Strong People Grieve

Can Small Sadnesses Make the World a Better Place?

My adult son just visited us for a couple of weeks. He grocery-shopped for us. He cooked his own breakfast when he awoke later than we did. He picked up the pooch from doggie-daycare. During the day when I was seeing clients in my home office, the only way I could tell he existed was by hearing an occasional padded footstep or two as he gently moved about upstairs. When I did see him, he greeted me with a smile and a hug. Three days ago, he loaded up his van with his quirky possessions, including his newly purchased used […]

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Mother’s Day Grief and Gratitude: Notice and Remember to Make a Difference

Part of the “Strong People Grieve” Series   I recall my first Mother’s Day with tenderness. My baby boy was six weeks old, still waking to nurse throughout the night. I squealed with gratitude when my husband sent me back to bed for a nap. Later I woke to the smell of sizzling bacon, and discovered flowers next to my plate when I walked into the kitchen. My husband beamed with pride as he served breakfast with one arm and held the baby in the other.   Mother’s Day calls to mind scenes like this one. We imagine bouquets of […]

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Resilience—A New Grief Myth? Offering Fortitude as an Alternative to Sheryl Sandberg’s “Option B” Perspective on Grief

Part of the “Strong People Grieve” Series (This blog post is much longer than usual. The nature of the material warranted the length. Future posts will be shorter.) I had a hard time sleeping last week. I jolted awake with my heart pounding two or three times every night. Lying with eyes wide open in the dark, images of resilience tapped into a deep, old trauma. Resilience was setting off trauma? Isn’t that weird? Let me explain. All over the media last week, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant splashed their message of resilience as an effective response to grief and […]

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Everybody Eventually Loses a Loved One: Do We All Grieve in the Same Way?

Part of the “Strong People Grieve” Series   Recently our family was hit by a series of losses. In quick succession, we lost three uncles—three different men who lived and loved and died within three unique worlds. Two of the uncles died at age 90 from causes related to aging—one died suddenly; one lingered. The third uncle was only 61 when he died of pancreatic cancer. Being intimately close to so many different loved ones who are grieving the deaths of these three incomparable men makes it particularly fitting for me to write about aspects of grief that are close […]

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