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

A silhouette of someone in despair on a bench against the setting sun

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

Baby hand holding mother's hands

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...]