A Love Story that Never Ends

Sweet Lorraine Fred Stobaugh’s wife Lorraine passed away in early 2013. The 96-year-old sat down to say a beautiful and unique goodbye by writing “Sweet Lorraine.” Much as he wanted to sing it for her, his lack of musical talent, he felt, stood between him and a poignant eulogy. Green Shoe Studio, an Illinois-based music […]

Let’s Talk about the End of Life

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Barbara Brotman is a Chicago Tribune reporter, wife and mom. But she’s a mom who was gutsy enough to use a family holiday dinner to have a crucial conversation most of us would run miles from: the end-of-life conversation. Calling it a non-traditional holiday activity, Brotman used the opportunity to get her husband, 22 and 25-year-old daughters (and […]

The Purpose of Grief

Every sad ending contains the seeds of a new happy beginning. I know this for sure and have lived through it myself. In a recent phone call, this truth was revealed to me one more time. One of my jobs as a hospice volunteer is to make follow-up phone calls to bereaved family members. How the conversation will […]

Being A Soul Midwife

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I am a Soul Midwife. I just didn’t know it until I read Felicity Warner’s The Soul Midwives’ Handbook: The Holistic & Spiritual Care of the Dying. Anyone who is a companion to the dying and helps them transition is actually helping birth their entry into a new realm. As the Founder of the Soul […]

Grief and Gratitude

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When the death of a loved one knocks us down, gratitude is the farthest thing from our minds.  And it is okay to honor that you don’t feel it. More likely, you’re angry, bitter, and feeling abandoned by your loved one in some sense. Feelings aren’t always logical and it’s important to go with the flow. […]

10 Ways to Cope with a Difficult Loss

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When you lose a loved one, grief knocks you over no matter how strong you are. Here are ten strategies that will help you in coping with the transition. 1) Feel your Feelings. Allow feelings to bubble up to the surface: shock, anger, denial, sadness, fear. Everyone’s grief is as individual as their fingerprints, so […]

Thriving After A Loss

You read that headline and think: Whoever wrote that is plain nuts. Is that even possible? How can someone be expected to thrive when they lose someone they’ve loved dearly? If I’d encountered that headline when my mother’s loss was still fresh, I would’ve had the same reaction. There is a time to grieve and […]

How to Help A Grieving Friend (Part 2)

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My conversation with Katherine Conway, founder of Helping Friends Grieve continues… 4. You study and work in the field of transitional justice. In traveling the world and working with communities around mourning, memory, memorialization and loss, what are some of the biggest lessons that have come your way? I learned the most important lesson of […]

How to Help a Grieving Friend (Part 1)

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After a deeply moving personal tragedy, Katherine Conway made the decision to turn her pain into helping others heal. The result: Helping Friends Grieve, a community of shared stories of grief and loss. The benefits: connection, healing, service. 1. Can you share with us your personal story of losing your dad and how it altered the […]

Don’t Wait for Tomorrow

When I returned home after my evening walk, my 19-year-old daughter had her nose in her iPhone. Nothing unusual. But my post-walk chatter was greeted with complete silence. This was unusual. As I paused to register what might be going on, she turned to me and said, “Ma, Mr. Williams (name changed) passed away.” “Oh, I […]