A Cookie on Christmas Day

Christmas or New Year composition with cocoa, marshmallows, gingerbread cookies and christmas decorations

“May we do something from my culture today?” our Japanese daughter-in-law asked us last Christmas day. “On holidays, we take food to the cemetery and leave it on the graves of our relatives.” And so we did. We loaded up the cars and drove to the cemetery where several of our family members are … [Read more...]

Both And


I hear confusion from those who grieve in this holiday season because they experience conflicting emotions. The collision between the expectations of holiday happiness and the personal reality of grief can create confusion. “My feelings go back and forth from the sadness I feel from my loss this … [Read more...]

What Do I Say?


Dear Readers, This post is longer than usual but due to a recent news event, I wanted to offer some specific ideas about how to respond to the bereaved. President Trump recently asked his Chief of Staff the question "What do I say?" as he prepared to call a Gold Star family. Who among us has not … [Read more...]

Disenfranchised Grief

Version 2

“I am so embarrassed,” a client said recently. “My dog died, and I called into work sick for three days. I know so many people who have had real tragedies in their life, and I can’t get it together to get to work because my dog died. I really feel like something must be wrong with me.” Losses … [Read more...]

Shadow Grief

Shadow Grief

A mother, whose son died more than five years ago, was concerned something was wrong with her. She had ongoing feelings of sadness when much of her life was going well. “Everything is really good right now. My marriage survived our loss and is stronger than ever. We have had a new baby we adore. I … [Read more...]

What Was Big Is Now Small


A bereaved father recently shared this story with me: “I had to walk out of a work meeting the other day. It was my first week back to work after my daughter’s death, and I found myself completely impatient with my team. The topics were so trivial, and they were so worked up as they talked. At first … [Read more...]