In my twenties and thirties, anger was my weapon of choice. Growing up with an alcoholic father and a people-pleasing mother, I soon realized that being angry prevented others from taking advantage of me. Anger helped me feel powerful, strong, and in control. I stormed through life, defending and protecting myself against every threat, insult, and should that came…

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grief, slowing down grief, easy grief

Grief has a rhythm all its own. In our haste to speed our recovery, we rush around frenetically trying to find the instant-formula, or 3-quick-steps to grief relief. We make our expectations clear to a coach or counselor: I don’t have too much time. I need to get over this grief thing asap. Do you specialize in…

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why anger feels better than forgiveness

I can’t forgive him for what he did to me. Can’t open myself up to being hurt again. She was clearly wrong…no doubt about it. I have said all of the above. Maybe so have you. To forgive someone I’m in a conflict with feels like being asked to write with my left hand (I’m…

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Grief has a way of parking us up in our head. When we lose someone we dearly love, or something we cherish like a job, a home, or a country we love, fear is the first response. Confused by the loss of certainty, the brain, feels scrambled. The monkey mind takes over and does not…

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I grew up in an alcoholic home. My father struggled with alcoholism for many years until AA found him and he cleaned up. I was a teenager and for me this was a painful secret I felt I had to hide from my friends. So I buttoned up and said nothing. Instead, I pretended that…

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Your brain deletes stuff when you're grieving

In the weeks and months after my mother’s death, I thought I was going crazy.  I couldn’t read a page without feeling like I’d lost my mind. Because when I got to the end of the page I no longer remembered what I’d just read. I forgot characters’ names, locations, and just couldn’t hold on…

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Grief does change shape

In the early weeks and months after my mother died, I felt like I was walking around without skin. Everything hurt. The pain of loss was excruciating. I felt confused, disoriented, and ungrounded.  It was the first time in life that I felt totally alone. Not just because my mother had died, but because I…

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Silence heals the soul

When my mother died in 2009, I wanted to hide. Solitude became my friend. Shattered by loss, I wanted nothing more than to burrow into a cocoon and lick my wounds. When friends tried to get me to go out or find other ways to distract myself from the pain, I protested and resisted. I…

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holding hands to indicate support

I’m often asked the question: “How do I prepare for the death of someone I love?” This is such a great question because we all find ourselves in that situation. And if we haven’t already, there will come a time when we find ourselves in that space. The first thing I’d like to say is…

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