Everyone Needs a Grief Friend

5 Qualities to Consider

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“Why would I tell you deep things when I don’t know you?”

As a counselor and narrative therapist, I engage people who don’t know me all the time. And I want them to tell me their deepest worries and struggles.

After hearing a person’s story, I will often ask if they have a good friend. (more…)

7 Strategies That Really Work to Help You Meet Your Loved One at Christmas.

Even Though They Have Died

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Is Christmas difficult this year because you will be missing a loved one? Are you wondering how to manage without them? Do you feel that Christmas will be too hard to handle without their presence? The following strategies will help you to bring that person whom you are missing a little closer. (more…)

Telling the Story

Memories Bring Connection Forever

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All of life is a series of memories that are either positive or negative – very few are neutral. We remember most all of them, but usually choose to give special meaning to those memories that are positive and uplifting.

My friend, Gary, had a special animal companion that died last week. (more…)

One of These Things Is Not Like the Others

A Sesame Street Grief

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I could not help but think of that phrase when I looked at this sign on our recent holiday to Vancouver Island.

One sign did not seem to fit in very well with those around it. Most of them were Coca Cola signs with a 7UP sign thrown in for good measure. But there one that just did not seem to fit. You can see it for yourself? (more…)

Grief Made Me an Introvert

And that’s Just Fine!

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My wife, Erica, has had laryngitis for over a week now and I don’t like it all. I want to hear what she has to say, but it’s difficult to hear her soft whisper. So I’m forced to be more extroverted and carry the conversation. Or conversely, we’re both resigned to being quiet introverts together – side by side – at least until she regains her voice. (more…)

The Evolution of Rob

How one father remembers his son

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I was taking a break and stopped in at our local pub. I had been working hard, preparing for some lectures I was to give and wanted a change of environment. I often write at the pub, so I sat down for a beer and pulled out my computer. A regular patron approached me and asked what I was writing about. (more…)

When a “Cherry Blossom” Becomes a Good Reminder

The Value of Linking Objects

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I was away for Mother’s Day this year and was unable to pay a visit to my mom.

I was on a speaking tour in Ontario and had forgotten my toothbrush. I stopped at the drug store to pick up a new one. As I went up to the counter to pay, I glanced at the treats next to the till and knew I had to buy it…a Cherry Blossom® chocolate. (more…)

Have you had a chance to tell your story lately?

The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in.” ― Henry Green

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Many people don’t know what to say the first time they meet an acquaintance that has recently been bereaved. So often one hears the proverbial, “I’m sorry for your loss.” “My condolences.” Or worse, the famous platitudes that are not at all helpful: “At least they’re not suffering anymore.” “He’s in a better place.” “Now you have an angel in heaven.” These attempts at empathy make the speaker feel better but not the one grieving the loss. (more…)

Don’t Listen To Me About Physician Assisted Death

It’s Your Conversation That Really Matters

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In Canada, all you hear about in the media right now is Physician Assisted Death (PAD). It makes me want to turn off the radio or throw the newspaper in the recycle bin before I even read it. The most important conversations around this subject don’t take place on the radio, in papers, on the Internet or even in books. The experts can say all they want and give their opinions ad nauseam, but this conversation is one that needs to take place in the closed community called “family”. And no one has permission to tell my family what to think unless I invite them into its membership.   (more…)