Margaret Mary

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Mental Health

5 Tips On Learning To Carry Your Grief

<i>You don’t think you’ll live past it and you don’t really. The person you were is gone, but the half of you that is still alive wakes up one day and takes over again.</i> – Barbara Kingsolver<p>Yesterday I saw someone who looked like my late-husband, who died eleven years ago. I immediately experienced the …

Emotions

Surviving the Death of My Son, One Page at a Time

<i>This essay originally appears in the Spring 2017 issue of</i> The American Scholar.<p>October 2014. A gray-sky day in a cold town that will never feel like …

A Letter to the Doctors and Nurses Who Cared for My Wife

<i>After his 34-year-old wife suffered a devastating asthma attack and later died, the Boston writer Peter DeMarco wrote the following letter to the intensive care unit staff of CHA Cambridge Hospital who cared for her and helped him cope.</i><p>As I begin to tell my friends and family about the seven days …

Empathy

Children Don’t Always Live

My daughter, Greta, was 2 years old when she died — or rather, when she was killed. A piece of masonry fell eight stories from an improperly maintained building and struck her in the head while she sat on a bench on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her grandmother. No single agent set it on …

Mind

Love, sex and death: What my fiancé’s death taught me about the afterlife

“He isn’t dead, he’s right beside me” doesn’t go over well, but this isn’t grief-induced delirium, it’s a full life<p>Seeing the spirits of the dearly departed didn't bode well for me living a normal childhood. While it felt entirely natural to me, my toddler conversations with long-dead relatives …

Spirituality

Movie Review: We Go On Delivers an Intensely Personal Ghost Story Filled With Soul

The biggest surprise about <i>We Go On</i> isn’t the de rigeur ghost story plot twist. It’s in how much the movie doesn’t need it.<p>Modern audiences have been …

Kissing the Dead

He was gone. I heard the final, awful rattle, the ragged, gasping breath that I couldn’t help thinking was full of his angry, determined desire to beat this impossible thing that had happened to him. He’d taken a fall. He’d hit his head. Now he was dead.<p>When I’d first walked into the hospital room …

Hospice Nurses Teach Us to Honor Life By Honoring Death -- and Listening

Ask anyone who knows her, and you'll hear that Denise Smith is compassionate, direct, skilled, and knowledgeable with a calm and reassuring presence. Of course she is, she's a hospice and palliative care nurse. As part of a larger hospice team that surrounds and supports the patient and family, …

Stifled Grief: How the West Has It Wrong

After nearly seven years of personal experience surrounding loss, I can tell who is going to read, share and comment on this article and it's not necessarily the audience I've intended. Those who have walked the horrific road of loss will shake their collective heads "Yes" at many of my points …

The Heartbreaking Story Behind Iconic Children's Book 'Love You Forever'

When “Love You Forever” was published in 1986, parents across the country sang its sweet refrain to their children at bedtime. It sold millions of copies in its first few years. By 2001 it was listed as No. 4 on Publishers Weekly’s list of best-selling children’s books.<p>But before “Love You Forever” …

Parenting

Transitioning From 'Goodbye' to 'Grief'

A funeral or memorial service seems like a final chapter. We close the coffin, close the doors and everyone goes home.<p>But for bereaved parents and their surviving children, it's not an end, it is a beginning.<p>Much like a wedding or birth serves as the threshold to a new way of life, a new …

Emotions

India: How it Changed My Thoughts on Death That Everyone Needs To Know

I keep hearing from people that the United States is a death denying society. After my recent trip to India I am not sure I agree. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her landmark book, "On Death and Dying," brought death to the forefront of the American consciousness over 40 years ago. Today there are …

Touching Photos Tell The Story Of One Baby Girl’s Short Life

Three years ago, on February 26, 2013, Julianne Haynie gave birth to a baby girl named Lillian. Tragically, the baby passed away just days after she was born. Both the mom and the photographer who captured the birth of baby Lillian, Ela Wunderli, are reflecting on the experience as the anniversary …

Pregnancy

Has Grief Made You Lose Your Mind?

Because we don't talk about the reality of grief in our culture, lots of grieving people think they're crazy.<p>When my partner first died, I lost my mind - and not in the ways you might think.<p>I used to be a person who could read books. I used to have a really great memory. I used to be a person who …

My Surviving Child: How My Daughter Has Lived With Her Brother's Death

Think back to when you were 5 years old. I remember that time in my life fondly. School was new and exciting and you're happy to learn new things. Your parents can do no wrong and are often times your heroes. Your biggest worries are what games to play with your friends. It's a time of innocence. …

Empathy

How to Balance the Waves of Grief and Giving

The ocean is badass. I'm mesmerized by the sun glowing through the turquoise and emerald waves, and the white frosting precarious on the tip of each as they roll in. The extent to which the tide comes so close and then can be so very far away in just a few hours is astonishing.<p>I'm on my annual trip …

Oregon

Let's Remove the Words 'At Least' From Our Vocabulary About Grief

If we're honest, most of us have done it: Heard about a tragic loss and responded -- either verbally or in our own minds -- with the words "at least."<p>A 42-year-old drops dead of a heart attack -- <i>"At least he didn't suffer."</i><p>A friend's parent dies after a long illness -- <i>"At least she and her family</i> …

Death and the Afterlife by Cliff Pickover

Cliff Pickover's new book is <i>Death and the Afterlife: A Chronological Journey, from Cremation to Quantum Resurrection</i>. Death is the one thing we all …

Ancient History

National Poetry Day: 10 famous poems you should read

Today is National Poetry Day, so here are some IV Drip desk favourites...<p><i>from</i> <b>Beowulf</b> (<b>c.900 AD)</b><p><b>Transl. Seamus Heaney</b><p>It was like the misery endured by …

Literature
Poetry

10 Things No One Ever Told Me About Grief

<i>"No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear."</i> -- C. S. Lewis, <b>A Grief Observed</b><p>In 1979, when I was two weeks shy of turning 5, my father died. He had suffered for as long as I can recall from the effects of cancer, so my family was not surprised when he died. However, I shall never forget that …

Emotions

I Measure Every Grief I Meet

Photo by h.koppdelaney<p>I measure every Grief I meet<br>With narrow, probing, eyes –<br>I wonder if It weighs like Mine –<br>Or has an Easier size.<p>I wonder if They …

Mind

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