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They put their hands up rather than talk about grief

I spent the last weekend at a conference of therapists, associates, and grad students. I love the opportunity to talk with others in our profession about grief work and the different ways we all look at it and the methods we use with clients. I was also eager to see the reactions to my new…

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That person is gone forever…and it will be OK

On my way home from work recently I pulled over to finish listening to a show on NPR. It was recorded by Scott Simon for Weekend Edition Saturday. It was an interview with Columbine High School teacher Paula Reed. She was in class the day of their mass shooting, and she is still a teacher…

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Ego Integrity versus Despair as Death Approaches

We are all schooled in the developmental stages in grad school, and we study them for the boards. We know attachment theory in building and understanding relationships. We know the Kubler-Ross stages for anticipatory grief as someone faces a terminal illness. Do we apply all of it well, in a fusion to support our clients…

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The importance of rituals in our lives- and deaths

There’s a trend gaining strength, one that I’d like those considering joining to rethink before jumping in the pool. I’ve met many hospice patients and clients who tell their families they don’t want any service in their memory. Nothing. One minute you are spending time and energy and putting everything you have available to help…

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Leaving the sticks out

There has been so much on the news this week- one difficult or tragic moment after another. I will admit I spent a little time trying to not watch or listen- for my own mental health (yes, even therapists must regroup sometimes). But one story has stuck with me in the midst of bombings, military…

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The Winter

It’s raining like crazy outside, and we are staying inside and avoiding the cold and wet with the dogs, cats, and two cockatiels who seem to be trying to brighten up the day. WE have been in what we consider cold weather for weeks, and friends on the other coast are facing the aftermath of…

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If you had five more minutes with them

I was running errands in the car today, enjoying the sun with the top down in the “fun” car (read, not mine), when a song came on that stopped my careless mood. It asked what you would do if you had another five minutes with someone who’d died. What would you do? The chorus played…

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When the bad things don’t stop…

Has anyone else raised their hand in the past week or so and said they can’t take another negative moment entering their lives? We’ve had mass shootings in multiple places, and watched the unsuspecting going about their daily lives only to have someone- or several someone’s- not come home. No matter the politics of anyone…

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Losing a Furry Family-Member… It Hurts as Much as Any Other Loss

  This is Fuzzy. She’s our office pet therapist, and my dog by default. She belonged to both of my spouses before their deaths, and she could not get past the losses she could not understand. So now she’s with me pretty much every waking moment, mostly because she poodle stalks me and will not…

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What Do You Say to Kids about Death?

I’ve spent this week at a conference attended by professionals in the funeral industry.  They deal with families coping with death every day,  and most nights.  Yet, when it comes to talking to small ones about the death of a loved one, there are still questions. Professional folks know the big no-no’s and can advise the…

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