The 5 Stages Of Grief Don't Come In Fixed Steps

The 5 Stages Of Grief Don't Come In Fixed Steps
Understanding the normal trajectory of grief matters for the person experiencing the grief and those treating them. Grief can seem desolate for those in the thick of it who often feel unable to imagine a way out of their suffering. But, as time passes, the pain usually dampens or becomes more fleeting.

Can You Really Can Die From A Broken Heart?

Can You Really Can Die From A Broken Heart?
Grief brought on by the loss of a spouse can cause inflammation that can lead to major depression, heart attack, and even premature death. For a new study, researchers examined the effect grief has on human health by conducting interviews with 99 people whose spouses had recently died. They also examined their blood.

How Some Suicidal Men Find Support On Reddit

How Some Suicidal Men Find Support On Reddit
New research illuminates how some men and boys who are contemplating suicide are finding emotional support in an unexpected place: Reddit. Responses to those posts often contained gendered language of their own, like, “Hey, bro, I’ve been through that before,” or, “What’s bothering you, man?” Sometimes referred to as the “front page of the internet,” Reddit is a social news aggregation and discussion website that’s especially popular among young adult males.

Final Words of the Dying: Hearing Is Healing

Final words
The awe-filled exclamation of Apple’s Steve Jobs — “Oh, wow! Oh, wow! Oh, wow!” — is an example of the intensified language we hear at the threshold and is true to the personality of the inspired innovator. Chaz Ebert, wife of celebrity critic Roger Ebert, shared a de­tailed account of her husband’s last words, in Esquire in 2013.

How Much Time Have I Got, Doc? The Problems With Predicting Survival At End Of Life

How Much Time Have I Got, Doc? The Problems With Predicting Survival At End Of Life
Predicting how long a patient will survive is critically important for them and their families to guide future planning, yet notoriously difficult for doctors to predict accurately. While many patients request this information, others do not wish to know, or are incapable of knowing due to...

To Everything There Is a Season

To Everything There Is a SeasonPart of my job is to conduct the memorial whenever a death occurs. Although each service is tailored to the circumstances, I begin many of them with the same reading: “To everything there is a season...” It helps me to remember that our lives proceed according to a natural rhythm.

Living and Talking with The Dead

Living and Talking with The DeadI quickly learned—at the age of four—that while the dead may be dead, they still have a lot to say, and it is my job to listen. As kids, we all learn to look both ways and never take candy from a stranger. I also learned to never argue with a dead person—they often know more than the living.

Spiritual Care At The End Of Life Can Add Purpose And Help Maintain Identity

 People nearing the end of their life often express fear of dying alone. Gerard Moonen/Unsplash, CC BYIn nursing homes, older people are increasingly frail and being admitted to care later than they used to be. More than half of residents suffer from depression, yet psychiatrists and psychologists aren’t easily accessible, and pastoral or spiritual care is only available in a subset of homes.

How Spirituality Can Help Us Cope With The Trials Of Aging

How Spirituality Can Help Us Cope With The Trials Of AgingOld age is a time of many challenges. Retirement brings opportunities, but for many people it also results in loss of role and income. Loved ones may die, leading to the need to grieve and reconstruct life, sometimes without a partner of many years. In advanced old age, physical and mental frailty may lead to further loss of role and greater dependence on others.

Five Surprising Findings About Death And Dying

Five Surprising Findings About Death And DyingIn this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes, as Benjamin Franklin famously wrote. Few of us find taxes exciting, but death – even just thinking about it – affects us profoundly in many different ways. This is why researchers across so many different fields study it from their perspectives.

The Hardest Part Is Always the Parting

The Hardest Part Is Always the PartingAt some point in our lives, we all may have to inhabit that peculiar bubble of time where we’re called upon to witness the passage of a life. It’s possibly the most difficult, but most essential, thing we have to do—showing up for an event we dread and knowing how to conduct ourselves through this unmistakably sacred time.

Learning How To Talk About End-of-Life Care

Learning How To Talk About End-of-Life CareMerely filling out the form is not enough. The patient’s wishes can be truly honored only if the patient and family understand the options, have the opportunity to pose questions, and trust that their wishes will be followed. In other words, POST achieves its purpose only if it is based on open and trusting relationship...

Coping with Loss: The Many Faces of Grief

Coping with Loss: The Many Faces of Grief

We all deal with grief in our own way. Many turn to addictions like shopping, gambling, hoarding, alcohol, drugs, eating, and even bingo. Many people I know who had been smoke-free for years started smoking again when they lost a loved one. We try to find ways to dull the pain, but they are all just temporary fixes, if even that...

What Happens After We Die?

What Do I Think Happens After We Die?

What do I think happens after we die? I think about this question every day as an exercise of the imagination, and I frequently change my mind about it. Death is something that many people try to avoid thinking about, but I haven’t been able to stop wondering about it since I was a child...

Reaching the End with No Regrets

Reaching the End with No Regrets

True value is not on what you own, but on who you are. Dying people know this. Their belongings are of no consequence whatsoever at the end. What other people think of them, or what they have achieved in belongings, does not even enter their thinking at such a time. In the end...

Awful Gifts: Blessings in Disguise

Awful Gifts: Blessings in Disguise by Sheila Pearl, MSW

Sometimes we wonder how we are going to survive the seemingly awful circumstances that appear in our lives. We may even wonder if we want to survive the nightmare at all. As much as my husband's dementia was our worst nightmare, I have grown to see that awful time in our lives as an awesome gift.

