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The First Year of Grief

The First Year of Grief

I remember being surprised when I began studying Grief Counseling, about what research indicates is the most difficult periods during the first year following a death.  The times when grief will rear its ineffable pain are: 1) at the end of the first week; 2) the three month mark; 3) holidays; and, 4) the one year anniversary.  The one that was surprising to me is the three month mark.  The practical explanation is that much of the personal support given to a bereaving family fades at around the three month period.  Those who were initially stopping by, perhaps preparing meals,...

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Why is the Ice Cream in the Pantry and Where are the Clean Towels?

  True Story...It’s early in the morning, I open the pantry to take out the cereal and there was a half-gallon container of ice cream sitting on the shelf.  Technically, it was just the container sitting on the shelf; the ice cream (I use the word “ice” loosely) was dripping onto each shelf below forming a cascade of sticky, gooey liquid all the way down to the floor.  Not a great way to start the day!  As I cleaned the mess, I searched for an explanation of how this could have happened. I realized that while putting away the groceries...

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2017 Lessons and Blessings

2017 Lessons and Blessings

     I am ready for 2017 to be gone. It has been one of the hardest years of my life. In 2014, I had found a strength I did not know existed in the depths of my soul and once again, I had to rely on something supernatural to survive. The darkest moments of my life began in February 16, 2017 with a phone call. I instantly knew something was wrong, and within 5 hours I was faced with the greatest fear I have ever known. Over the next 2 months, confusion, doubt, and just plain uncertainty loomed every waking...

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Grieving vs. Mourning, Is There a Difference?

Grieving vs. Mourning, Is There a Difference?

Clients have asked me, “What is the difference between Grieving and Mourning?”  These terms are often used interchangeable, but it is important to note that there is a difference.  Grieving is a term used when speaking of the internal experience of the one who has lost a loved one to death.   Grief is what we think and feel on the inside such as sadness, fear, regret, even numbness (the sense of being without feelings) are all part of grieving.  Mourning is the term applied to the external process we go through in adapting to the death.  This might look like...

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What shirt are you wearing?

What shirt are you wearing?

     What is your t-shirt size, do you even know? What color do you look really good in? I am not talking about clothes. I am talking metaphorically. If the words and labels people throw at us were T-shirts, would you collect them and hang them in your closet? Many of us do. As children, grownups often carelessly throw out hurtful words in a moment of anger and a child will grab it, put it on, and then spend the rest of their lives getting real comfy in that shirt. For example, a parent may say to a child, “You...

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