4 P’s of Grief

Personalization – The belief that we are at fault. In other words, we take the loss personally. If only……

The death of a loved one is not a personal vendetta from God nor is it punishment for something you did. For example, it’s not your fault if you are raped or robbed. You are a victim of a predator who saw an opportunity. 

Permanence – We think it will feel like it does now forever and can’t imagine a time when it won’t. But good times don’t last forever and neither do sad times.

This intense, foggy state of mind … Read more...

My Dad, Bobby Nimocks

My dad, Bobby Nimocks Jr., 90, died of natural causes on Monday, May 11, 2020, in Fayetteville, NC. His quality of life was poor and he’d been in a lot of pain–a body and mind that were in a race to give up on him.

A natural storyteller, my Dad will always be remembered as a “character” with charming eccentricities and an engaging sense of humor with a great sense of timing.

Back in the day, my dad played college basketball for Davidson College in North Carolina and for years insisted he was a terrible player and said he sat … Read more...

5 Ways to Deal with Mother’s Day Grief

last mother's day with my son who died by suicide

For those of us who’ve lost a pregnancy, child, or a mom, Mother’s Day is a painful reminder of who is no longer here. Even moms-to-be who’ve been trying to get pregnant, the day is like a hot knife to the heart, a cruel reminder of what has not happened.

It’s been five years since I lost my son Charles to suicide and he always remembered mother’s day and the text above is one of the most treasured. When I got it my heart went soft and my jaw went slack. I knew it was a message I’d keep forever. … Read more...

What is grief?

by Mary-ellen Viglis

Mary-ellen and her son, DJ who suffered from depression and addiction and died by suicide

Grief has no words
It isn’t tangible
It is inexplicable
It is something I wish I didn’t know intricately
Yet I do…

It is made up of
Tears
Memories
Hugs
Love
Sadness
Good times
Difficult times
Long embraces
Regrets
Promises
Emptiness
Denial
Acceptance
Unfairness
Heartbreak
Shared moments
Missed moments
Unspoken words
Truth
Lies
Beauty
Ugliness
Sadness
Joy
Unforgettable moments
Darkness
Light
Simplicity

Complication
Laughter
Sickness
Healing
Gratitude
Blessings
Loneliness
Mistakes
Successes
More tears
Overflowing
Never ending
Heartbreaking
Constant
Tears
And smiles
And … Read more...

My father died by suicide four months ago

by Kiernan Gallagher, 14 years old
Published with Kiernan’s and her mom’s permission

i lost my dad to suicide
Kiernan and her dad in 2015. Her father died on September 25, 2019

I didn’t return to school for about three weeks and returning was like being held underwater.

When my dad first passed away, I didn’t want the sun to rise. I didn’t want my favorite song to play. I didn’t want to look at the stars — I didn’t even want to eat. I didn’t want to do anything because I lost my dad, my hero, my best friend, and so much more all in … Read more...

Happy 25th birthday to my son in heaven

If Charles was still with us, he’d have grand birthday plans. The pandemic we are in right now would have forced him to change the celebration. But he would have found a creative way around it. I wonder what that would have been.

Charles loved parties. Loved people.

He would talk about his birthday plans in January like the party would be happening the next week. It drove me nuts because he was hyperfocused on it and it was so important to him.

Because he exhausted me daily with party details months in advance, one time I laughed and said … Read more...

How to Talk to Families Who’ve Suffered a Loss by Suicide

I am partnering with VFDA to bring this topic to deathcare professionals (funeral directors) in Virginia. If you know a funeral director, please share.

Where: Through Zoom Webinar
When: Tue, 04/28/2020, 4:00 pm-5:00 pm EDT
Where: Zoom
Cost: Free for VFDA members

Speaking of Suicide
How to Talk to Families Who’ve Suffered a Loss by Suicide

A loss by suicide is like no other, and the grief can be especially traumatic. Given that many of these families feel intense shame and the uncomfortable nature of suicide, directors are often unsure of the right thing to do or say. This workshop offers … Read more...

How does it feel to lose a loved one to suicide?

roller coaster of emotions

Even though many of the feelings listed go with any grief event, they are exacerbated in a suicide death. Here’s how a loss by suicide feels for many of us:

  • It feels confusing. The coulda, woulda, shouldas play on auto pilot in our heads. Trying to talk us out if it invalidates our feelings in the early stages. Active listening is the most important skill.
  • We think or say:
    • “Didn’t he know how much I loved him?”
    • “I thought he loved us. How could he do this?”
    • “My brother would never do this. Someone had to have caused this.”
    • “Can
Read more...

What grieving parents want you to know

loss of a child

You are still important to us.
We still want to be asked, invited, and included.
We might not go. And then again we may.
We still want to talk about our child who died.
Days, months, and even years later.

Our greatest fear is that our child will be forgotten.
And we hope you will listen and be there for us,
Asking us on holidays how we might be coping.
And understanding that certain times of year might still be a struggle even decades later.

We may still want to visit the grave,
Or have some kind of shrine.
It … Read more...

Video: COVID19 Coping Strategy

I am not dismissing the seriousness of this pandemic. But I am encouraging you to record your experience so you can one day share it with others. What do your kids think? Your mother? Some of your friends?

So go ahead and let it all out. You don’t have to share it with anyone right now. But get it out of your head. Record your experience in audio or video or by writing it.

How you feel and what your experiences are will one day be part of the fabric of your life that you can look back on and … Read more...