Yes, I Talk to My Dead Sister: Communicating with Loved Ones on "The Other Side"

Communicating with Loved Ones on "The Other Side"

For me, ever since my sister's death in 1987, not only have I grown closer to her, I've also come to see that every decision, risk, adventure, accomplishment, deed, job, presentation, award, relationship, and experience — basically everything in my life — has been impacted and inspired by my relationship with my sister and her heavenly guidance.

A Fork in the Road

Since that day in the elevator over 35 years ago when my mom first spoke of my destiny, the purpose of my journey began to come into focus. The message of "Living in the Moment" was given greater depth when shortly before the writing of this book was completed; my own journey brought me to a fork in the road.

Family Return

Jenny was eager to talk to me about her five-year-old nephew, who she was beginning to believe was the reincarnation of her grandfather. She hadn't known that it was possible for a child to be the reincarnation of a family member. Now Dylan's strange behaviors were beginning to make sense to her.

Apprenticeship with the Shadow of Loss

Could any of us watching Peter Pan struggling with his shadow -- to find his shadow, to keep his shadow and, ultimately, to "bind" his shadow to him -- have known that the shadow carries powerful psychological implications? We might have noticed that Peter seemed different once his shadow was firmly attached. He was still delightful and charming but slightly subdued and not quite so self-centered and irresponsible. A bit more... dare we say, grown up? As Peter Pan could tell us, the shadow is...

Death Denial

Most people are so strongly habituated to death denial that when death appears they are caught entirely by surprise. Overwhelmed and confused, they tend to miss out on the extraordinary opportunity for peace and resolution that is inherent in the dying trajectory.

So What's Really Going On?

"The times they are a changing", so wrote Bob Dylan in the early 60's. The title had its meaning to the young people of the period, but really it has always had a universal meaning. The times have always changed and will continue to do so.

I Didnt Know About Death

We have not done well with dying. We have denied its reality and considered it an end to life that should be avoided at all costs. We tell our children that Grandma died and went to a beautiful place called Heaven, and then we quit saying her name. Instead of seeing death as the next stage of life and exploring the possibilities of such a belief, we choose to let fear keep us ignorant.

A Body of Thought

I was very close to my father, and very upset when he died. A few days after his death, I turned over in my bed, supposedly still in mid-dream, when a shadowy form appeared. He, for I assumed the figure to be such, was similar to those dark depictions of the spirit...


Denvers Goodbye

"Looks like this tree could use some water." I looked over at my neighbor, standing 30 feet away, beside the cypress tree my former boyfriend, Denver, had planted the previous spring. His words echoed and rolled slowly across the lawn that divided us. My hands tingled, and I clasped them together to keep them from shaking...

A Ghost of a Chance

"Is she going to make it?" I asked, throwing my arms around my grandfather's stooped shoulders, enfolding him in a tight embrace. My grandmother was dying of cancer. What does one ask in such a dismal situation? Oma and I had often talked about spiritual ideas. She firmly believed we all have souls...

Grandmother's Angels

A testimonial of undying love and the presence of life after death... Curiously, my study of metaphysics did not really begin in earnest until the day of my Grandmother's death, when I became convinced that life did, in fact, continue after "death".

Stargazer Lilies

At the time, I was totally unprepared for the dramatic and extraordinary events that would unfold over the next 21 days. I would see and learn of a few more of the mysteries of the universe. I would get a glimpse of the phenomenal wonders and magic of life, physical death, life after death, and the transition that takes place during this period.

Spirit Watching Over Me

One day, I asked my dad if he would be there when God called me home, and he promised he would. He told me he would be watching over me. One evening, many years later, Mom called and said that Dad had just died. It was the first time I had lost anyone close to me. I was devastated! I don't believe anyone is ever prepared for...

Death and Dying

After living sixty or sixty-five years people tend to move around a lot. Many buy and use house trailers and motor homes, enduring cramped conditions to seek new horizons. Still others devise various forms of travel to see the world or the country 'while still young enough to enjoy it.' Many, if not most, hike, walk, swim, jog, cycle, climb, swing golf clubs or tennis racquets or fly rods. The shared desire seems to be to achieve a state of almost perpetual motion. Action symbolizes life. Death is such a very long stillness. There seems to be a grim universal blind hope that it will be harder for the death dart to hit a moving target.

Death and The Spirit World

At the moment of death, our soul rises out of its host body. If the soul is older and has experience from many former lives, it knows immediately it has been set free and is going home. As they move further away from Earth, souls experience an increasingly brilliant light around them. Some will briefly see a grayish darkness and will sense passing through a tunnel or portal. The differences between these two phenomena depends upon the exit speed of the soul, which in turn relates to their experience. The pulling sensation...

A Fathers Day Wish

I never gave much importance to my father's death and its effect on my life. I tucked it away under the category something unfortunate that happened when you were a kid. It felt as though I put all those unexpressed feelings, words and emotions into a little invisible jar and screwed the cap on tightly. My mind must have known...

I Listened, and Learned

My mother, my great encourager and supporter, listened patiently as I read her the last chapter of this book, and she did what every daughter prays for at such a moment. She cried and then looked at me with an expression of such admiration and pride. As my mother gave me this gift, she asked a question that would give me one more...

Grief -- How to Hang On and How to Let Go

Grief is a bittersweet emotion. Even though it hurts we subconsciously long for the grief to continue. We are willing to put up with the pain if we can still have the remnants, at least, of a loved one who now exists only in memory. We want the connection without the pain, but the two coexist.


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