

The Reality of Grief

The general populous, without the experience, does not understand what grief is. I have listed a few of my thoughts on the reality of grief.
* Grief Hurts. It is real. It is often accompanied by pain, confusion, and the inability to concentrate and feeling numb is a usual part of the process. We grieve deeply because we loved deeply. Grief for a child is enduring. It lasts a life time. Losing ones child to death is losing part of our future.
* The pain, confusion and other effects are real. We are not making it up and we can not control it.*. Grief takes a long time. It does not get a quick fix. " The funeral is over, we have closure, now we get on with our lives" is only in the media, fairy tales and the mind of those who have not gone through it.
*. We all grieve differently. Whatever time it takes is all right. For some it is a very long process even a lifetime with no relief. For others, equilibrium can be found sooner. Don’t expect to grieve like anyone else. However you grieve is all right as long as it doesn’t hurt you or anyone else. But not dealing with or recognizing our grief only makes it last longer.
*. There are physical effects of grief. Some people can’t eat but some drastically increase their food intake. Some sleep more while some can’t sleep. Headaches and other physical symptoms are not uncommon. There can be concentration problems, the inability to organize thoughts or tasks. Some people forget certain aspects of the death and that memory may not return.
*. Grief makes people cry. This is a natural part of the grief process. The tears of grief are chemically different from all other types of tears. Do not be ashamed to cry. Do not let others make you feel ashamed of crying. Let them know it is natural and they did not make you any more sad then you already are. Teach them to accept the emotion and to know if it is felt and dealt with now we will deal with things better in the future and possibly sooner.
*. Special days bring grief back stronger. Personal events; birthdays, the start of school, holidays, etc., death anniversary, and those days held dear to you and your child; it is a natural part of the process and normal.
*. The grief process and the death of our child can change our personal philosophy. Grief can also increase our boldness to question our beliefs, and courage to speak out. Let our new philosophy be okay for us to accept. Also don’t feel it is necessary to convince others that we and our personal philosophies have changed.
*. Grief changes people and their relationships. Some relationships change and sometimes the relationships break. It is best if we learn about our new selves and hope those we are closest to will accept us.