Bearing Witness

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The legal definition of bearing witness means to attest to something that is true. If you are called to court to testify, you bear witness to the truth of what you saw or what you know. If someone is telling you their story of loss, they are bearing witness to you about the truth of their … [Read more...]

Another Layer of Grief

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A grieving man described the sadness he experienced due to the behavior of some family members after his wife’s death. “My adult step-children asked me about our wills before the day of her funeral had ended. I could not believe what I was hearing. How could they be so insensitive on this of all … [Read more...]

The Business of Loss

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A bereaved spouse recently described feeling overwhelmed by the amount of business she needed to manage after her husband’s death. “I am overwhelmed by paperwork. I am trying to deal with probate, close accounts, pay all of the medical bills, get the utilities transferred to my name and a dozen … [Read more...]

The Shadow of Suicide

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The recent reports of well-known celebrities dying from suicide have brought this topic to our national attention. The statistics are stunning – 43,000 suicide deaths in 2016 make it the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., and in the 15-34 age group, the second leading cause of death. These … [Read more...]

A Broken Heart

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“My heart is broken” is a lament often spoken by those who mourn. While that description is poetic, rather than literal, what is the physical impact on the heart and the rest of the body when a loss occurs? The day after the funeral and burial of former First Lady Barbara Bush, her husband was … [Read more...]

No Words

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A bereaved father whose daughter died in a car accident described an experience to me that frightened him. “It was a surge of feelings that started in my feet and traveled through my whole body and came out in a primal sound that did not seem like my voice,” he said. Anthropologist Renato … [Read more...]

Continuing Bonds

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In a bereaved parents’ meeting, I recently spoke about the desire many parents have to continue the emotional bond with their children who have died. The signs of relief were audible. “I am tired of the pressure to ‘get over’ the death of my daughter,” one mother said. “I will love her and feel … [Read more...]