I feel it rolling in. It’s so subtle at first– a little extra heaviness and the tears are just a bit closer to the surface.
When the harsh daily news hits my ears, mass shootings, terrorist uprisings, more suicides and overdose deaths, they all resonate more. How much more grief can our culture endure? I wasn’t even paying attention to the date or the fact that the upcoming month, April, is a so close. But I looked up and there it is just days away. It’s Charles’ birthday month and he would have been 24. What would he look like? … Read more... “The edge of grieving season”
So recently my friend, Jill Cichowicz, whose twin brother died from Substance Use Disorder, arranged a meeting with me and Omar Abubaker, DMD, PhD who lost his son to addiction as well. We talked about pushing forward our agenda on substance abuse education and how, we, as people who have lost someone precious to this drug epidemic can make a difference and educate people on this disease–starting with presenting it as a disease.
“Another one…?” I couldn’t help but hear it repeat in my head. “Really, another one?”
My body shook with chills and my stomach knotted itself, just as it does now remembering the story. I wondered if hearing these stories will always affect me this way, and if they would always jolt me back to that instant gut-wrenching fear that I felt on June 15t, 2016.
Save the date. We are hosting a coping workshop at Ellwood Thompson on Wed, 04/10/2019 6:30 pm-8:30 pm. This is in Richmond, VA. Both Karla and I have lost a child but this is for anyone who has suffered grief and loss. We will highlight and provide guidance on some specific strategies. We hope to have a sponsor so we can have some food and there will be a nominal charge to cover expenses.
My opinion on this is always YES! We live in an extremely busy, fast-paced, hustle-driven, hurry-up world that is also extremely death denying and grief aversive. Grief is a process that requires—demands—attention, nurturing, space, and heavy doses of ritual.
We know from current research that those who have the best outcomes—meaning those who are able to best carry and integrate their grief and have more functional, productive, healthy lives, are those who have good self-care and good support. We also know that help-seeking people tend to do better than those … Read more... “Is a grief retreat right for you?”
Since 1999, this brain tumor, although benign, has taken a lot from me–hearing and feeling on one side, reduction in fluids like saliva, tears, on the left side. And so on. In 2016 and a year after Charles died, I had gamma knife radiation treatment to fry it which left me with trouble swallowing (dysphasia), upper esophageal reflux and vocal cord issues. By far the most devastating was the loss of my voice. It was barely above a whisper. For a while, the botox injections (called vocal fold injections) were working and then they weren’t.
Some of you may even claim there are not three good things about yourself. So for those of you who struggle the most with this kind of thing, I want you to dig the deepest. Ask someone else if you need to.
But there are three things. And today I want you to list them. It’s not bragging if I’m asking you.
So since I started this, I’ll go first. Here goes.
I am persistent in reaching my goals – I don’t give up easily, I am OK with being bold and sticking my neck
Names have been removed to protect the identity of the sender of the above message but these are the kinds of messages I get in response to both my story and yours. That’s why I need and want your emotionally naked stories. That’s why they are important.